What's on TV

Shows worth noting for Sept. 22-28

Friday 9/21

America: A Tribute to Heroes (CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, 9-11 p.m.): Hollywood's biggest stars will present a multi-channel simulcast telethon to raise money for relief efforts in New York. There will be live music performances by Bruce Springsteen, The Dixie Chicks, Paul Simon, Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks, Stevie Wonder, and Neil Young. Actors like Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks, Jim Carrey, George Clooney, Cameron Diaz, and Robin Williams will host the evening, with tributes to those involved in this past week's events.

Sunday 9/23

Behind the Terror: Knowing the Enemy (BBC America September 23, 4-6 pm ET; Discovery and TLC may repeat): This hastily assembled documentary is even-handed, insightful, and riveting. It gives an overview of Bin Laden's activities and his network of contacts. It describes the training of Afghani Mujadeen by American forces, and also places Islamic views of violence within the contaext of the Koran. It goes on to explain how Bin Laden's brand of terrorism is not in accord with Islam at all – sort of like the Ku Klux Klan and Christianity. It also reveals that Bin Laden's followers had been planning to use a plane as a bomb since 1996 when one of his associates was captured in the Philippines. This is one of the most important investigative reports TV did through this whole catastrophe.

The Last Brickmaker in America (CBS, 9-11 p.m.): Academy Award-winner Sidney Poitier ("Lilies of the Field") stars in this predictable but pleasant story about a craftsman and a troubled boy he takes in. The handmade bricks made by Henry Cobb (Poitier) enhance nearly every building in his small town. But after the death of his beloved wife of 60 years, he needs a purpose again. The young lad needs help, and Mr. Cobb needs to help him. Poitier turns in a moving performance, and young Cody Newton is delightful. Fine family fare.

The Practice (ABC, 9-11 p.m.): The season première is a tad seamy, but echoes recent scandals in the news. A state senator (Dylan Baker) is tried for murder, and what with all the lies he tells even his attorneys, it's hard to foresee the twisted end. Ellenor (Camryn Manheim) has her hands full defending the senator, his wife, and his 14-year-old daughter. Fans of the show will not be disappointed by this complicated two-hour episode.

50 Years of NBC Late Night (NBC, 9-11 p.m.): First there was Steve Allen, then Jack Parr, and finally there was Johnny Carson. Lots of great stars got a boost from "The Tonight Show": Jerry Seinfeld, Steve Martin, Drew Carey, and Eddie Murphy among them. Conan O'Brien hosts this paean to the offbeat antics of late night. It even celebrates "Saturday Night Live." But the best routines are truncated, and somehow the experience isn't all that satisfying.

Wednesday 9/26

Enterprise (UPN, 8-10 p.m.): The look is near-future rather than far future - with lots of levers. Scott Bakula stars as the dashing Capt. Jonathan Archer, who must return a captured Klingon to his rightful planet. There's plenty of action, and the Klingons aren't so bad, after all. (See cover story, page 13).

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