What's on TV

Shows worth noting for Sept. 29 - Oct. 5

The following are not necessarily recommended by the Monitor. All times Eastern, check local listings.

Saturday 9/29

Citizen Baines (CBS, 9-10 p.m.): James Cromwell ("Babe") stars in this poignant new dramatic series about a longtime senator who loses an election. What will he do with his life now? How will he relate to the daughters who have supported his career for so many years? The season première is good, and it may be one of the most intelligent dramas on TV if it continues in this vein.

Sunday 9/30

The Three Tenors in the Forbidden City (A&E, 8-10 p.m.): José Carreras, Placido Domingo, and Luciano Pavarotti together again - this time in the heart of Beijing before the same palace pictured in Bertolucci's "The Last Emperor." Many favorite opera tunes are here, and, though the editing seems a trifle disjointed, it is great fun to see the most famous tenors in the world joined by three great Chinese sopranos. "Nessun Dorma" still rocks.

Monday 10/1

Lana Turner: A Daughter's Memoir (TCM, 8-9:30 p.m.): One of the great Hollywood icons was famously discovered in a soda shop in Hollywood after school one day. Her life was a sad pursuit of love affairs, but her career boomed as a glamour girl, a pinup, a heroine, and a '40s femme fatale. She kept working, though, appearing on TV's ("Falcon Crest") as late as 1982.

Mutant X (Syndicated, check local listings during the week of Oct. 1-7): John Shea stars in another sci-fi action adventure, featuring genetically altered humans with special powers who fight crime and evil in general. It's more than a little absurd, but fans of action may find it fun.

Tuesday 10/2

Search for a Safer Cigarette (PBS, 8-9 p.m.): Nova examines a controversy that has Congress hopping. One in 4 adults smokes, and consumer activists are desperately trying to curb what they call the "most dangerous and least-regulated product on the market." Here's the whole story - toxic chemicals, medical details, and all. It's not a pretty picture.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (UPN, 8-10 p.m.): Buffy returns in the season opener on a new network. But don't be deceived by your first glance of her. At the end of last season, Buffy sacrificed her life to save the world. Now we learn what happened to her and how her less-capable pals are managing to fight evil without her. It's all tongue-in-cheek.

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