What's on TV
SHOWS FOR APRIL 12-18
Out of the Ashes (Showtime, 8-10 p.m., encores through the month): Christine Lahti stars as Dr. Gisella Perl, a Jewish obstetrician who survived Auschwitz and saved the lives of hundreds of women. When she arrived in the US after the war, there were some who questioned her "association" with the infamous "Dr. Death," Josef Mengele, a sadist who experimented on prisoners. It can be a tough story to watch, but it was much worse to experience, and that is one of the powerful messages brought home. An excellent cast with many small but significant roles, the film is well made and morally enthralling. TV-14
Framed (TNT, 8-10 p.m., encores through the month): Rob Lowe and Sam Neill square off in this surprisingly absorbing thriller. Lowe plays a detective who spots Neill, a key witness in a money-laundering case, hiding in the Bahamas. As the crook entices the cop with the perks of the underworld, the viewer may find the socioeconomic lines blurred. Witty and well-made, it's a kick for light-drama buffs. TV-14
Platinum (UPN, 9-10 p.m.): A new prime-time drama features an unlikely subject: the hip-hop music industry. Two brothers - Jason George of "Barbershop" and rap star Sticky Fingaz - try to keep their record company afloat, amid takeover threats and competition from bigger labels. TV-PG
Great Women of Television Comedy (NBC, 8-9:30 p.m.): Megan Mullally (of "Will & Grace") hosts this fun-filled trek through TV history. From Lucille Ball to Jane Kaczmarek, TV has freed women comics to do their funny stuff. Mary Tyler Moore may have started out as a "straight man" for Dick Van Dyke, but she soon demonstrated her own comic gifts. There are plenty of ladies showcased here, and plenty more left out. It's interesting to note that TV has been good for something - helping to liberate US women comics.
Watching Ellie (NBC, 9:30-10 p.m.): The sitcom about a struggling lounge singer returns - minus real-time format and the ticking clock in the corner of your TV screen. Viewers will also hear laughter courtesy of the studio audience. What started out as innovative now sounds like a regular sitcom. Let's hope that funnywoman Julia Louis-Dreyfus will raise the bar. TV-14