Sunday, April 4
The Winning Season (TNT, 8-10 p.m.): A young boy finds a baseball card in an old lady's trash. That card is his ticket back in time to the World Series of 1909 and a friendship with the card's legendary hero, Honus Wagner. The family film, though slow and artificial, stresses an honorable value system all but lost in the pro-sports world of the 21st century.
Peter Jennings Reporting: Jesus and Paul - The Word and the Witness (ABC, 8-11 p.m.): Some of the scholars interviewed by Mr. Jennings believe in the words and works of Jesus and the Apostle Paul as laid forth in the New Testament, and some are skeptics in the tradition of the "Jesus Seminar." One can only marvel at the presumption of some of these scholars who assert guesswork as if it were fact. Still, Mr. Jennings gives us a clear overview of academic biblical scholarship today, a timely topic, given the public debates over the veracity of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ."
Cecil B. DeMille: American Epic (TCM, 8 p.m., part Two follows April 7, 8p.m.): He was the king of cheese - the guy who managed to sell sex, violence, and religion in movies that excelled in spectacle. A tyrant on the set, he seems to have been easygoing at home. He was either loved or hated by those who worked for him. And he openly kept mistresses, even as he preached the Ten Commandments. His history is the history of Hollywood.
Every Child Is Born a Poet (PBS, check local listings): After a life of poverty and stints in the merchant marines and prison, Piri Thomas found himself through writing. This highly creative biography uses reenactments and poetry performances to tell the story of how Thomas, who is of African and Puerto Rican descent, best known for his poem "Down These Mean Streets," handled prejudice in Spanish Harlem and overcame his own aggressive tendencies.
My Family (BBC America, 8-8:30 p.m.): The new show premièred last week, but this week's episode is funnier anyway. Dad (Robert Lindsay from the "Horatio Hornblower" series) makes his living as a cantankerous dentist. His wife (Zoë Wanamaker of Harry Potter fame) wisecracks her way into his heart every week, despite his insecurities and the kids' rebellious antics. Written by American producer Fred Barron, the show suits the English actors very well. Think "Fawlty Towers" but with three children.