Tuning in: On TV this week.
Friday July 30
Evel Knievel (TNT, 8-10 p.m.): This biopic about the original daredevil captures the thrills of the stuntman's motorcycle jumps over cars and buses. But the picture stumbles when it looks behind the scenes at Knievel's self-doubts and moments of dishonesty - all of which drip with soap. Film director John Badham takes over the small screen with genuine zest, while his stars, George Eads and Jaime Pressly, sparkle.
Columbus: Secrets From the Grave (Discovery Channel, 10-11 p.m.): History is constantly rewritten as new documents and other artifacts come to light. This film investigates new questions about the explorer who brought news of a new world to old Europe.
Growing Up Gotti (A&E, 9:30 p.m.): Victoria Gotti, the famous daughter of an infamous father heads a hectic household of teenage boys. But the single mother, an award-winning author and magazine editor, is no Mafia princess. We visit her home and her sons, as she balances work, motherhood, and dating. Sensational as the subject may be, Ms. Gotti deals with the same problems so many single mothers face - only she's rich enough not to have to worry about monetary woes.
My Uncle Berns (HBO, 7:30-9 p.m.): Filmmaker Lindsay Crystal documents the life of Bernhardt Crystal, her remarkable great-uncle. Mr. Crystal, an accomplished artist, gallery owner, and storyteller, recounts his experiences during World War II, his life with his troubled mother, and his loving relationship with his wife. The filmmaker's father, Billy Crystal, includes his own memories of "Uncle Berns."