Sunday Aug. 28
Duel: Hamilton vs. Burr with Richard Dreyfuss (History Channel, 8-10 p.m.): Mr. Dreyfuss told the Monitor three years ago that if he had another choice of career he would have been a history teacher. He amply demonstrates his interest in historical matters by hosting, co-producing, and writing this documentary. Witty and incisive, this study of two founding fathers and their lethal rivalry challenges our most ingrained assumptions about Hamilton and Burr. (And we thought modern politics were feisty.)
The Kumars at No. 42 (BBC America, 9-10 p.m.): The only truly unique talk show on TV offers hilarity as well as insight into British society. The Kumars are an Indian family who have created a television studio so that their son can have his own TV show. Mom, Dad, and Grandma heckle from the sofa as son Sanjeev conducts unrehearsed interviews with celebrities such as Donny Osmond.
TV's Greatest Sidekicks (Lifetime, 8-9 p.m.): "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" often made Mary the "straight man" while jokes whizzed by around her like so many electrons. Rhoda's sardonic retorts to Mary's baleful laments could give us the giggles. The show celebrates comic sidekicks such as Penny Marshall ("Laverne and Shirley") and Betty White ("Golden Girls").
Wide Angle: Time for School (PBS, check local listings): This update on last year's lauded documentary focuses on seven children around the world, many of them in developing nations, attending school for the first time. Among them, a 12-year-old girl in Afghanistan talks about her ambitions and making up for lost time.