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Mystery! (PBS, 9-10 p.m.): The rumpled "Rumpole of the Bailey" is back with another series of somewhat caustic British humor disguised as law-detective stories. Two men have made the eccentric character popular with viewers in the United States and Britain. One is writer John Mortimer, who has now written seven series of tales about the curmudgeonly barrister. The other is actor Leo McKern, a native Australian, who at 72 is launching his sixth season as the title character in the TV version. In the opene r, "Rumpole at Sea," he's seen cruising the Adriatic on a second honeymoon with his wife, Hilda. On the same ship, a certain judge - no favorite of Rumpole's (who is?) - thinks a murder has occurred, and Rumpole proceeds, of course, to solve the mystery.

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The Road to Hollywood (NBC, 8-9 p.m.): Their names are so big today that you almost forget they once had to climb to stardom: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, and Eddie Murphy. But each reached the top of the movie world by a different route, and this special traces their respective paths. Interviews supplemented by film clips and personal footage illustrate how Schwarzenegger started as a bodybuilder, Murphy as a searingly funny stand-up comedian on TV's "Saturday Night Live," and Stone as a model.

Great Performances (PBS, 10-11 p.m.): Since its founding in 1987, the American Indian Dance Theatre has been asking a tribal elder from an Indian nation to teach the members of its company a dance from their culture. The result is not only a new dance, but also an expanding network of ties to native American life around the country. It's one of the things documented in "American Dance Theatre: Dances for the New Generation," a study of how Indian dance and music are being reborn in many native American c ommunities. As it profiles dancers from tribes all across North America, the program dramatizes - often through performance - the challenge of conveying the spirit of old dances to new generations.

Please check local listings for all programs, especially those on PBS.

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