PICK OF THE WEEK
Our Favorite Toys
Wednesday, Nov. 19, 10-11 p.m.
TV highlights for the week of Nov. 15-21. All times are Eastern; check local listings. Ratings are listed for shows when available.
SATURDAY - 11/15
ATP Tour World Championship (ESPN, 3:30-5:45 p.m.): The season-ending championship features the eight top-ranked men in the world. Begun earlier this week, it holds semifinals today and concludes tomorrow, 4:30-7 p.m.
SUNDAY - 11/16
Wonderful World of Disney: Oliver Twist (ABC, 7-9 p.m.): In this adaptation of Charles Dickens's timeless classic, Richard Dreyfuss plays the greedy scoundrel, Fagin, the leader of a gang of young pickpockets, which includes Elijah Wood as the devious Artful Dodger. Newcomer Alex Trench is Oliver, the half-starved waif who is thrown out of an orphanage because he asked for more gruel, and lands among the disreputable people. Filmed entirely in Dublin, this "Twist" makes good family fare. (TV-G)
Medusa's Child (ABC, 9-11 p.m.): Another November sweeps movie. In this two-part thriller based on the novel by John J. Nance ("Pandora's Clock"), an embittered lover puts a nuclear bomb on a plane. Pilot Scott Nash (Vincent Spano), along with researchers Vivian Henry (Gail O'Grady) and Linda McCoy (Lori Loughlin), must figure out how to save the world. The conclusion airs Thursday at the same time. (TV-PG, LSV)
Bella Mafia (CBS, 9-11 p.m.): Cast aside the lure of a strong cast, and you have a quintessential Mafia plot: vengeance begetting vengeance. In this poorly executed miniseries (in which children are murdered in their sleep), violence spirals into a hollow conclusion. Vanessa Redgrave is the head of a widowed family - which includes daughters-in-law Nastassja Kinski, Jennifer Tilly, and Illeana Douglas - out to avenge the murders of their Mafiosi husbands. Concludes same time Tuesday. (TV-14, LSV)
MONDAY - 11/17
Jeopardy (in syndication): From the just-concluded "Teen Tournament," the popular quiz show makes a big switch to "Power Players Tournament." Jesse Jackson, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and Dee Dee Myers kick off a week-long competition among politicians, journalists, and entertainers.
MasterCard PGA Grand Slam (TBS, 7:05-11:05 p.m.): Winners of golf's four major events - Tiger Woods (Masters), Ernie Els (US Open), Justin Leonard (British Open), and Davis Love III (PGA Championship) - face off in Kauai, Hawaii. Concludes same time Tuesday.
TUESDAY - 11/18
Baseball Expansion Draft (ESPN, 4-6 p.m.): Peter Gammons and Joe Morgan, among others, report from Phoenix as Major League expansion teams the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays fill their rosters from a draft pool made up of players from existing teams. ESPN2 continues coverage, 6-11 p.m.
Nova - Treasures of the Sunken City (PBS, 8-9 p.m.): In this slow-moving yet educational documentary, "Nova" dives into the waters off Alexandria, Egypt. In an expedition led by marine archaeologist Jean-Yves Empereur, a team of divers tries to salvage submerged ruins - from remains of the Lighthouse of Alexandria to gigantic statues and sphinxes. (TV-G)
Hidden Hollywood: Treasures From 20th Century Fox (AMC, 8-9 p.m.): Fans of musicals will appreciate this one-hour special. Hosted by Joan Collins, the program features never-before-seen footage that was deleted because a film's running time was too long or a song didn't fit. Watch for a dance number with Shirley Temple and Jimmy Durante in "Little Miss Broadway" (1938), which was cut because Temple wasn't "charming"; and a scene with Victor Mature and Betty Grable in "Song of the Islands" (1942), deleted because Mature's lip-syncing was so poor. (TV-G)
Frontline - The Princess and the Press (PBS, 9-10:30 p.m.): This report examines Diana's relationship with the press and features interviews with British journalists conducted before her death.
WEDNESDAY - 11/19
Spin City (ABC, 8-8:30 p.m.): A "Family Ties" reunion for Meredith Baxter and Michael J. Fox. In this two-part episode, Mike's (Fox) mom, Macy (Baxter), visits for a week and hits it off with the mayor. Part 2 airs Nov. 26.
Our Favorite Toys (Discovery, 10-11 p.m.): Ever wonder why GI Joe's thumb is on backward? Or how the Slinky was discovered? This playful program answers these questions and examines why certain toys have endured over decades. Equally interesting is how the toys are made, as the show takes you to the factories where Lego toys, Etch-a-Sketch, and Toy Soldiers come off the assembly lines. (TV-G)
FRIDAY - 11/21
The Rockford Files: Murder and Misdemeanors (CBS, 8-10 p.m.): This new television movie, based on the popular '70s crime show, is a disappointment. James Garner reprises his role as private eye Jim Rockford and takes over some unfinished cases from his friend Booker Hutch. A thumbs down for weak plot and poor acting.
TV-Y All Children
TV-Y7 Directed to Older Children
FV Fantasy Violence
TV-G General Audience
TV-PG Parental Guidance Suggested
TV-14 Parents Strongly Cautioned
TV-MA Mature Audience Only
S Sexual Situations V Violence
L Language D Dialogue