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What's on TV

SHOWS FOR FEB. 8-14

Sunday 2/9

NBA All-Star Game (TNT, 8 p.m.): The spotlight will shine on rookie Yao Ming and Michael Jordan, who is making his 14th and final appearance.

Profoundly Normal (CBS, 9-11 p.m.): Boy meets girl. They fall in love, get married, and have a baby. Sounds pretty typical, except that Ricardo and Donna Thornton (a real couple played by Delroy Lindo and Kirstie Alley) met as children at an abusive institute for developmentally challenged children. To get married, they have to defy not only their case worker but state law. And they have their baby (a healthy, intelligent son), against the advice of doctors who advocated for an abortion. Lots of made-for-TV movies claim to be "life-affirming"; this one actually is. TV-PG

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Straight From the Heart (Hallmark Channel, 9-11 p.m.): Jordan (Teri Polo) is a photographer living in New York who dreams of getting married and exhibiting her work at a gallery. But when neither of those work out, her roommate answers a personal ad for Jordan from a cowboy in Wyoming, played by Andrew McCarthy. When Jordan flies out to meet him, there are a few surprises. The movie is sappy and predictable, but it's still great fun and entertaining. The wonderful acting of McCarthy and Polo make it a notch above a lifetime movie. TV-G

Monday 2/10

Unchained Memories (HBO, 8-9:15 p.m.): In the 1930s, the federal government conducted interviews with 2,000 former slaves - the last Americans able to discuss first-hand one of the grimmest chapters in our country's history. In this thought-provoking documentary, African-American actors such as Samuel L. Jackson, Angela Bassett, and Oprah Winfrey read excerpts from the interviews, interspersed with reenactments narrated by Whoopi Goldberg. The only quibble: the program includes segments of the actors reacting to the material, using up time that could have been better devoted to fleshing out the former slaves' stories.

Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show(USA Network, 8-11 p.m.): Dog lovers unite. Get ready to watch 159 top breeds strut their stuff at Madison Square Garden.

Tuesday 2/11

Independent Lens - 'Off the Charts: The Song-Poem Story' (PBS, check local listings): Forget "Star Search," there are folks out there who long to hear their words put to music. This gritty documentary investigates a strange subculture that feeds on the egos of would-be songwriters, companies that record the most outlandish songs imaginable - for a price. It may be dreams they're selling, but sometimes the songs are so silly, they must be meant as a joke.

Thursday 2/13

Survivor (CBS, 8-9:30 p.m.): The tribes return for more back-biting and bug-eating. This time the teams are split by gender.


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