PICK OF THE WEEK
Ladies' Home Journal's Most Fascinating Women of 1997
Monday, Dec. 29, 10-11 p.m. (ABC)
TV highlights for the week of Dec. 28-Jan 2. All times are Eastern; check local listings. Ratings are listed for shows when available.
SUNDAY - 12/28
Finding God in Our Time (ABC, check local listings): Host John Stamos takes a look at how small towns are working together to rebuild churches and fill the pulpit. This insightful one-hour program begins with Christian volunteers in Chelford, Ark., who are rebuilding the St. Mark's Missionary Baptist church that had burned to the ground earlier this year. In Cooperstown, N.D., where the population is shrinking, lay people are being trained to lead the congregation because an ordained minister is unavailable. And in Canada, two churches are using modern music during worship services. These examples show that through creative and innovative thinking, anything can be accomplished. (TV-G)
Canadian Brass: A Christmas Special (A&E, 9-10 p.m.): Children are at the heart of this charming program that revolves around Christmas carols. An alternative title to this program could be "What Christmas means to me: children's perspective." The kids - all kith and kin of the group - dress up the musicians as wisemen, Christmas trees, toys, and more. (TV-G)
The Sunshine Boys (CBS, 9-11 p.m.): This 1970s Neil Simon play about two vaudeville "buddies" (Woody Allen and Peter Falk) and their 43-year love-hate relationship has been updated for the '90s. While in the 1975 Walter Matthau-George Burns movie a nephew-agent works as the catalyst of the estranged pair's reconciliation, now it's a niece-agent (Sarah Jessica Parker) who takes up the challenge. While this telepic is still enjoyable, it lacks the spark of Matthau's Willy Clark - his rascality, stubbornness, and pride. Also, this feature sat in the can for two years. So don't be surprised when you hear the line: "It's Princess Diana calling." (TV-G)
MONDAY - 12/29
Biography of the Year (A&E, 8-10 p.m.): A&E will present a comprehensive profile of the person "whose life has touched us, inspired us, or shocked us the most" in 1997. On the short list are Tiger Woods; Mother Teresa; Ted Turner; Diana, Princess of Wales; and Saddam Hussein. The past subjects were O.J. Simpson (1995) and Bill Gates (1996). (TV-G)
Quiz Show (ABC, 8-11 p.m.): Robert Redford earned an Oscar nomination for his direction of this insightful and absorbing 1994 drama that re-creates the quiz-show scandals of the 1950s. Ralph Fiennes plays Charles Van Doren, a real-life college professor chosen to beat a Jewish champion Herbert Stempel (John Turturro). Brilliant acting and intriguing plot. (TV-PG, L)
Ladies' Home Journal's Most Fascinating Women of 1997 (CBS, 10-11 p.m.): Mary Hart of Entertainment Tonight hosts this one-hour special that salutes the women who made headlines in 1997. The list includes Bobbi McCaughey, the mother who gave birth to septuplets last month; singer Celine Dion; Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; Mayor Pat Owens of Grand Forks, N.D., whose strength and leadership carried the people through a flood disaster in April; and plus-size model Emme, among others. Also, actress Jane Seymour pays tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales.
WEDNESDAY - 12/31
Cincinnati Pops Holiday: Big Band New Year's Eve (PBS, 11 p.m.-12:30 a.m.): Swing into the New Year as conductor Erich Kunzel revives memorable music of the '30s and '40s with trumpeter Doc Severinsen, Patty Page, drummer Ed Shaughnessy, clarinetist Eddie Daniels, and trombonist Paul Piller. (TV-G)
New Year's Rockin' Eve '98 (ABC, 11:35 p.m.-1:05 a.m.): Daisy Fuentes and John Fegelsang host the gala at the New York, New York Hotel and Casino. The Spice Girls, Shawn Colvin, and the Squirrel Nut Zippers are slated to perform. Outside, Dick Clark will make his 26th consecutive countdown.
THURSDAY - 1/1
After New Year's Eve With David Sanborn (ABC, 1:05-2:10 a.m.): Grammy-nominated artists, singer Joan Osborne, and rap group Naughty by Nature will join saxophonist David Sanborn for a post-New Year's Eve celebration. Other guest stars include Lou Reed, Boz Scaggs, and Dr. John.
Tournament of the Roses Parade (ABC, CBS, NBC, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.): Fun is the theme for the 108th edition of America's favorite parade. More than a million people are expected to view this triple-network event from curbside. Carol Burnett is the grand marshall.
The Bowl Games (Various channels): Outback: Wisconsin (8-4) versus Georgia (9-2), ESPN, 11 a.m. -2 p.m. Gator: North Carolina (10-1) versus Virginia Tech (7-4), NBC, 12:30-3:30 p.m. Citrus: Penn State (9-2) versus Florida (9-2), ABC, 1-4 p.m. Cotton: Texas A&M (9-3) versus UCLA (9-2), CBS, 1:30-4:30 p.m. Rose: Washington State (10-1) versus Michigan (11-0), ABC, 4:30-7:30 p.m. Sugar: Florida State (10-1) vs. Ohio State (10-2), ABC, 8:30-11:30 p.m.
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