Tuning in: on TV this week
Stealing Sinatra (Showtime, 8-10 p.m.): David Arquette stars as Barry Keenan, the inexperienced architect of the plan to kidnap Frank Sinatra Jr. and hold him for ransom. Based on court transcripts and other public documents, the story of this goofy crime is funnier than it is dramatic. Keenan and his two cohorts, Joe Amsler and John Irwin (William H. Macy) bungled the kidnapping and one of them developed a change of heart. Stay for the titles to learn what happened to the Keenan gang after prison - the irony never stops.
Nick News with Linda Ellerbee: Kids Pick the President (Nickelodeon, 8:30-9 p.m.): This smart special helps ignite interest among young viewers in the issues facing the candidates for president. Some of the young teens are wonderfully thoughtful, while others just seem to spout beliefs held by their parents. Another special will follow in October.
Plainsong (CBS, 9-11 p.m.): Nothing amazing happens to the citizens of this small Colorado town - nothing but ordinary trials. Yet director Richard Pearce ("The Long Walk Home") lovingly invokes the significance of every individual as they each struggle for meaning and a sense of community. A touch of crusty realism prevents sentimentality from creeping into this tale based on Kent Haruf's best-selling novel. Aidan Quinn, Rachel Griffiths, and Megan Follows star.
The Weather Underground (PBS, check local listings): As the Vietnam conflict raged, a small band of terrorists calling themselves the Weathermen were bent on "bringing the war home," but when three of their members were killed constructing a bomb, they decided to set their bombs in empty buildings. Many of them speak in this Academy-Award nominated film.