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TV Smarts

October 05, 2000

Some broadcast and cable programs contain material included in the public school curriculum and on standardized examinations. Here are home-viewing tips:

* Today--"Vice Presidential Debate" (KABC, KCBS, KNBC, CNN, C-SPAN, 6-8 p.m.) Live telecast of the debate in Danville, Ky., between Republican candidate Dick Cheney and Democratic candidate Sen. Joseph Lieberman. Also, "48 Hours: Gold Rush" (KCBS 8-9 p.m.) Documentary about newfound Internet wealth.

* Friday--"National Geographic Explorer" (CNBC 8-9 p.m.) Three-part documentary on underwater technology describes how a 136-year-old sunken Confederate submarine was raised, the recent discovery of the wrecked World War II German battleship Bismarck and new information about the campaign by German submarines on the East Coast of the U.S., which claimed 400 Allied ships early in World War II.

* Saturday--"October Sky" (STARZ 6-8 p.m.) Movie based on Homer H. Hickam Jr.'s autobiography, "Rocket Boys," about his teenage obsession with building a rocket after he saw the Russian satellite Sputnik fly over his West Virginia home in 1957. Cast includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper and Laura Dern. Also, "On the Inside: The Unknown World Of Figure Skating" (DISC 8-9 p.m.) Documentary on technology used by skaters to gain an edge in competition describes the role of computers and digital photography.

* Sunday--"Hillary Rodham Clinton-Rep. Rick Lazio Debate" (CNN 7:30-8:30 a.m. Debate between candidates for the U.S. Senate in New York initially aired on WCBS in New York. Also, "The Kennedy Center Presents" (KCET 8-9 p.m.) Broadcast of highlights from the recent production of playwright Ariel Dorfman's new work, "Speak Truth to Power," an affirmation of human rights and a positive example of what kids today call "attitude." Scheduled to appear are Alec Baldwin, Ruben Blades, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Kevin Kline, John Malkovich, Rita Moreno and Alfre Woodard.

* Monday--"Animated Epics: Don Quixote" (HBO 7:30-p.m.) Introduces young viewers to the Cervantes classic about an eccentric old Spanish gentleman who, thinking he is a medieval knight, sets off on a wild adventure to fight for the honor of a peasant girl he just met. Also, "Video Games: Behind the Fun" (HIST 9-10 p.m.) Looks at the development of video games from Pong to Tomb Raider.

* Tuesday--"Connie Martinson Talks Books" (City 11:30-midnight) Features "The School-Savvy Parent: 365 Insider Tips to Help You Help Your Child" by Rosemary Clark from Free Spirit Publishing.

* Wednesday--"Beyond Pompeii: Secrets of the Buried" (HIST 9-11 p.m.) Documentary on the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 describes the fate of Herculaneum, an elegant seaside resort for Roman aristocrats near the port city of Pompeii. Both were buried in ash, preserving clues to how people lived, and only recently has the richer town been excavated.


Compiled by Richard Kahlenberg in consultation with Crystal J. Gips, dean of the School of Education, College of St. Rose, Albany, N.Y. Columns available at

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