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TV Smarts

October 19, 2000

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

* Today--"48 Hours" (KCBS 8-9 p.m.) Report on the cultural conflict that arose when a U.S. Marine on duty in the Persian Gulf was betrothed to a member of Bahrain's royal family, putting both their lives in peril. Also, "Flashback: The Quest For Gold" (TLC 9-10 p.m.) Historical documentary about gold-seekers in Africa covers ancient Egypt, King Solomon's marriage to the Queen of Sheba and the founding of the Palace of Great Zimbabwe.

* Friday--"Life & Times Tonight: Town Hall Los Angeles" (KCET 9-9:30 p.m.) Taped at a local Town Hall event, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, spoke on global environmental protection, followed by a question-and-answer session with high school students.

* Saturday--"Modern Marvels" (HIST 3-8 p.m.) Broadcast of documentaries on the development of automotive engineering, precision machine tools, farming technology and factory automation. Also, "Mysteries of Asia" (TRAV 7-8 p.m.) Describes the use of elephants in the construction of vast temple complexes in Asia a millennium ago. Also, "BookTV" (C-SPAN2 8-9 p.m.) On this interview program, Peter Jay, BBC economics editor and author of "The Wealth of Man," spoke at the Commonwealth Club of California about the birth of trade 12,000 years ago and the effects of globalization.

* Sunday--"News Conference with Jess Marlow" (KNBC 3:30-4 p.m.) Veteran Los Angeles TV reporter interviews U.S. Rep. James Rogan, (R-Glendale), and state Sen. Adam Schiff, (D-Glendale), front-runners in the most heavily financed congressional race in U.S. history. Also, "Dateline NBC: Your Kids, Our Schools, Tough Choices" (KNBC 7-8 p.m.) Compares student achievement at Milwaukee's voucher-supported schools with that of public schools. Tom Brokaw reports.

* Monday--"Balzac" (Bravo 5-7 p.m., repeats 8-10 p.m.) Dramatized life story of French novelist Honore de Balzac stars Gerard Depardieu and Jeanne Moreau. (Part 2 airs Tuesday in same time slot).

* Tuesday--"Frontline" (KCET 9-10 p.m.) Report on the state of U.S. military preparedness for post-Cold War confrontations, including in the Middle East.

* Wednesday--"The Booth in the Back Election Special: Voice Your Choice" (HBO 5:30-6 p.m.) Eleven-year-old filmmaker Chaille Stovall interviews children and politicians, including both major presidential candidates, about campaign issues important to kids. Web site posts information on these issues and has tabulated kids' opinions. Also, "American En Vivo" (GEMS 8-9 p.m.) Spanish-language documentary explains the emotional and psychological needs and concerns of people diagnosed with breast cancer. Additional information available in Spanish at Also, "Cora Unashamed" (KCET 9-11 p.m.) "Masterpiece Theatre" movie based on a Langston Hughes story about an African American woman living in Iowa in the early 1900s, stars Regina Taylor and Cherry Jones.


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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