SUNDAY, 9 a.m.
Wow: The Catholic TV Challenge
CATHOLICTV In each show, Archdiocese of Boston’s Father Robert Reed asks third-graders three rounds of questions about the faith, and the winners vie for a grand prize. This week’s topic is “The Three Theological Virtues” — faith, hope and charity.
MONDAY, 10 p.m.
Clash of the Gods: The Lord of the Rings
HISTORY This show uses interviews and dramatic re-creations to suggest what might have influenced English author, poet, philologist and professor J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973) in the writing of his trilogy The Lord of the Rings, in which individuals’ quests to do their duty, no matter what the odds or cost, save Middle Earth from terrible evil. Catholic viewers will recall that Tolkien said his Catholic faith underlay his work. Advisory: Beware of scary images.
TUESDAY, 3 p.m.
Explorer: Climbing Redwood Giants
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL Humboldt State University forestry professor Stephen Sillett scales California’s coast redwoods and giant sequoias to measure their 300-foot-plus heights and study the redwood forest canopy. Re-airs 3 p.m. Saturday.
WEDNESDAY, 8 p.m.
Craft in America
PBS The second season of this series makes its premiere with two 60-minute episodes. “Origins” chronicles the American crafts movement’s early days and profiles current artists who hark back to that era and pass along its techniques, including a bead worker, blacksmith, glass artist, potter and weaver. “Process” follows crafts institutions, teachers and students in careers such as book art, ceramics and jewelry.
THURSDAY, 8 p.m., live
Life on the Rock
EWTN Tonight’s guest, Jon Marc Grodi, now a senior at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, founded the Catholic group Veritas (Latin for “truth”) there to help Catholic students practice their faith and join in visible Catholic activities on campus.
THURSDAY, 10 p.m.
The Power of the Poor
PBS Since 1980, Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto and his Institute for Liberty and Democracy have been fighting poverty by getting governments worldwide to confer formal property rights and incorporation on homeowners and entrepreneurs in poor communities who have been without them so they can join the “official” economy and have collateral for loans to improve their property or expand their businesses.
SATURDAY, 8 p.m.
What Went Down
HISTORY In its first two episodes, this new series uses interviews and computer-generated images to shed new light on major battles. At 8 p.m., in “Pearl Harbor,” survivors describe the Japanese attack of Dec. 7, 1941. At 9 p.m., in “The Alamo,” expert Bill Chemerka, Alamo descendants and computer animation help create an aerial view of the final assault of March 6, 1836.
Dan Engler writes from
Santa Barbara, California.