TV Picks 02.01.2009

SUNDAY, 3:30 p.m.

New Wine

FAMILYLAND TV Hungary-born Miklos Rozsa (1907-1995) wrote the score for this 1941 musical bio of Austrian composer Franz Schubert (1797-1828). Alan Curtis is Schubert and Ilona Massey is Anna. Rozsa wrote the scores for more than 100 films, including Ben-Hur (1959) and King of Kings (1961).

MONDAY, 9 p.m.

American Experience: The Polio Crusade

PBS This show describes the leadership of Daniel Basil O’Connor (1892-1972) in the fight against infantile paralysis — polio. In the 1940s, O’Connor spotted Dr. Jonas Salk, who would develop a vaccine and introduce it during an epidemic in April 1954. The Salk vaccine soon halved U.S. polio cases. Advisory: TV-PG.

MONDAY, 9 p.m.

Cities of the Underworld: The Gods of War

HISTORY Host Don Wildman discusses legends about the Trojan War and reveals a monarch’s plan to build one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

MONDAY, 10 p.m.

Forgotten Ellis Island

PBS At the Ellis Island Hospital in New York Harbor, from 1901 to 1924, and less so until 1954, immigration officials and the U.S. Public Heath Service screened new arrivals for disease. They admitted some 98% to the U.S. but kept the sick in the hospital to recover. Ellis Island deported 2% of arrivals, sometimes separating family members, but the hospital did prevent major disease outbreaks in America. Advisory: TV-PG.

TUESDAY, 2:15 p.m.


TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES This 1959 Hollywood epic was so reverent and pro-Christian that it even carried on the soon-to-fade screen tradition of not showing Jesus’ face. Ben-Hur starred Charlton Heston in the title role, along with an all-star international cast.

TUESDAY, 9 p.m.

17 Kids and Counting

THE LEARNING CHANNEL Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar of Arkansas, who now have 18 kids, happily cite Psalm 127:3: “Children, too, are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward.” Tonight the family stars in two half-hour reality episodes.

WEDNESDAY, 10:30 a.m., 8 p.m.

Wow: The Catholic TV


CATHOLIC TV In today’s episode of this Boston-area Catholic quiz show, Father Robert Reed tells third graders about the holy sacrifice of the Mass. Re-airs during the week.

THURSDAY, 9 p.m.

American Originals:

Westminster Dog Show

CNBC This show takes an inside look at the annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City and the preparation the 2,500 canine competitors go through.

Dan Engler writes from
Santa Barbara, California.

Our Lady of Candles

It’s got a funny name, but Tlacotalpan, Mexico, is the place to go to celebrate the Presentation of the Lord. The town in Veracruz takes a whole week to do so.

In Advent, we await the coming of Jesus at Christmastime.

What Is Advent Anyway?

EXPLAINER: Advent is a season in the Church’s life intended to renew the experience of waiting and longing for the Messiah.