Weekly TV Picks

All times Eastern

SUNDAY, AUG. 19

The Washington Opera Presents “Le Cid”PBS, 9 p.m.

In the Kennedy Center's Opera House, Hugo de Ana's Washington Opera stages the first U.S. performance of Jules Massenet's “Le Cid” in more than 90 years. Placido Domingo is the 11th-century Spanish hero and Elisabete Matos is Chimene, his fiancé. Emmanuel Villaume conducts the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra and the Washington Opera Chorus. The show provides English subtitles for the French lyrics.

MONDAY, AUG. 20

Making a Buck History Channel, 9 p.m.

This two-hour documentary on the history of counterfeiting shows how people began making fake money more than two millennia ago. It also reveals today's counterfeiting techniques and the sophisticated technologies used to fight them.

TUESDAY, AUG. 21

The Bloody Tower of London History Channel, 11 p.m.

England's Tower of London ranks with history's most infamous prisons. Yet, as this program shows, the Tower was home to not only the worst in human nature but also the best. Centuries of torture, betrayal and bloody executions in the heart of London evoked, among prisoners, countless acts of heroism, fidelity and love of Christ and country. From Sts. John Fisher and Thomas More to the boy prisoner (and escapee) Red Hugh O'Donnell of Donegal, the Tower's inmates showed mankind how to persevere.

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 22

Star FleetLearning Channel, 6 p.m.

Commentators speculate about what advances in space exploration and travel we might make in the next several decades. Will we concentrate on colonization, scientific studies — or a combination of the two?

THURSDAY, AUG. 23

Traditional Art: The Next New Thing? PBS, 10 p.m.

“Think Tank” host Ben Wattenberg moderates this 60-minute special about new artists who ignore “modern art” conventions by creating traditional representational art. The show also discusses patrons who support the revival of traditional standards in art.

FRIDAY, AUG. 24

Breaking the News: A Museum of Television and Radio Special CBS, 8 p.m.

Be on the lookout for “spin” — but, in this two-hour special, you can relive many of the biggest news stories of the past 40 years as Walter Cronkite, Tom Brokaw, Mike Wallace, Dan Rather and Barbara Walters discuss their broadcast news coverage.

SATURDAY, AUG. 25

Skyscraper at Sea Discovery, 11 a.m.

How many people does it take to install the world's largest offshore oil rig? Hint: More than it takes to put in a light bulb. This hour-long show explains that 1,500 designers, construction workers and transportation-crew members cooperated to get the job done.

Dan Engler writes from Santa Barbara, California.