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The Week’s guide to what’s worth watching
Plus, Other highlights; Show of the week; Movies on TV this week
 

Antiques Roadshow: Politically Collect
A special election-eve edition of Roadshow appraises presidential memorabilia, including a signed photo of Lyndon Johnson being sworn in aboard Air Force One after the JFK assassination, John Quincy Adams’ chair from the House of Representatives, and a colorful collection of campaign buttons. Monday, Nov. 3, at 8 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Primary
Filmed in 1960, this pioneering piece of cinéma vérité shows surprising parallels to this year’s presidential politics. The film follows prospective Democratic candidates John F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey through the final week of the 1960 Wisconsin primary campaign. Two of the cameramen were D.A. Pennebaker and Albert Maysles, who went on to become noteworthy documentarians. Monday, Nov. 3, at 9 p.m., Sundance Channel

U.S. Election Night
There’ll be no shortage of election-night coverage and analysis on the broadcast and 24-hour news networks. But BBC America provides an opportunity to get some outside perspective on the American election. The BBC’s live coverage will be broadcast to 280 million households around the world. Ted Koppel will add his commentary to global reaction from BBC contributors. Tuesday, Nov. 4, at 6 p.m., BBC America

Independent Lens: Knee Deep
Pulled out of school in the sixth grade to work on his family’s dairy farm in Maine, Josh Osborne grew up “knee deep” in mud and certain that the farm would one day be his. Instead, he wound up charged with attempting to murder his own mother. This documentary weaves a darkly comic tale whose characters could have come straight out of a Coen brothers film—but they’re real. Thursday, Nov. 6, at 10 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Elvis Mitchell: Under the Influence
In four new weekly episodes of his interview series, film critic Mitchell talks to actors. His first subject is Edward Norton, with whom he has a bracingly intelligent conversation about filmmakers Milos Forman, Woody Allen, and Spike Lee. On succeeding Fridays Mitchell will visit with Joan Allen, John Leguizamo, and Richard Gere. Friday, Nov. 7, at 8 p.m., Turner Classic Movies

Other highlights

Daily Show/Colbert Report
Election Night 2008
Jon Stewart’s satirical newscast and Stephen Colbert’s pundit parody join for a live, one-hour special in prime time. Tuesday, Nov. 4, at 10 p.m., Comedy Central

Cities of the Underworld
Host Don Wildman travels to Sicily to trace the origins of the Mafia. Sunday, Nov. 9, at 9 p.m., History Channel

Summer Heights High
A hit in Australia, this mockumentary set in a high school was created by comedian Chris Lilley, who plays multiple roles. Sunday, Nov. 9, at 10:30 p.m., HBO

Show of the week
Masterpiece: God on Trial
Made for British TV, this drama harks back to the golden age of television, when such writers as Paddy Chayefsky, Rod Serling, and Gore Vidal tackled weighty topics. The setting is Auschwitz during World War II, where a group of Jewish inmates, some facing death in hours, put God on trial before a rabbinical court for violating his covenant with the Jewish people. As the trial proceeds, they grapple with the problem of evil and the nature of free will. A splendid ensemble—including Anthony Sher, Rupert Graves, Dominic Cooper, and Stellan Skarsgard—makes this Masterpiece presentation emotionally gripping and intellectually stimulating. Sunday, Nov. 9, at 9 p.m., PBS

Movies on TV this week

Monday, Nov. 3
Boiler Room (2000)
In this timely parable of greed, Giovanni Ribisi is excellent as a college dropout who finds he has a gift for selling dubious investments. 11:35 a.m., Starz

Tuesday
Femme Fatale (2002)
Brian De Palma’s twisty thriller about a woman threatened with the exposure of her criminal past was a return to form for the director. Rebecca Romijn plays the title role. 8 p.m., Cinemax

Wednesday
Burden of Dreams
(1982)
An acclaimed documentary about director Werner Herzog and the troubled production of his 1982 epic Fitzcarraldo, which entailed transporting an antique ship through the Amazon. 12:30 p.m., IFC

Thursday
Red Lights (2004)
A husband’s plan to take his wife on a drive takes a very wrong turn in this cunning French thriller. 4:15 p.m., Sundance

Friday
Delirious (2006)
A young homeless man (Michael Pitt) becomes the apprentice of a paparazzo (Steve Buscemi) in this on-target spoof of celebrity culture. 7 p.m., Showtime

Saturday
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
(2007)
Johnny Depp reunited with director Tim Burton for this vivid adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s musical about a vengeful barber in Victorian London. 8 p.m., HBO

Sunday
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)
Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn co-starred, for the last time, as parents whose liberal ideals are tested when their daughter brings home an African-American fiancé (Sidney Poitier). 4 p.m., TCM

 

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