This documentary chases the elusive essence of Karl Lagerfeld, the sardonic eccentric who for the past 25 years has ruled the fashion house that Coco Chanel built. Cameras follow him at work (sketching designs and supervising a shoot of Nicole Kidman) and at play (jetting to Monte Carlo for lunch with Princess Caroline). The film is the first of seven nightly documentaries marking Fashion Week. Monday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m., Sundance Channel
The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln was the first American president to be assassinated, and his death was a momentous national event that changed the minds of millions who had hated him. American Experience uses interviews with experts and re-enactments to revisit the 12 dramatic days in April 1865 during which Lincoln’s funeral train crossed the nation, even as a massive manhunt closed in on John Wilkes Booth. Monday, Feb. 9, at 9 p.m., PBS; check local listings
Independent Lens: Tulia, Texas
The Texas Panhandle town of Tulia became notorious when dozens of its residents—nearly all of them African-American—were rounded up and jailed in 1999 on the say-so of one freelance narcotics agent who turned out to be wanted by the police himself. Independent Lens goes to Tulia to look at how anti-drug zealotry tore the town apart along racial lines. Tuesday, Feb. 10, at 10 p.m., PBS; check local listings
Looking for Lincoln
Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, playwright Tony Kushner, and others try to separate reality from the mythology surrounding one of our most enigmatic presidents, plumbing such topics as race, religion, and Lincoln’s depression. Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates hosts the two-hour special on the eve of Lincoln’s 200th birthday. Wednesday, Feb. 11, at 9 p.m., PBS; check local listings
This three-part special uses colorful graphics to make cosmology more comprehensible to the layman. Part 1, “The Fastest,” looks at the challenge of developing a rocket capable of spanning interstellar distances. “The Biggest and Smallest,” tries to convey the size of the universe. The final part, “The Most Explosive,” shows how the destructive power of nature dwarfs that of atomic weapons. Sunday, Feb. 15, at 8 p.m., National Geographic Channel
Important Things With Demetri Martin
One of The Daily Show’s quirkier correspondents examines such “important things” as safety and chairs in this new series. Wednesday, Feb. 11, at 10:30 p.m., Comedy Central
Nature: Why We Love Cats and Dogs
An offbeat edition of Nature talks to both experts and owners about the bond between man and pet. Sunday, Feb. 15, at 8 p.m., PBS; check local listings
Eastbound & Down
Danny McBride stars in this new comedy series as a former Major League pitcher reduced to teaching phys ed at his hometown school. Sunday, Feb. 15, at 10:30 p.m., HBO
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