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The Week’s guide to what’s worth watching
The best TV programs this week
 

The Powder and the Glory
Entertaining as well as edifying, this dual profile traces the careers of Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein, who both rose from humble beginnings to blaze trails into the male-dominated business world by cannily marketing beauty to American women. Together they helped create what is today a $150 billion industry. Bitter rivals for 50 years, the two women worked only blocks from each other—yet never met. Monday, March 23, at 10 p.m., PBS; check local listings

NOVA: Extreme Ice
The cryosphere—the glaciers and ice sheets that cover large portions of our planet and profoundly influence its weather—is breaking apart with alarming speed. That conclusion is inescapable after watching the remarkable time-lapse images of photographer James Balog in this edition of NOVA, recorded in some of the most forbidding—and beautiful—places on Earth. Tuesday, March 24, at 8 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Chuck Jones: Memories of Childhood
The reminiscences of late, great animator Chuck Jones come alive in this beguiling documentary short. It combines one of Jones’ last interviews with original animation, vintage family photographs, and clips from his Warner Bros. cartoons to reveal the early inspirations behind the Road Runner and many of his other classic characters. A festival of Jones’ work follows. Tuesday, March 24, at 8 p.m., Turner Classic Movies

They Killed Sister Dorothy
In February 2005, a 73-year-old Catholic nun from Dayton, Ohio, was shot and left to die in the Amazon rain forest. Sister Dorothy Stang had worked to help peasant settlers claim land and protect the environment from illegal logging and exploitation. This fascinating documentary traces the quest to identify the powerful interests behind her murder. Wednesday, March 25, at 8 p.m., HBO2

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency
The two-hour premiere of this seven-episode series captures the sweetness and charm of Alexander McCall Smith’s best-selling novels about a shrewd Botswanan woman who hangs out her shingle as her country’s only female private eye. Singer-turned-actress Jill Scott plays the lead role with dignity and humor, and the supporting performances and authentic locations are major assets. The late Anthony Minghella (The English Patient) directed. Sunday, March 29, at 8 p.m., HBO

Other highlights

Frontline: Ten Trillion and Counting
Between bailout billions and two long wars, the national debt is mounting ominously. Frontline probes potential consequences. Tuesday, March 24, at 9 p.m., PBS

Breaking Bad
High school chemistry-teacher–turned–meth-dealer Walt (Bryan Cranston) strives to reconnect with his family. Sunday, March 29, at
10 p.m., AMC

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

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