Feature

The Week’s guide to what’s worth watching

The best programs on TV this week

Vanguard
In the first of a three-part report on Mexican border issues, Vanguard correspondent Christof Putzel embeds with desperate migrants making a dangerous crossing into Arizona, then coaxes a few trade secrets out of some of the “coyotes” who are paid to lead them. Parts 2 and 3 look at how Mexican drug cartels are moving their operations across the border onto U.S. federal lands. Mondays, Nov. 15–29, at 9 p.m., Current TV

Independent Lens: Lost Sparrow
In 1978, two Crow Indian boys were struck and killed by a train in Little Falls, N.Y., just one day after running away from the Baptist family that had adopted them. This film by their adoptive brother investigates what might have driven the boys, 11 and 13, to their deaths. In the process, it uncovers a dark family secret. Tuesday, Nov. 16, at 10 p.m., PBS; check local listings

NOW on PBS: Fixing the Future
Host David Brancaccio travels America seeking novel and environmentally sustainable strategies for combating the woes of recession. Among his finds: a women’s catering co-op in Texas; a lender helping to rebuild a Midwestern community; and a “time bank” whose customers exchange labor and services with one another. He also taps economists—including Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz—for ideas. Thursday, Nov. 18, at 9 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Bored to Death
As this quirky comedy series completes its second season, amateur detective Jonathan Ames (Jason Schwartzman) contends with a woman who wants to move in after their first date, a stalker threatening his friend Ray (Zach Galifianakis), and a sneering rival (John Hodgman) at the magazine that employs them. Deft supporting work, particularly by Ted Danson, helps keep this offbeat series fresh and funny. Thursday, Nov. 18, at 10:30 p.m., HBO

Top Gear
An institution in Britain, this irreverent series about cars and their culture debuts in a new U.S. version featuring comedian Adam Ferrara (Rescue Me), racer Tanner Foust, analyst Rutledge Wood, and a masked test driver known as the Stig. The premiere episode features Lamborghinis in a desert showdown, and a race between a Dodge Viper SRT and a Cobra attack helicopter. Sunday, Nov. 21, at 10 p.m., History

Other highlights

NOVA: Secrets of Stonehenge
At an ancient stone circle recently discovered about a mile from Stonehenge, NOVA joins researchers trying to determine the monument’s original purpose. Tuesday, Nov. 16, at 8 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Glory Daze
This new comedy follows four freshmen as they adjust to life on an Indiana college campus in 1986. Tuesday, Nov. 16, at 10 p.m., TBS

Mystery of the Hope Diamond
Fifty years after the world’s most valuable diamond was donated to the Smithsonian, this documentary recounts the gem’s history and legend. Sunday, Nov. 21, at 8 p.m., Smithsonian Channel

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