The Week’s guide to what’s worth watching

The best programs on TV this week

American Experience: Roads to Memphis

This documentary traces the converging paths that took Martin Luther King Jr. and his assassin, James Earl Ray, to Memphis in April 1968. Ray’s began with his escape from Missouri State Penitentiary; King’s was a detour to support a sanitation workers’ strike. Witnesses interviewed include members of King’s inner circle and local officials who helped capture and prosecute Ray. Monday, May 3, at 9 p.m., PBS; check local listings

NOVA: Mount St. Helens

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Back From the Dead

The May 18, 1980, eruption of Washington state’s Mount St. Helens created a wasteland covered in debris and rock, and only recently have plant and animal life finally returned to the area. Yet now the volcano may be coming back to life, too. NOVA follows scientists who are studying hidden fault lines beneath Mount St. Helens, gathering data that may help predict other violent volcanic eruptions. Tuesday, May 4, at 8 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Friday Night Lights

As Season 4 of this well-regarded drama begins, school redistricting roils fictional Dillon, Texas, and football coach Eric Taylor must lead a team at a newly reopened school that’s seething with racial tension. Kyle Chandler heads the ensemble cast of a show whose compelling, convincing portrait of small-town America shuns sports-drama clichés. Friday, May 7, at 8 p.m., NBC


Dramatic footage of earthquake-ravaged Haiti fills this documentary, in which correspondent Soledad O’Brien chronicles the heart-rending stories of an orphaned 6-year-old girl and a former child slave. The missionaries and aid workers she speaks to describe both the plight of the nation’s 380,000 orphans and the immense challenge of relief and recovery. Saturday, May 8, at 8 p.m., CNN

Jesse Stone: No Remorse

In the sixth TV movie about Robert B. Parker’s hard-drinking sleuth, Jesse Stone has been suspended from his sheriff job—but that doesn’t stop him from investigating a puzzling series of Boston shootings and a wave of violent stickups in his own little town. Once again Tom Selleck is pitch-perfect in this wry whodunit, filled with colorful characters and sharp dialogue. With Kathy Baker. Sunday, May 9, at 9 p.m., CBS

Other highlights

Frontline: College, Inc.

Frontline investigates the increasing number of for-profit universities in America and the quality of the education they deliver. Tuesday, May 4, at 9 p.m., PBS; check local listings

World’s Toughest Fixes

Host Sean Riley returns for more outsize engineering challenges, starting with rebuilding one of the country’s oldest ski lifts. Thursday, May 6, at 9 p.m., National Geographic Channel

Saturday Night Live

Betty White hosts, fulfilling the goal of a grass-roots Facebook campaign to win the 88-year-old the spot. The Mother’s Day episode also features rapper Jay-Z and a reunion of SNL alumni. Saturday, May 8, at 11:30 p.m., NBC

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