The Week’s guide to what’s worth watching

The best programs on TV this week

Frontline: Obama’s Deal

Health-care reform is arguably the most significant social legislation in generations, but what did it take to get it passed? Frontline outlines the contentious political battles of the past year, and speaks to insiders in the White House, Congress, and the insurance lobby about the compromises that passage entailed. Tuesday, April 13, at 9 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Independent Lens: Blessed Is the Match

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This documentary tells the remarkable story of “Israel’s Joan of Arc,” taking its title from a poem Hannah Senesh wrote before she was executed. In 1944, the 22-year-old parachuted into World War II Europe in a doomed attempt to save the Jews of Hungary from Auschwitz. Senesh was soon captured, but even under torture revealed nothing of her mission. Tuesday, April 13, at 10 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Making the Crooked Straight

This inspiring documentary spotlights Rick Hodes, an American doctor who has dedicated himself to treating the poor of Ethiopia, particularly those with spinal conditions. It also shows how Hodes’ Jewish faith guides both his humanitarian work and his life at home, where his family now includes five adoptees and more than 20 foster children. Wednesday, April 14, at 8 p.m., HBO2

Doctor Who

The decades-old British sci-fi series about a mysterious and eccentric time traveler gets another new lease on life with the introduction of the 11th incarnation of the title character. Matt Smith, 27, is the youngest actor ever to play “the Doctor.” He has his work cut out for him in his first episode, “The Eleventh Hour”: With his time machine wrecked, he has only 20 minutes to save the world. Saturday, April 17, at 9 p.m., BBC America

The Age of Stupid

Provocative and disquieting, this sci-fi tale is set in the year 2055, on an Earth that has been devastated by apocalyptic climate change. Pete Postlethwaite stars as an archivist looking back at the stories of six key individuals as he tries to unravel why humanity didn’t strive to prevent global warming while it still had the chance. Saturday, April 17, at 10 p.m., Planet Green

Other highlights

Africa’s Lost Eden

Cameras follow conservationists’ efforts to restore Mozambique’s Gorongosa Wildlife Park, which teemed with animals—until civil war ravaged the country. Monday, April 12, at 10 p.m., Nat Geo Wild

When Families Grieve

Katie Couric and the Sesame Street Muppets present stories of families that have lost a parent, offering strategies for coping. Wednesday, April 14, at 8 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Riverworld

Based on a science-fiction series by novelist Philip José Farmer, this four-hour epic is set on a strange planet where everyone who ever lived on Earth has apparently been reborn. Sunday, April 18, at 7 p.m., Syfy

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