Feature

The Week’s guide to what’s worth watching

The best programs on TV this week

The CloserIn the penultimate episode of this award-winning police procedural’s fifth season, Beau Bridges guest-stars as a former partner of Detective Lt. Provenza (the crusty cop played by veteran character actor G.W. Bailey). Kyra Sedgwick, as always, stars. Monday, Dec. 14, at 9 p.m., TNTAnatomy of a PandemicPBS NewsHour correspondent Ray Suarez reports on the H1N1 flu virus, which has taken more than 5,000 lives worldwide. He compares the current pandemic to past flu outbreaks, such as the one in 1918 that killed tens of millions; investigates U.S. readiness for widespread health crises; and examines H1N1’s economic and social effects. Interviewees include health experts and the author of a history of the 1918 flu pandemic. Monday, Dec. 14, at 9 p.m., PBS; check local listingsEvery F---ing Day of My LifePowerful and grim, this documentary tells the tragic story of Wendy Maldonado, an Oregon mother of four driven by unrelenting abuse to kill her husband. As the film follows her final days of freedom before she begins a 10-year prison sentence for manslaughter, it etches a heartrending portrait. Monday, Dec. 14, at 10 p.m., HBOGreat Performances at the Met: ToscaAudiences cheered Finnish soprano Karita Mattila’s performance as Puccini’s jealous heroine in this new production by the New York Metropolitan Opera. But avant-garde director Luc Bondy drew boos for his stark production, which replaced the lavish Franco Zeffirelli staging of the melodramatic work that had delighted traditionalists since 1985. Wednesday, Dec. 16, at 9 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Focus Earth With Bob WoodruffIn a special episode, Woodruff will report from Copenhagen, Denmark, on the Dec. 7–18 United Nations Climate Change Conference, where representatives from more than 190 countries are discussing expansion of the Kyoto Protocol and strategies for curbing global warming. Saturday, Dec. 19, at 7 p.m., Planet GreenOther highlights

ABC’s World News With Charles GibsonAfter serving as anchor for three and a half years, Gibson will host ABC’s evening newscast for the last time. Diane Sawyer officially replaces him in January, but may begin sooner. Friday, Dec. 18, at 6:30 p.m., ABCJoe Buck LivePitcher Pedro Martinez, sidelined NFL players Brian Urlacher and Brian Westbrook, and welterweight boxing champion Floyd Mayweather are among the guests scheduled for this edition of sportscaster Buck’s talk show. Friday, Dec. 18, at 8 p.m., HBOChristmas in WashingtonMary J. Blige, Neil Diamond, and country duo Sugarland will perform at the annual holiday concert attended by the president and other VIPs. George Lopez hosts. Sunday, Dec. 20, at 8 p.m., TNT

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