The Week’s guide to what’s worth watching

Plus, Other highlights; Show of the week; Movies on TV this week

The Closer

This episode showcases veteran character actor G.W. Bailey, whose recurring role as a hapless older member of L.A.’s Priority Homicide Division is one of this police procedural’s chief pleasures. “Dial M for Provenza” also guest-stars comic actress Jennifer Coolidge (Best in Show) as a none-too-bright woman caught up in a sting operation; Kyra Sedgwick leads the ensemble. Monday, Aug. 11, at 9 p.m., TNT

We Are Together: The Children of Agape Choir

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Filmed over three years, this uplifting documentary follows residents of the Agape Orphanage in South Africa as the group contends with funding shortfalls and other misfortunes to continue their mission: using music to help children who have lost their parents to AIDS. The film won the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award and other honors. Thursday, Aug. 14, at 8:30 p.m., HBO


Featuring a cast of talented teenage actors and a writing staff whose average age is 22, this comedy-drama series has attracted good reviews in Britain for its irreverent and realistic portrayal of a clique of middle-class adolescents who outwit their parents and teachers à la Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The show’s accolades include several festival awards and BAFTA (Britain’s Oscar) nominations. Sunday, Aug. 17, at 9 p.m., BBC America

Mad Men

In “Three Sundays,” Peggy’s family hosts a lunch for their new priest; Don and Betty (Jon Hamm and January Jones) have a weekend with the kids; and the ad agency’s staff works overtime to prepare for a last-minute pitch. This series and FX’s Damages recently made Emmy history as the first basic-cable shows ever nominated for Best Drama. Sunday, Aug. 17, at 10 p.m., AMC

Muhammad Ali: Made in Miami

It was Miami that molded a gifted young boxer named Cassius Clay into the champion and civic leader Muhammad Ali. This documentary traces his arrival there in 1960 after the Rome Olympics; his life in Miami’s vibrant Overtown neighborhood, dubbed “Harlem South”; and his gradual exposure to the civil-rights movement and the black separatist teachings of the Nation of Islam. Monday, Aug. 11, at 10 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Other highlights


This new series blends computer graphics and live action to explain evolutionary adaptations. This week: “Jaws.” Tuesday, Aug. 12, at 10 p.m., History Channel

P.O.V.: Belarusian Waltz

P.O.V. visits Europe’s last dictatorship: Belarus, where a performance artist dares to mock despot Alyaksandr Lukashenka. Tuesday, Aug. 12, at 10 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Visions of the Future: The Biotech Revolution

Futurist Michio Kaku explores development in genetics and biotechnology that could extend human health and longevity. Sunday, Aug. 17, at 10 p.m., Science Channel

Show of the week

Wide Angle: China Prep

Wide Angle goes inside an elite high school in China’s Sichuan province to follow four students as they aim for careers in law, mathematics, computer science, and high finance. All four are members of what the Chinese press calls the “I want” generation: Due to China’s one-child policy, they are the sole focus of their family’s dreams. Competing with 1,800 other students for only 59 slots at China’s two top universities, their lives are a nonstop grind of study for high stakes. If they succeed, they will be among the leaders of their nation in “China’s century”; if they fail, the disgrace of trade school and low-paying jobs awaits. Tuesday, Aug. 12, at 9 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Movies on TV this week

Monday, Aug. 11

The Story on Page One (1959)

An alcoholic lawyer defends an adulterous couple from murder charges in this drama written and directed by Clifford Odets. Tony Franciosa and Rita Hayworth star. 11 a.m., FMC


The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

Will Smith’s understated performance highlights this fact-based drama about a single dad battling his way out of homelessness. Co-starring Jaden Smith, the star’s real-life son. 9:45 p.m., Encore


Bad Lieutenant (1992)

Harvey Keitel won an Independent Spirit Award for his incendiary portrayal of a New York police detective awash in drugs, gambling, and corruption. 12:15 a.m., IFC


The Field (1990)

Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot) directed this downbeat drama about a stubborn Irish farmer fighting for a plot of land. Richard Harris was nominated for both an Oscar and a Golden Globe. 8 p.m., Flix


Forrest Gump (1994)

Six Oscars, including Best Picture, Director, and Actor, went to this saga of a slow-witted but good-hearted man’s odyssey through 20th-century America. Tom Hanks stars. 7:30 p.m., Cinemax


Freedom Writers (2007)

This fact-based drama, about an inspiring English teacher at a tough high school in Long Beach, Calif., stars Hilary Swank. 6:55 p.m., Showtime


On the Town (1949)

In this dynamic, innovative musical, three sailors take a 24-hour shore leave in New York City. Starring Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly (who co-directed with Stanley Donen). 8 p.m., TCM

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