Feature

The Week’s guide to what’s worth watching

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

The Colbert Report
Stephen Colbert’s lampoon of vacuous political punditry recently won a Peabody Award; now, for the first time, it goes on the road. To cover the Pennsylvania Democratic primary, the show will tape four episodes at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Center. Monday–Thursday, April 14­–17, at 11:30 p.m., Comedy Central

Role Model: Gene Wilder
Actor/writer/director Wilder converses with Alec Baldwin about Mel Brooks, Willy Wonka, Gilda Radner, Richard Pryor, and other aspects of his life and career in this thoroughly engaging special, leavened with clips and photos. Two of Wilder’s collaborations with Mel Brooks, The Producers and Blazing Saddles, follow at 9:15 and 11 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, at 8 p.m., Turner Classic Movies

The Truth About Cancer
After all the money and research dedicated to curing cancer, why do people still die from it? That’s the agonizing question filmmaker Linda Garmon set out to answer as she chronicled her own husband’s unsuccessful battle with lung cancer and other cases in Boston-area hospitals. This moving and eye-opening documentary will be followed by a panel discussion among cancer survivors led by Linda Ellerbee. Wednesday, April 16, at 9 p.m., PBS; check local listings

The Devil Came on Horseback
As an official military observer in the Darfur region of Sudan, former U.S. Marine Capt. Brian Steidle got a firsthand look at the horrific handiwork of the Janjaweed—an Arab militia purging the nation’s black African population, with government support. His video and photos are incorporated into this powerful documentary. Friday, April 18, at 10 p.m., National Geographic Channel

Masterpiece: My Boy Jack
Harry Potter portrayer Daniel Radcliffe stars in this colorful Masterpiece entry as Jack Kipling, son of Rudyard Kipling, who fought in World War I and struggled to prove himself worthy of his famous father’s name. Writer/actor David Haig adapted his own 1997 play and portrays Rudyard Kipling; Sex and the City’s Kim Cattrall plays his American wife. Sunday, April 20, at 9 p.m., PBS

Other highlights
American Experience: Walt Whitman
Poets and writers reflect on the legacy of America’s quintessential poet in this thoughtful profile. Monday, April 14, at 9 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Independent Lens: King Corn
After growing an acre of corn, two friends investigate how it is used in this Super Size Me–style documentary. Tuesday, April 15, at 10 p.m., PBS; check local listings

The Return of the Cuyahoga
Once infamous for catching fire, the Cuyahoga River has come back to life. This documentary traces its rebirth. Friday, April 18, at 10 p.m., PBS; check local listings

All listings are Eastern time.

Show of the week
Frontline: Sick Around the World
The U.S. is among history’s richest nations, yet 47 million Americans have no medical insurance, and the World Health Organization ranks our health-care system 37th in the world in quality and fairness of care. How do other countries do better? Correspondent T.R. Reid visits five of them: Great Britain, which has become a world leader in preventive care; Japan, which regulates medical prices and forbids insurers to make a profit; Germany, where, a parliament member says, “the rich pay for the poor, and the ill are covered by the healthy”; Taiwan, which has tried to combine the best elements of other systems; and Switzerland, which successfully reformed its U.S.-style system in 1994. Tuesday, April 15, at 9 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Movies on TV this week

Monday, April 14
M (1931)
Criminals unite to bring a child murderer to justice in this German expressionist classic from Metropolis director Fritz Lang. Peter Lorre stars. 3:05 p.m., IFC

Tuesday
Blazing Saddles (1974)
Mel Brooks’ vulgar but funny sendup of cowboy clichés earned Madeline Kahn an Oscar nomination as chanteuse Lili Von Shtupp. Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder star. 11 p.m., TCM

Wednesday
Babe (1995)
This charming family fantasy from Australia about a pig who learns to herd sheep was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Supporting Actor (James Cromwell). 7:15 a.m., Encore

Thursday
The White Countess (2005)
Ralph Fiennes portrays an American ex-diplomat who becomes involved with a fugitive Russian countess in the demimonde of 1930s Shanghai. Natasha Richardson co-stars. 6:30 p.m., Sundance

Friday
Starman (1984)
Jeff Bridges received a Best Actor nomination for his role as a benign extraterrestrial who assumes the shape of a young widow’s late husband. With Karen Allen. 6:05 p.m., Flix

Saturday
The Painted Veil
(2006)
In this adaptation of a W. Somerset Maugham novel, an unforgiving scientist and his adulterous wife battle cholera in a Chinese village. Starring Edward Norton and Naomi Watts. 10 a.m., HBO

Sunday
The Egyptian (1954)
Lavish production values and a Bernard Herrmann/Alfred Newman score highlight this costume epic set in 18th Dynasty Egypt. With Victor Mature and Jean Simmons. 9:30 a.m., Fox Movie Channel

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