Feature

The Week’s guide to what’s worth watching

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

The Closer
In a special two-hour holiday episode, interrogation specialist Brenda Leigh Johnson’s investigation of a deadly armored-car robbery leads her, reluctantly, home to Georgia. Canny performances by Frances Sternhagen and Barry Corbin as her parents mark a high point for this entertaining blend of police procedural and character comedy. Kyra Sedgwick stars. Monday, Dec. 3, at 8 p.m., TNT

The Last Jews of Libya

At the end of World War II, Libya was home to some 36,000 Sephardic Jews; today, none of the families is left there. Filmmaker Vivienne Roumani-Denn, who emigrated from Benghazi to Boston at the age of 12, skillfully blends her family’s saga with oral history and world events in this evocative and elegiac account of the end of a long-vibrant subculture. Isabella Rossellini narrates. Monday, Dec. 3, at 10 p.m., Sundance Channel

Sand and Sorrow
The humanitarian crisis in Darfur comes into stark focus as cameras follow New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and others from refugee camps to mass graves. The documentary clearly explains what led Sudan’s government to sponsor the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of civilians and the displacement of millions more. Interviewees include Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel and Sens. Barack Obama and Sam Brownback; executive producer George Clooney narrates. Thursday, Dec. 6, at 8 p.m., HBO

Dave Attell: Captain Miserable
The star of Comedy Central’s Insomniac With Dave Attell, a practitioner of genial shock comedy, performs his first stand-up special in more than a decade. At the Lincoln Theater in Washington, D.C., he delivers highly indecorous (and frequently indecent) observations on such topics as global warming, alcohol, and pornography. Saturday, Dec. 8, at 10 p.m., HBO

Dino Death Trap
The recent discovery in northwestern China of a trove of well-preserved dinosaur skeletons piled four and five high fills a gap in what is known about the mid-Jurassic period, according to this lively documentary. Experts and computer animation shed light on dozens of little-known species, including an ancestor of Tyrannosaurus rex. In high-def where available. Sunday, Dec. 9, at 8 p.m., National Geographic Channel

Other highlights

Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel
Segments include a profile of Denver Nuggets coach George Karl and his son, Coby, of the L.A. Lakers, who battled cancer together. Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 11 p.m., HBO

Lost Holiday: The Jim and Suzanne Shemwell Story
True incidents inspired this drama, starring Jami Gertz and Dylan Walsh as a couple trapped in a blizzard. Saturday, Dec. 8, at 9 p.m., Lifetime

For One More Day
Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos) and Ellen Burstyn star in this adaptation of Mitch Albom’s best-seller about a mother’s love. Sunday, Dec. 9, at 9 p.m., ABC

All listings are Eastern time.

Show of the week
1968 With Tom Brokaw

Vietnam, the deaths of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., the first orbit of the moon, a divisive presidential campaign, demonstrations and riots: These are just a few of the events that made 1968 a turning point in American history, according to this colorful and intelligent account. Tom Brokaw, who was on hand for many of that year’s events as an NBC newsman, shares his recollections along with other witnesses. Former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, for instance, was present at the King assassination, while Olympic medalist Rafer Johnson wrestled RFK’s killer to the ground. Jon Stewart, Pat Buchanan, Tommy Smothers, Bruce Springsteen, Arlo Guthrie, and others also comment on fascinating archival footage. Sunday, Dec. 9, at 9 p.m., History Channel

Movies on TV this week

Monday, Dec. 3
Born Yesterday (1950)
Judy Holliday won a Best Actress Oscar for playing a tycoon’s mistress who’s smarter than she looks. Broderick Crawford and William Holden co-star. 8 p.m., TCM

Tuesday

Casa de los Babys (2003)
In this John Sayles drama, a strong female ensemble, including Maggie Gyllenhaal and Marcia Gay Harden, portrays women waiting to adopt in South America. 9 p.m., IFC

Wednesday
Freedomland (2006)
Julianne Moore and Samuel L. Jackson star in this drama about racial tensions raised by a missing-child case. From a novel by Richard Price.
8 p.m., Encore

Thursday
Streamers (1983)
Robert Altman directed the screen version of David Rabe’s award-winning anti-war drama, set in a barracks. The cast shared a Venice Film Festival award. 9:30 p.m., Flix

Saturday
The Innocents (1961)
Truman Capote co-wrote this adaptation of Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw, starring Deborah Kerr as a governess who fears her young charges are possessed. 10 a.m., FMC

Sunday
The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
Devilish Jack Nicholson seduces Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Cher in this fantasy-comedy, based on a novel by John Updike.
7 p.m., HBO Signature

New on DVD

The Doll (1919)
A young man who must marry to inherit a fortune weds a life-like doll in this romantic fantasy, a historic early silent by Ernst Lubitsch, director of Ninotchka. The 2006 documentary Ernst Lubitsch in Berlin accompanies it. (Not rated, $30)

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