A portrait of Clare Boothe Luce on Lifetime, sitcom scandals on Fox and A Martinez on "General Hospital" on ABC top this week in television.
"Sabrina Down Under," 7 p.m., Channel 7. In this new made-for-TV movie, the teen-age witch (Melissa Joan Hart) goes to Australia's Great Barrier Reef to explore marine life. But soon she finds herself fighting to save the last mermaid colony from environmental destruction.
"Sirens," 8 p.m., Showtime. His ex-wife (Dana Delany) risks everything to seek justice for her ex-husband (Vondie Curtis Hall) after he is fatally shot by a police officer (Keith Carradine) who encountered them during an intimate moment in her car. The new made-for-cable movie also stars Brian Dennehy.
"Snoops," 9 p.m., Channel 7. This new series stars Gina Gershon and Paula Marshall as private detectives in Los Angeles. Because the show is from producer/creator David E. Kelley, the biggest celebrity of this year's Emmy Awards, anticipation is above average.
"We Have Lost an Aircraft: Armed and Missing," 10 p.m., Discovery. This new documentary looks at a puzzling 1997 case in which an Air Force plane pilot abruptly flew away from a training formation. The plane eventually crashed into a mountain, but the bombs that had been aboard were never found.
"Hollywood Confidential: James Bacon," 10 p.m., E! Bacon, an Associated Press reporter who covered Hollywood in the Golden Age, carried out a tough balancing act in dealing with his celebrity sources, gaining the trust of stars in part because he "knew when to keep quiet."
"Intimate Portrait: Clare Boothe Luce," 3 p.m., Lifetime. Though her name has faded from public awareness in recent years, Booth, who died in 1987, was one of the best-known women of her era, credited with "paving the way for the modern woman." Her accomplishments include developing the concept of Life magazine, but sex discrimination kept her from becoming its editor.
"The Hollywood Fashion Machine," 8 p.m., AMC. Tonight's episode looks at how the "Hayes Code" cracked down on the scanty attire that had been commonplace in early films and led to more inventive costuming that was suggestive without breaking the code.
"Ladies Man," 8:30 p.m., Channel 4. Surrounded by female relatives and an ex-wife, Jimmy Stiles (Alfred Molina) seems totally confused; you can decide just how funny this may be. The new sitcom features some familiar faces in the supporting cast: Sharon Lawrence, Betty White and Stephen Root.
"Safe Harbor," 9 p.m., Channel 49. Gregory Harrison stars as the sheriff of a quaint seaside town and the widower father of three in this new family drama series. His teen sons are played by Christopher Khayman Lee, Jeremy Lelliott and Jamie Williams, and Rue McClanahan is their grandmother.
"The Greatest Relief Organization: American Red Cross," 10 p.m., TLC. A salute to the people who provide disaster relief in the wake of natural and people-made catastrophes.
"High Society," 4 p.m., TCM. Grace Kelly's last film before she left Hollywood for Monaco has a lot going for it, including Cole Porter songs and co-stars Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Celeste Holm and Louis Armstrong.
"Blind Side," 8 p.m., Cinemax. After unwisely leaving the scene of an accident in which their car killed a Mexican police officer, an American couple is blackmailed by a dangerous vagrant who saw what happened. The 1993 thriller stars Rutger Hauer, Rebecca De Mornay and Ron Silver. (Rated R)
"TV Guide's Truth Behind the Sitcom Scandals," 9 p.m., Channel 29. "Three's Company," "The Partridge Family," "The Brady Bunch" -- what really went on behind the scenes while these shows were in production? Florence Henderson, Shirley Jones, David Cassidy, John Ritter, Joyce DeWitt and Suzanne Somers are among the stars who talk about it on this program.
"Wildhorse Fifth Anniversary Celebration," 10 p.m., TNN. Mark Chesnutt leads a Wildhorse Saloon observance that also features Chely Wright and the Sons of the Desert.
"The Siege of Firebase Gloria," 8 p.m., TNT. Of the many films about the Vietnam War, this one from 1989, set during the Tet offensive, isn't shown as often as some of the others. In the latter category is "Hamburger Hill" (1987), which follows at 10 p.m.
"Popular," 9 p.m., Channel 49. Contrasting high school students Brooke (Leslie Bibb) and Sam (Carly Pope) are forced to live together when Brooke's father and Sam's mother quickly meet and marry, setting up this new series. (Brooke, part of the "in" crowd, has achieved popularity but not happiness; Sam is determined to remain an outsider.)
"Lonely Planet Treks," 9 p.m., Travel Channel. This new 13-part series will offer journeys through "the wilds of America" -- places accessible to adventuresome types using mountain bikes, kayaks, snowshoes and other rugged forms of transportation.
"American Justice: Rape in Connecticut: The Alex Kelly Story," 10 p.m., A&E. Kelly, a teen-ager from a wealthy family, gained notoriety when he fled to Europe to avoid prosecution for raping a 16-year-old acquaintance. Eventually he was sentenced to 16 years in prison for that rape and pleaded no contest in a second rape case. This program includes what is said to be the first interview granted by the victim in the latter case.
"Requiem for a Heavyweight," 8 p.m., TCM. TCM's boxing theme month ends with a lineup led off by this 1962 classic starring Anthony Quinn and Jackie Gleason.
"Dead Man's Revenge," 8 p.m., TNN. For country fans not content just to hear him sing, TNN offers Randy Travis in this 1994 movie; he plays a U.S. marshal who goes after a ruthless rail baron (Bruce Dern).
"Mystery!: Second Sight," Part 1 of 2, 9 p.m., Channel 17. A workaholic detective (Clive Owen) tries to hide the fact that he is losing his sight while he tries to solve an apparently motiveless murder. With Claire Skinner. Concludes at the same time next week.
"O'Shea's Big Adventure," 9 p.m., Animal Planet. In this new series, herpetologist Mark O'Shea travels through the Western Hemisphere in search of rare and interesting reptiles. Tonight's episode takes him to Brazil, where he joins scientists who are studying the Atlantic coastal bushmaster, the largest venomous snake in the Americas.
"General Hospital," 3 p.m., Channel 7. Veteran actor A Martinez, well-known for a long stint on "Santa Barbara" as well as prime-time roles in series such as "L.A. Law" and "Profiler," joins the cast as Roy DiLucca, who was last seen on "General Hospital" in 1979. Since then he has been presumed dead, but, it seems, he was actually in jail. Longtime fans will remember that it is Bobbie Spencer (Jacklyn Zeman) who may care the most about this development.
"Biography: Don Ameche: Hollywood's Class Act," 8 p.m., A&E. Ameche endured a difficult midcareer after a fast start that included his iconic performance as Alexander Graham Bell. But starting with "Trading Places" in 1983, he was back in the spotlight and won an Oscar for "Cocoon" (1986). He died in 1993.
"Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends," 8 p.m., Bravo. This new series will have Theroux reporting on a different subculture in each of nine episodes. First up, professional wrestling, which, he says, "radiates good energy" despite the apparent mayhem. Next week: Actors' auditions.
"Progeny," 8 p.m., Cinemax. Believing aliens are responsible for his wife's pregnancy, a doctor tries to end it without her consent. The 1998 sci-fi thriller stars Arnold Vosloo, Jillian McWhirter, Brad Dourif and Lindsay Crouse. (Rated R)
"Cold Feet," 10 p.m., Channel 2. Hesitant but perhaps predestined lovers (David Sutcliffe and Jean Louisa Kelly) are the focus of this new series; tonight we find them in a war of wills over which of their apartments will become their mutual home base. But -- and this may be a trend -- that doesn't mean they've actually agreed to move in together.
"The Parent Trap," 5:30 p.m., Starz. Resistance to remakes failed to spoil the fun of this 1998 version of the old Disney classic; Lindsay Lohan gets the Hayley Mills roll of the twin sisters, and Dennis Quaid and Natasha Richardson are the errant parents.
"12 Monkeys," 8 p.m., Channel 7. Bruce Willis, currently enjoying the huge success of "The Sixth Sense," gets top billing in this 1995 movie that involves time travel, and Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt, Christopher Plummer, Jon Seda and Frank Gorshin are also featured.
"Saturday Night Live," 11:30 p.m., Channel 2. Now that they've got that 25th anniversary thing out of the way early, what better way to start a new season than with Jerry Seinfeld, whom you may have heard about when he decided not to be on television.
"Practical Magic," 8 p.m., HBO. Witchcraft proves useful for a pair of beautiful women seeking control over their love lives. The 1998 comedy stars Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, Dianne Wiest and Stockard Channing. (Rated PG-13)
"Autopsy 6: Secrets of the Dead," 10 p.m., HBO. Guess they figured that anybody who watched the first five wouldn't mind one more.