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TUESDAY'S BEST BETS

8 PM on Channel 2

The Biggest Loser

This is not your father's 20-minute workout. This episode takes 90 minutes to follow the contestants on what may be their most grueling exercise session yet: climbing to the top of a 74-story building. Caroline Rhea hosts. (TVPG) 29974, 13036
8 PM on Channel 17

Nova

The new World War II tale "Great Escape" recalls how a group of Allied fliers escaped from a Nazi prison camp via three tunnels they dug in the ground 30 feet beneath. Why three? To throw their captors off the scent in case one tunnel was discovered. The tunnel that survives today is one that the Germans never found; in this hour, a team of archaeologists searches for it, accompanied by three of the men who took part in the escape. (TVG) 47013
8 PM on NICK

Spongebob Squarepants

In "Hooky," Mr. Krabs warns SpongeBob to stay away from the mysterious fishing hooks that suddenly have appeared all around Bikini Bottom. In "Mermaid Man," SpongeBob wins the "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy" Conch Call as the prize in a cereal contest, and uses it to summon the semi-retired superheroes (voices of Ernest Borgnine and Tim Conway) at will. (TVY) 560429
8 PM on A&E

Biography

"Charles Ng and Leonard Lake" profiles the deadly duo responsible for at least 12 and possibly as many as 25 grisly murders before being tripped up by a shoplifting arrest in 1985. Officials found their way to a remote bunker in rural California, where the two had brought their victims, most of them female, to be raped, tortured and killed. The hour includes chilling video footage of Lake explaining his plans and his reasons. (TVPG) 810061
9 PM on Channel 4

The Amazing Race 6

On your marks, get set, go! The amazing ratings powerhouse of the summer is back in this two-hour premiere with a new field of contestants, new destinations and new challenges. The format remains the same: Eleven teams, each made up of two people who already know each other, vie to be the first to complete a round-the-world journey, none of them knowing where they'll go next or what they must do once they arrive. Phil Keoghan hosts. 7516, 43806
9:30 PM on TRAVEL

John Ratzenberger's Made in America

Famous as mailman Cliff Clavin in "Cheers," actor Ratzenberger gets to be himself in this series. He tours factories and joins their employees in creating some of the best-known products manufactured in the United States. This episode takes Ratzenberger to the Harley-Davidson motorcycle plant and to the Ford Motor Company's assembly line. (TVG) 4031697
10 PM on Channel 2

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

In "Charisma," Benson and Stabler (Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni) meet a 12-year-old expectant mother (guest star Holliston Coleman) whose pregnancy has developed complications. The girl is married to the child's father (guest star Jeff Kober), who turns out to be the leader of a cult with some scary secrets. (TV14) HDTV9784
10 PM on Channel 17

Independent Lens

In "Afghanistan Unveiled," newly trained female Afghan journalists turn their cameras on a subject close to their hearts: the lives of their countrywomen since the repressive Taliban regime fell. These young documentarians are reaping the benefits of freedom, but they soon discover that not all Afghan women are so fortunate. Poverty is rampant, and while radical restrictions on women are no longer the law of the land, they haven't disappeared. (TVPG) 96516
10 PM on TLC

Extreme Machines: Million Dollar Motors

Auto enthusiasts hoping to hit it big in the lottery can find plenty of fodder for their dreams in this new, hour-long special devoted to cars at the very top of the "if you have to ask, you can't afford it" range. "Million Dollar Motors" offers a close-up look at such exclusive vehicles as the McLaren One and the Ferra Enzo, as well as the people who design them and those lucky enough to own them. (TVG) 263790