Archive for Friday, April 6, 2001

Lunden looks at ‘Millionaire’

April 6, 2001


On an episode of "Behind Closed Doors with Joan Lunden" (8 p.m., A&E;) rescheduled from an earlier date, Lunden goes behind the scenes of the popular game show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire." Host Regis Philbin and producer Michael Davies share insights, and their staff reveals how they come up with the questions.

Critics and programmers have been amazed by the enduring popularity of "Millionaire." But its longevity has nothing on daytime soap operas. What does it take to put together a daytime drama and keep viewers hooked for years, if not decades? Lunden visits the cast and crew of "All My Children" and talks with star Susan Lucci. But she's not alone: Longtime "All My Children" fan Carol Burnett also joins her on the set.

One of Mozart's great operas is deconstructed and retold from a whole new perspective in the film "Don Giovanni Unmasked" on "Great Performances" (8 p.m., PBS, check local listings).

Adapted by Barbara Willis Sweete from the 1787 opera, this new version presents the "Don Giovanni" story as a film within a film, with the put-upon servant character Leporello as the director of a 1930s movie about the Don. Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky portrays both the assertive servant and the Don. Playing both roles in different voices is both difficult and rewarding.

"It's a baritone's dream come true," explains Sweete. He gets to perform not only Leporello's "Catalogue Aria," but the Don's "Mandolin Serenade" and "Champagne Aria," too.

Tonight's other highlights

Syd learns about her beau's (Rob Estes) secret rendezvous on a repeat of "Providence" (7 p.m., NBC).

Scheduled on "Dateline" (8 p.m., NBC): After a woman dies while scuba diving, police suspect her fiance of murdering her.

Regis Philbin hosts "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" (8 p.m., ABC).

Comedian Redd Foxx is profiled on "E! True Hollywood Story" (8 p.m., E!).

Scheduled on "20/20" (9 p.m., ABC): an interview with "60 Minutes" producer Don Hewitt.

Personal computer pioneers Bill Gates (Anthony Michael Hall) and Steve Jobs (Noah Wyle) duke it out for control of our keyboards in the highly enjoyable 1999 computer industry saga "Pirates of Silicon Valley" (11 p.m., TNT).

Cult choice

Twins and other creepy doings in a Depression-era small town are the focus of "The Other" (7 p.m., AMC), starring Uta Hagen and Chris Udvarnoky. Based on the book by actor Thomas Tryon ("The Cardinal").

Series notes

"Sabrina," "Norm," "Fugitive," "Gunmen," both episodes of "Gary & Mike" and "Nash" are new ... Steve thinks he witnessed a murder from his hospital bed on "Diagnosis Murder" (7 p.m., CBS) ... A drunk driver collides with his wife's car on "Police Videos" (7 p.m., Fox) ... Bo Derek guest stars as Berg's mother on "Two Guys and a Girl" (7 p.m., ABC) ... Former BET host Tavis Smiley guest stars on "The Parkers" (7 p.m., UPN) ... Sabrina's wild cousin (Emily Hart) arrives on "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" (7 p.m., WB).

Psychic powers on "Norm" (7:30 p.m., ABC) ... Darryl teaches his older brother a lesson in finance on "The Hughleys" (7:30 p.m., UPN).

An old man's final wish on "The Fugitive" (8 p.m., CBS) ... Death row confidential on "The Lone Gunmen" (8 p.m., Fox) ... On back-to-back episodes of "Gary & Mike" (UPN), road rules (8 p.m.), and a strange Hollywood welcome (8:30 p.m.) ... Drug testing woes on "Popular" (8 p.m., WB).

Nash's nephew falls in with the wrong crowd on "Nash Bridges" (9 p.m., CBS) ... Investigating a TV correspondent's assault on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (9 p.m., NBC).

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