The best television biographies tell you things you've never heard before. "Fidel Castro" on "American Experience" (8 p.m., PBS) belongs in this superior category.
When I was a little kid, images of Castro seemed to be everywhere. He was often on the cover of our local afternoon paper, the Newark News. He was also a frequent object of fascination and ridicule in Mad Magazine. Peter Falk even played a Castro-like figure on an episode of "The Twilight Zone." More than any other foreign figure, Castro fascinated Americans and drove us crazy.
A Cuban native, director Adriana Bosch, brings a unique perspective to "Castro." She lived under Castro for the first 10 years of his regime and wrote her doctoral thesis on the Cuban influence on the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua. Bosch has assembled Castro's former colleagues and victims, journalists, scholars, and even Castro's daughter Alina and former brother-in-law to discuss his complex and compelling personality.
Tonight's other highlights
- Parallel wives on "Trading Spouses" (7 p.m., Fox).
- A pleasant period of adjustment on "Everybody Loves Raymond" (8 p.m., CBS).
- A battle with card counters on "Las Vegas" (8 p.m., NBC).
- A major-league murder mystery on "CSI: Miami" (9 p.m., CBS).
- Allison suspects her husband of infidelity on "Medium" (9 p.m., NBC).
- Pit bulls bite in the city by the bay on "Animal Cops San Francisco" (9 p.m., Animal Planet).
A battle with the bottle on "Still Standing" (7 p.m., CBS) ... Annie frets about Lucy and her baby on "7th Heaven" (7 p.m., WB).
Nina finds out on "Everwood" (8 p.m., WB) ... Alan puts his foot down on "Two and a Half Men" (8:30 p.m., CBS).
Debra Messing and Peyton Manning appear on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno hosts Don Cheadle and Ryan Cabrera on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC) ... Laurence Fishburne and Jo Frost appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (11:05 p.m., ABC).
Darrell Hammond, Blanchard Ryan and They Might Be Giants chat on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (11:35 p.m., NBC) ... Craig Ferguson hosts Katey Sagal and Christine Barrett on "The Late, Late Show" (11:37 p.m., CBS).