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Archive for Wednesday, November 16, 2005

An all-star ring of fire for Cash and Carter

November 16, 2005

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The Man in Black gets his primetime salute on "I Walk the Line: A Night for Johnny Cash" (7 p.m., CBS). This musical showcase also serves as a promotion for the biographical film about the late Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon.

Musicians from at least three generations will perform Cash and Carter's songs, including "I Walk the Line," "Sunday Morning Coming Down," "Jackson," "I Still Miss Someone," "Folsom Prison Blues," "Guess Things Happen That Way" and "Home of the Blues." The lineup includes Sheryl Crow, Foo Fighters, Shooter Jennings and Jessi Colter, Norah Jones, Kid Rock, Alison Krauss, Kris Kristofferson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Martina McBride, Brad Paisley, U2 and Dwight Yoakam.

According to his autobiography, Cash wrote more than 1,500 songs and received 11 Grammy awards, and Cash was inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame. He shares that distinction with only one man: his fellow Sun Records alumnus Elvis Presley. But transcending barriers and challenging common assumptions is central to the Johnny Cash legend.

¢ An era ends on "That '70s Show" (7 p.m., Fox). And the show sends up tabloid headlines about its most famous player. Bruce Willis cameos as the toupee-wearing owner of a Chicago "gentleman's" club who offers Kelso a job. This creates the scenario that writes Ashton Kutcher out of the series after eight seasons. It also allows viewers to watch the interaction between Willis, Demi Moore's famous ex-husband, and Kutcher, her much-publicized main squeeze.

¢ The series "Secrets of the Dead" (7 p.m., PBS) mixes the forensic science of "CSI" with painstaking archeological footwork. But tonight's installment resembles "The Sopranos" and recalls the true-life story that inspired the book and movie "Donnie Brasco."

The sprawling story begins in 1981, when kids playing in a Queens, N.Y., vacant lot came upon the dead body of a mobster. The narrative ricochets over two decades and involves FBI agent Joseph Pistone, who posed as a mobbed-up jewel thief named Donnnie Brasco in order to infiltrate the Bonnanno crime family.

Pistone/Brasco got very close to "Big Joey" Massino, the man behind the dead body in the vacant lot, as well as two others. It would take years of painstaking paperwork, wiretaps and digging (in the most literal sense) to implicate Massino in the murders. Eventually "Big Joey" was not only arrested, but he turned on the Bonnannos and became the highest-ranking mobster to rat out his associates.

Tonight's other highlights

¢ A cop's disappearance fits an ominous profile on "Criminal Minds" (8 p.m., CBS).

¢ Good to the last drop on "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart" (8 p.m., NBC).

¢ The other survivors reveal their stories on "Lost" (8 p.m., ABC).

¢ Violence is in the cards on "CSI: NY" (9 p.m., CBS).

¢ A shadow falls over immigration vigilantes on "Law & Order" (9 p.m., NBC).

¢ A battle for the baby on "Invasion" (9 p.m., ABC).

Series notes

Religious strife in Motor City on "E-Ring" (7 p.m., NBC) ... A marital milestone on "George Lopez" (7 p.m., ABC) ... Tyra Banks is host on "America's Next Top Model" (7 p.m., UPN) ... The fantasy draft continues on "One Tree Hill" (7 p.m., WB) ... Jenny McCarthy guest stars on "Stacked" (7:30 p.m., Fox) ... Competition on "Freddie" (7:30 p.m., ABC) ... How the other half lives on "Trading Spouses" (8 p.m., Fox).

Late night

Ellen DeGeneres appears on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno is host to Hugh Laurie, Joan Embery and George Clinton on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC) ... Neil Diamond appears on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (11:05 p.m., ABC).

Rosario Dawson, Steve Harvey and Big & Rich chat on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (11:35 p.m., NBC) ... Craig Ferguson is host to Maya Angelou and Jay Larson on "The Late, Late Show" (11:37 p.m., CBS).

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