Archive for Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Ballroom” in a league of its own

February 1, 2006


"America's Ballroom Challenge" (7 p.m., PBS) presents competitions between some of the best dancers in the world. Think of it as Dancing without Celebrities. The only boldfaced name present is Marilu Henner. The "Taxi" star was raised in a dancing family, and her mother ran the Henner Dance School out of a three-car garage.

Henner provides colorful appreciation of the action, along with Tony Meredith, a former dance champion.

With all respect to John O'Hurley and Master P, these dancers are in another league.

Tonight's "Challenge" pits six pairs of dancers against each other in four competitions: American rhythm, American smooth, international Latin and international standard. Only three pairs will be chosen in each category, and they will compete next week to determine the best in each style. Then, the top four pairs will perform in a best-of-show finale.

¢ Henry Louis Gates Jr. hosts "African American Lives" (8 p.m., PBS), a four-hour series airing over the next two Wednesday nights. "Lives" uses oral history, family anecdotes, legal documents, genealogy and finally DNA analysis to trace the roots of several prominent blacks, including Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey and Quincy Jones.

¢ Wayne Brady hosts "That's What I'm Talking About" (9 p.m., TV Land), a three-part talk show about the place of black Americans in popular culture.

¢ TCM celebrates February, the month of the Oscar, by broadcasting 360 films featuring Academy Award winners or nominees. Tonight's highlights include two Humphrey Bogart favorites, "The African Queen" (7 p.m.) and "Casablanca" (9 p.m.), and two from Goldie Hawn: "Cactus Flower" (11 p.m.) and "Shampoo" (1 a.m.).

Other highlights

¢ Jennifer Jason Leigh stars in the 2005 drama "Childstar" (6 p.m., Sundance).

¢ A general held hostage on "E-Ring" (7 p.m., NBC).

¢ Ever more fodder for the toxic water-cooler on "American Idol" (7 p.m., Fox).

¢ Lights out, nobody home on "Criminal Minds" (8 p.m., CBS).

¢ A wilderness of underground tunnels on "Bones" (8 p.m., Fox).

¢ Hurley takes off after the mysterious French woman on "Lost" (8 p.m., ABC).

¢ Death by archer on "CSI: NY" (9 p.m., CBS).

¢ Birth control with a vengeance on "Law & Order" (9 p.m., NBC).

¢ A floating shocker on "Invasion" (9 p.m., ABC).


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