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Archive for Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Shedding light on the Inca rebellion

June 26, 2007

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History and archaeology work in strange ways on "Nova: The Great Inca Rebellion" (7 p.m., PBS, check local listings), the first collaboration between "Nova" and National Geographic.

A proposed highway extension near Lima, Peru, inspired scientists to excavate an area long believed to be a cemetery dating back to the 16th century. What they discovered both confirmed and challenged the standard history of the Conquistadors.

Some of the bodies discovered at the Lima site appear to have been Incan soldiers killed by Francisco Pizarro's men. Examined by forensic scientists in Peru and the United States, their bones show evidence of bullet wounds and may be considered the first victims of gunfire in the history of the New World.

But most of the bodies at the site appear to have been killed with Indian weaponry. This discovery gives credence to theories that Pizarro had plenty of help from local Indians who were feuding with the Incans.

¢ NBA star Shaquille O'Neal uses his celebrity to become a role model for obese children with the new series "Shaq's Big Challenge" (8 p.m., ABC). O'Neal will dare six overweight and out-of-shape middle-school students to change their diets and exercise habits, and use them as an example for a generation of children and adolescents facing an obesity epidemic.

O'Neal extends his "Challenge" to every school in America, encouraging them to prepare and serve healthy, appealing meals on a budget and to incorporate more exercise into every student's daily activities.

¢ The series "Dirty Jobs" (8 p.m., Discovery) enters a new season. By summer's end, host Mike Rowe will have done 150 dirty jobs. Tonight, Mike discovers the down-and-dirty side of installing billboards.

¢ Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, as well as Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison, appear on "Larry King Live" (8 p.m., CNN) to discuss a Beatles-themed show in Las Vegas.

¢ Available on DVD today is a three-disk compilation of "This Is Tom Jones," a music-variety hour that aired from 1969 to 1970 on ABC. The popular Welsh baritone performs his greatest hits and welcomes the stars of the day, including the Who, Moody Blues and Joe Cocker. Jones more than holds his own during remarkable duets with Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and Janis Joplin. Look for a young Fred Willard ("Best in Show"), who makes frequent appearances as member of the comedy team Ace Trucking Company. Jones' performances include "I (Who Have Nothing)," a song rediscovered and performed by Jordin Sparks, the recent winner of "American Idol."

Tonight's other highlights

¢ New Yorkers audition on "America's Got Talent" (7 p.m., NBC).

¢ Mo'Nique hosts the "BET Awards '07" (7 p.m., BET). Beyonce has been nominated for six awards.

¢ The final dozen revealed on "On the Lot" (7 p.m., Fox).

¢ A dinner ritual resumed on "Gilmore Girls" (7 p.m., CW).

¢ "Critical Situation" (8 p.m., National Geographic) recalls Apollo 13.

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