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Archive for Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Coverage of D.C. dominates the day

January 20, 2009

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The TV One Network dedicates 24 hours to the inauguration of Barack Obama, beginning not long after the crack of dawn with “The Gospel of Music with Jeff Majors” (6 a.m., TV One), a celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. and President-elect Obama. “In Conversation” (7 a.m., TV One) offers an interview with incoming first lady Michelle Obama. Look for CNN, MSNBC and Fox News to cover little else, all day and all night long.

Prime-time highlights include “Neighborhood Ball: An Inauguration Celebration” (7 p.m., ABC), coverage of a special ball emphasizing the new president’s new neighbors in Washington, D.C. “A Moment in History: The Inauguration of Barack Obama” (9 p.m., ABC) continues coverage of various inaugural balls and recaps the day’s events and the president’s inaugural address. Over on NBC, Brian Williams hosts “The Inauguration of Barack Obama” (9 p.m., NBC), a “Dateline” look at a day of ceremony, history and transition. Anchor Katie Couric attempts to put the day and the 2008 election into perspective on the special “Change and Challenge: The Inauguration of Barack Obama” (8 p.m., CBS), which includes an interview with the new president.

• “Frontline” (8 p.m., PBS, check local listings) offers “Dreams of Obama,” an hourlong biographical documentary about Obama’s upbringing; his 2004 address at the Democratic National Convention; his handling of the controversy over the Rev. Jeremiah Wright; and his years of success and setbacks in Chicago politics.

One of the film’s most illuminating anecdotes concerns Obama’s tenure as president of the Harvard Law Review. Because he was widely noted as the first black student to hold that office, some thought Obama would reshape the Law Review to pursue racial or ideological agendas. Many were surprised by his willingness to incorporate conservatives into his inner circle and his ability to use his position to calm a law-school campus known for its highly charged political atmosphere.

Tonight’s other highlights

• As the Bush administration gives way to the Obama era, viewers can spend 10 hours with the Bartlet administration, watching a “West Wing” marathon (9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Bravo).

• “American Future: A History by Simon Schama” (7 p.m. and 8 p.m., BBC America) continues.

• If you have your doubts about “America’s Loch Ness Monster” (7 p.m., Animal Planet), there’s always “Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science” (8 p.m.).

• Auditions continue on “American Idol” (7 p.m., Fox).

• Olivia’s abduction may offer clues on “Fringe” (8 p.m., Fox).

• A visit to the La Brea Tar Pits on “Dirty Jobs” (8 p.m., Discovery).

• Scheduled on “REAL Sports with Bryant Gumbel” (9 p.m., HBO): athletes and guns.

• “Starz Inside” (9 p.m., Starz) looks at Hollywood’s long history of cross-dressing comedies, including “Some Like It Hot,” “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Hairspray” and others.

Cult choice

After a woman (Patricia Neal) becomes blind, she suspects her husband (Curt Jurgens) of having an affair with her sister (Samantha Eggar) in the 1964 mystery “Psyche 59” (2 p.m., TCM), part of a daylong tribute to the movies of Patricia Neal.

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