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Archive for Saturday, May 23, 2009

Weekend brings bad movies galore

May 23, 2009

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With so many cable networks to choose from, I still want more! I’d love to see a network devoted to cheesy made-for-TV movies. They remain one of the lost stepchildren of pop culture. You can buy or rent a DVD of the fourth season of “F-Troop,” but you can’t beg, borrow or steal many of the great (or bad) TV movies of the past 40 years.

As if to partially right this wrong, the Hallmark Channel dedicates Memorial Day to some recent TV movies of the sweeps spectacular variety, including the seismic shocker “10.5” (7 p.m., today), starring Kim Delaney, Fred Ward, Dule Hill, Kaley Cuoco and Beau Bridges. Look out for the remake of “Poseidon Adventure” (7 p.m. Sunday), starring Steve Guttenberg and Adam Baldwin; and “Shark Swarm” (7 p.m. Monday), starring John Schneider, Daryl Hannah, Armand Assante and F. Murray Abraham.

• Some holiday traditions endure. ABC has been broadcasting the Indianapolis 500 (11 a.m. Sunday, ABC) since Memorial Day 1965. To put the passage of time into some perspective, that weekend, “Help Me Rhonda” by the Beach Boys had just edged out “Ticket to Ride” by the Beatles for the No. 1 spot on the Billboard charts. “Bonanza” was the top-rated show during that TV season.

ABC had only two shows in the top 30 for that year, “Batman” and “The Lawrence Welk Show.” Racer Jim Clark would win the Indy 500 that day, putting him on top of the racing world until his fatal crash on April 7, 1968.

Sunday’s coverage includes interviews with many of the starting drivers, a profile of Helio Castroneves and a look at Danica Patrick’s relationship with her father.

There’s also a celebration of the enduring appeal of the Indy 500, a tradition that has been very good for racing and for ABC as it has evolved (or at least changed) from the days of “Shindig” to the era of “Dancing with the Stars.”

In other racing news, Fox will cover the Coca-Cola 600 (4 p.m. Sunday, Fox) from Concord, N.C.

• Another tradition continues as PBS broadcasts its 20th consecutive National Memorial Day Concert (7 p.m. Sunday, PBS, check local listings). The program will look back at highlights from the past 20 concerts. This year’s performance pays special attention to the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth in 1809 and honors the sacrifices of the families who are caring for severely wounded soldiers returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna co-host the event, which showcases musical performances by Katharine McPhee, Trace Adkins, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Colm Wilkinson, Denyce Graves, Lang Lang and Robert McDuffie. The National Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of maestro Erich Kunzel, also performs.

Today’s highlights

• The latest murder plays havoc with the wedding-rehearsal schedule on “Harper’s Island” (9 p.m., CBS).

• Violence haunts Chavez Ravine on “Southland” (8 p.m., NBC).

Sunday’s highlights

• “Media Project” (10 p.m., IFC) looks at the bleak economics of serious journalism.

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