Archive for Tuesday, December 21, 2010

CNBC reports on student debt Tuesday night

December 21, 2010


College tuition never seems to get cheaper. The cost of higher education has been rising far faster than the rate of inflation for decades now, saddling many students with staggering loans before they even enter the workforce.

“Price of Admission: America’s College Debt Crisis” (8 p.m., CNBC) examines the peculiarity of student loans. Unlike mortgages or credit-card obligations, they carry few consumer protections. According to this report, student-loan debt cannot be refinanced or wiped out via bankruptcy. In some cases, young people have died, leaving their parents and families in the lurch.

“Debt” also reports that colleges, both traditional and for-profit, have been hiding the rate of default among their students to keep the flow of government loan money coming their way. A flow that “Debt” argues may be unsustainable.

• Because I’m not in the gossip racket or make my living celebrating celebrities, I rarely question the wisdom or timing of an installment of “E True Hollywood Story” (9 p.m. E!). But tonight’s profile of Sarah, duchess of York, had me scratching my head. I mean, she’s not even the world’s most famous Fergie anymore.

• “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” (9 p.m., HBO) glances back at the biggest stories of 2010.

• The three-hour special “Living in the Time of Jesus” (7 p.m., National Geographic) combines history and archaeology to examine the day-to-day reality of life at the time of the Nativity.

• Still searching for that stocking stuffer for the sports fan who has everything? Among the new DVDs on sale right now is “Baseball’s Greatest Games: The 1960 World Series Game 7” (A&E; Home Entertainment).

The DVD offers fans a chance to see baseball greats Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Roger Maris and Roberto Clemente at work. It’s also a wonderful example of sports television broadcasting in its infancy. Bob Prince and Mel Allen share announcing duties, but merely trade spots and do not interact. Their single-voice approach perfectly complements the rudimentary camerawork. My only quibble is that the period TV commercials have been edited out of this presentation. That would have made it perfect.

Tonight’s other highlights

• Christmas cheer proves contagious on “Glee” (7 p.m., Fox).

• A winner glides to the finish line on “Skating with the Stars” (7 p.m., ABC).

• A marine’s murder may be linked to former comrades on “NCIS: Los Angeles” (8 p.m., CBS).

• “Saturday Night Live Presents: A Very Gilly Christmas” (8 p.m., NBC) offers a collection of skits from seasons past.

• Kevin Pollak hosts “Million Dollar Money Drop” (8 p.m., Fox).

• Stephanie’s parents sense something’s up on “No Ordinary Family” (8 p.m., ABC).

• “The Calling,” profiling the religious leaders of tomorrow, concludes on “Independent Lens” (8 p.m., PBS).

• Alicia’s firm takes on healthcare bullies on “The Good Wife” (9 p.m., CBS).

• A football star dies under mysterious circumstances on “Detroit 1-8-7” (9 p.m., ABC).


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