TV Smarts

Some broadcast and cable programs contain material included in the public school curriculum and on standardized examinations. Here are weekend home-viewing tips:

* Today--"Sleeping Beauty” (Bravo, 7:15-9 p.m.) This is an Emmy-winning broadcast of the National Ballet of Canada’s memorable production of the Tchaikovsky ballet. Rudolph Nureyev and Veronica Tennant star. VCR+60944073.

* Friday--"The Twilight Zone” (Sci-Fi, 3-3:30 p.m.) Students will gain new insight into several key points of 20th century history as they follow a man (played by Dana Andrews) back in time as he attempts to change events surrounding the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the career of Hitler and the torpedoing of the passenger ship Lusitania. VCR+6577265. Also “Cabaret” (HIST, 6-9 p.m. repeating 10 p.m.-1 a.m.) This movie musical based on Christopher Isherwood’s book “Goodbye to Berlin” describes life in Germany between World Wars I and II. Liza Minnelli stars. Parental discretion advised. Available on video.

* Saturday--"Moulin Rouge” (TCM, 2-4 p.m.) This is an Oscar-winning movie about 19th century French artist-lithographer Toulouse-Lautrec. John Huston directs, Jose Ferrer stars. Available on video. Also, “Discover Magazine” (DISC 3-4 p.m.) This episode of the TV version of the popular monthly science magazine features bats, beetles and jellyfish. VCR+531444. Also, “America Eats: History on a Bun” (HIST, 5-7 p.m. repeating 9-11 p.m.) A special episode of the “Time Machine” series profiles the originators of America’s most popular foods, such as Italian Gennaro Lombardi (pizza), Kentuckian Harlan Sanders (fried chicken) and Syrian E.A. Hamwi (ice cream cones). VCR+15666, 27735.


* Sunday--"Our Mutual Friend” (KCET, part 1, 9-11 p.m.; part 2, Monday 9-11 p.m.; part 3, Tuesday 9-11 p.m.) This BBC miniseries is based on Charles Dickens’ last completed novel and contains his most modern characters (including a self-centered flirt, a homicidal teacher and an intellectual blackmailer). Anna Friel stars. Also, “American Visions” (KCET, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.) This is a marathon rebroadcast of Time magazine art critic Robert Hughes’ eight-part series on American art. Recommended for taping as a reference work.

--Compiled by Richard Kahlenberg in consultation with Crystal J. Gips, California State University Office of the Chancellor. Columns available at