Hope (Christopher Reeve) and caring (National Zoo); magic spell broken again; farewell 'Party,' for now



"The Hidden Zoo" / 6 p.m. TBS

Are we not our animals' keepers? This hourlong documentary introduces the dedicated doctors who keep the critters healthy and happy at Washington, D.C.'s National Zoo. In one segment, a veterinarian tries to treat the injured eye of a giraffe without breaking its neck. The zookeepers also come to the aid of Tucker, an orangutan suffering from a lung infection, and Hsing-Hsing, a giant panda diagnosed with cancer.


"The Long Way Home" / 9 p.m. CBS

Here's a wistful, feel-good TV movie that leaves you with a genuinely warm glow. Jack Lemmon stars as a crusty widower hitchhiking from Kansas to California with a free-spirited young woman (Sarah Paulson), obtaining a new lease on life along the way. (It's OK to think of them as an odd couple.) The film's sweetest sequence pairs Lemmon with Betty Garrett, as a woman from his past looking ahead to their future.


"Christopher Reeve: A Celebration of Hope" / 9 p.m. ABC

An A-list of celebs turns out for a good cause in this two-hour special. The benefit was held in honor of the actor and his Christopher Reeve Foundation, which raises funds for the research and treatment of spinal cord paralysis. Among the highlights: comedy from Robin Williams and musical performances by Paul McCartney ("Calico Skies"), Gloria Estefan ("There's Always Tomorrow") and Stevie Wonder ("Hold On to Your Dreams").


"The Science of Sex" / 7 and 10 p.m. TLC

The Learning Channel is clearly turned on by thoughts of sex. Last month, it presented Desmond Morris' assessment of mating rituals in "The Human Sexes." Now it ponders other provocative questions revolving around desire and our drive to survive. Narrated by Kathleen Turner, this four-night documentary examines recent research on the facts of life, such as how we pick our mates and why we stay or stray. The findings are supplied by biology, psychology and anthropology professors.


"Breaking the Magician's Code 2" / 9 p.m. Fox

Talk about magic spells. Fox wove a big one over the 24 million who watched the first hocus-pocus special in November, making it the network's highest-rated ever. The original hour, in which a masked illusionist revealed tricks of the trade via a hidden camera, airs as a lead-in for the sequel. Mitch Pileggi, who dabbles in secrets of his own on "The X-Files," returns as host.


"Something So Right" / 8:30 p.m. ABC

Will they be right ... or wrong? Looking for a breakout midseason hit, ABC programmers are temporarily benching "Soul Man" in favor of this family comedy, which NBC canceled last year after one season in this very time slot. The cast and premise remain the same: Jere Burns and Mel Harris star as a harried couple who have put past divorces behind them--five for those keeping score--to raise three youngsters in New York. (A second episode of the sitcom follows at 9:30 p.m.)


"Garth Brooks: Ireland & Back" / 8 p.m. NBC

The king of country visits the Emerald Isle in his latest NBC special, a two-hour show featuring the vocals of Trisha Yearwood and Susan Ashton, who join him in concert at Dublin's Croke Park. Fiddle player Jimmy Mattingly colloborates with Brooks for a performance of "That Ol' Wind," shot on the waterfront in a quaint fishing village. In addition, the Grammy winner serves up songs from his current album "Sevens," including the hit single "Longneck Bottle."


"Party of Five" / 9 p.m. Fox

It's been another trying season for the Salingers. Charlie (Matthew Fox) battled cancer. Bailey (Scott Wolf) lost one girlfriend (Jennifer Love Hewitt) and gained another (Paige Turco). Julia (Neve Campbell) lost a couple of jobs and discovered her husband (Jeremy London) cheated on her. And Claudia (Lacey Chabert) has ditched a bunch of classes. What next for the beleaguered brood? We'll find out in this week's cliffhanger as Charlie gets the results of his medical test.

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