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In Brief


Bob Hope's Funniest Out-Takes (April 30; 8 to 9 p.m.; NBC), with Kelsey Grammer as a kind of hall monitor at this junior high school for scandal, features bloopers, zingers, and blue ad libs with everyone from Milton Berle to Debbie Reynolds, plus Lassie.

  • Woody Allen: A Life in Film (May 4; 8 to 9:30 p.m.; TCM), produced and directed by a Richard Schickel we never see or hear from -- though he conducted the remarkable interview with Allen between illustrative snippets from the movies -- is all Woody all the time. That is, he speaks for and against himself. It works. It also hurts.

  • Blue Planet: Seas of Life (May 5; 7 to 11 p.m.; Discovery), with Sir David Attenborough underwater yet again, tracking parrot fish, surfing snails, marine iguanas, and the first attack of a southern sea lion on a rockhopper penguin ever recorded.

  • Little John (May 5; 9 to 11 p.m.; cbs) stars Gloria Reuben as a family-court judge who would rather not recall giving up her newborn for adoption when she was still a teen and who never knew that her own father, Ving Rhames, whom she hasn't seen since, adopted the baby boy himself. But when Ving has heart trouble, his 12-year-old grandson seeks out his very surprised mother, who has one more terrible secret to divulge before an affecting family clinch.

  • Blue Vinyl (May 5; 10 to 11:40 p.m.; HBO) lets us watch filmmaker Judith Helfand on behalf of America Undercover educate herself and her Long Island parents on the relationship between polyvinyl chloride and cancer-causing PVCs from Lake Charles, Louisiana, where they manufacture a lot of the stuff, to Venice, Italy, where 31 industrialists are on trial for poisoning the lagoon and their employees. Amazingly, some of this is really funny.

  • Innocents (May 6; 9 to 11 p.m.; channel 13) is yet another Masterpiece Theatre docudrama -- this time about medical malpractice in a pediatric hospital ward in Bristol, England, where for more than a decade incompetent surgeons killed more babies with congenital heart defects than they cured, and caused brain damage to many others. With Tim Pigott-Smith as the senior butcher, Madhav Sharma as the junior, and Aden Gillett as an anesthesiologist who tries to blow the whistle on them.


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