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In Brief


Presidio Med (January 17, 8 to 9 p.m., and January 22, 10 to 11 p.m.; CBS) returns with one fraught episode devoted to the emergency aftercare of an amazing number of “preemie” babies all born in the same 24-hour period, with Julianne Nicholson and Blythe Danner in the maternity ward. Then comes an episode in which Dana Delany, whose marriage has fallen apart, tries to save Hallie Eisenberg from leukemia. Neither hour is for the squeamish.

Monte Walsh (January 17, 18 and 19; 8 to 10:30 p.m.; TNT) stars Tom Selleck as the Very Last Cowboy, so partial to his horsey solitude that he lets Isabella Rossellini and Keith Carradine practically die in front of him before shooting some people and turning his back on a Wild West show (run by Wallace Shawn) and the twentieth century (horseless buggies). Nary an ironic wince.

MythQuest (January 19; 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.; Channel 13) is a new series for kids in which brother and sister Christopher Jacot and Meredith Henderson search for their vanished scientist father in a “cybermuseum” that plunges them into the mysteries of bygone cultures. Thus: minotaurs and snow demons, doppelgängers and Quetzalcoatl, Osiris of Egypt and the Swahili storytelling snake. Nifty.

Sounder (January 19; 7 to 9 p.m.; ABC) is an unnecessary remake of the 1972 feature film, directed by the same Kevin Hooks who starred as the black sharecropper’s son in the original. Paul Winfield, who played the boy’s father the first time around, plays his teacher here. Carl Lumbly is the new father, Suzzanne Douglas the new mother, Daniel Lee Robertson III the new boy. And the old magic still works.

The Murder of Emmett Till (January 20; 9 to 10 p.m.; Channel 13) will turn your stomach all over again. Listen closely to the mother of the 14-year-old Chicago boy tortured, mutilated, and murdered for whistling at a Delta white woman. Then read Studs Terkel, who quotes Mamie Till Mobley (who died last week) in most of his books.

Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin (January 20; 10 to 11:30 p.m.; Channel 13) is a P.O.V. look at the civil-rights leader, a brilliant theorist and exponent of nonviolence, who seems always to have embarrassed his movement colleagues by the simple fact of his homosexuality. The irony isn’t lost on those who remember him in this tough-minded documentary.


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