Glenn Close, Christopher Walken, Lexi Randall, and Christopher Bell return just in time for sweeps in Sarah, Plain and Tall: Winter’s End (Sunday, November 21; 9 to 11 p.m.; CBS), with Jack Palance guest-starring as Walken’s long-lost father, George Hearn as the kindly doctor for whom Lexi is a nurse, and wretched Kansas weather to remind everybody that families only fortify themselves by forgiving. Crackerjack Jack
If the earthquake didn’t get you last week on one network, watch out this week for worldwide computer failure on another. In Y2K (Sunday, November 21; 9 to 11 p.m.; NBC), Ken Olin is a “complex-systems-failure expert” working for an East Coast think tank run by Joe Morton and called upon, in the very early hours of the year 2000, to rush from saving a jumbo jet from a blind crash to saving a nuclear reactor from catastrophic meltdown. Nice paranoia – but none of this would ever have happened if all of us used Macs
Stick with the slow-starting Shooting the Past (Sundays, November 21 and 28; 9 to 10:30 p.m.; Channel 13), a two-part “Masterpiece Theatre” written and directed by Stephen Poliakoff and starring Timothy Spall as a tiresomely eccentric curator of a London library of 10 million photographs; Lindsay Duncan as this library’s spiffy, sexy, and resourceful manager; Emily Fox as Lindsay’s redheaded, dope-smoking hotsy-totsy assistant; and Liam Cunningham as the American millionaire who wants to downsize all of them to make way for the American School of Business for the Twenty-first Century. Just wait till they find his outrageous grandmother in their archives! Not as profound as it thinks it is, but ingratiating and even suspenseful.