Bill Moyers Reports: Earth on Edge (June 19; 8 to 10 p.m.; Channel 13) looks at what “the human footprint” of overpopulation, logging, pesticides, herbicides, and so on has done to forests, grasslands, farmlands, wetlands, and water resources, from British Columbia to Brazil to South Africa to Mongolia to Kansas, and how some scientists are trying to repair the damage.
Beer Money (June 19; 9 to 11 p.m.; USA) asks us to laugh at Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Nick Von Esmarch, and J. P. Manoux as the guys try to sell an indestructible alien named Greenie to a TV show called Unbelievable Encounters while hot babe Mercedes McNab makes a civil-rights and civil-liberties case out of it. This TV movie causes pimples and cirrhosis.
Scout’s Honor (June 19; 10 to 11 p.m.; Channel 13) on P.O.V. allows filmmaker Tom Shepard to talk at length to 12-year-old Boy Scout Steven Cozza and 70-year-old Scoutmaster David Rice, neither of whom is gay, while at the same time following the case they instigated against the exclusion of gays from the Boy Scouts of America all the way to the Supreme Court, where, of course, they lost. But so did the BSA. The only honor in this story is embodied in Cozza, who simply refused to believe that Scouting’s excluding of his gay church-camp counselor was just.
One of the Hollywood Ten (June 24; 8 to 10 p.m.; Starz!) wants simultaneously to tell the story of the fifties blacklist and the making of Salt of the Earth, a movie about striking zinc miners in New Mexico, by several of those who had been blacklisted. The result is a rush to oversimplification and self-righteousness in which Jeff Goldblum as director Herbert Biberman, Greta Scacchi as his actress-wife Gale Sondergaard, Geraint Wyn Davies as screenwriter Michael Wilson, and sundry impersonators of everybody from Jack Warner to Humphrey Bogart do a lot of posturing. I wish that Salt had been a better movie, but it wasn’t. I feel the same way about One of the Hollywood Ten, although Goldblum without attitude is a refreshing change.
Free to Dance (June 24; 8 to 11 p.m.; Channel 13) is a glorious tribute to the African-American presence in modern dance, from Katherine Dunham and Alvin Ailey to Garth Fagan, Bill T. Jones, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar of Urban Bush Women. Many generous swatches from such works as the remarkable Children of the Passage are included.