Inca Mummies: Secrets of a Lost World (May 15; 9 to 10 p.m.; Channel 13) goes up and down the Andes looking for “burial bundles” leftover from the pre-Columbian empire, in which as many as seven skeletons from the same family are sometimes found. National Geographic Specials keeps the hokey re-creations to a minimum, but does do some heavy breathing on human sacrifice.
Classic Yo-Yo Ma (May 15; 10 to 11 p.m.; Channel 13) follows the cellist wherever he goes, from Bach to Bobby McFerrin, from Sesame Street to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. He is also talked about by choreographer Mark Morris, pianist and conductor Emanuel Ax, and composer Tan Dun.
Path to War (May 18; 8 to 11 p.m.; HBO), a docudrama directed by John Frankenheimer, would like us to believe that Lyndon Johnson (Michael Gambon) was talked into waging all-out war on Vietnam by Robert McNamara (Alec Baldwin), McGeorge Bundy (Cliff DeYoung), Earl Wheeler (Frederic Forrest) – “We can take China out in seventeen minutes!” – and William Westmoreland (Tom Skerritt), while Clark Clifford (Donald Sutherland) played both opportunistic ends against the lucrative middle and Lady Bird (Felicity Huffman) wrung her hands. George Ball (Bruce McGill) seems to have been the only dissenter. It’s LBJ as King Lear instead of Big Bully, tendentious but absorbing, with Baldwin the pleasant surprise.
The Cosby Show: A Look Back (May 19; 9 to 11 p.m.; NBC) reenlists everybody from the old sitcom except Lisa Bonet to reminisce and sermonize between wonderful clips organized according to hastily articulated principles of child-rearing and comic performance. It is impossible not to smile at much of this, and perhaps perverse to remember that television in the eighties gave us two kinds of fathers: Cliff Huxtable and the Equalizer.
Scared Silent (May 20; 9 to 11 p.m.; Lifetime) brings a rapist-cop to rough justice through the determined efforts of four of his victims (Penelope Ann Miller, Liisa Repo-Martell, Shannon Lawson, and Marnie McPhail) up against the system, the odds, and some heavy harassment.