Ted Turner offers two major productions, "Young Catherine" and "Voice of the Planet," to his cable viewers this week. For reasons unknown, the two overlap, with the two-part, four-hour "Young Catherine" premiering on Sunday at 8 p.m., and concluding Monday at 8 p.m. on TNT, while the five-part, 10-hour "Voice of the Planet" begins Monday at 8:05 p.m. on TBS and runs through Friday at the same time.
"Young Catherine," starring Vanessa Redgrave, Christopher Plummer, Franco Nero, Maximilian Schell, Marthe Keller, Mark Frankel and Julia Ormond, in the title role, was filmed entirely in the Soviet Union.
The story focuses on the early life of Catherine the Great, who was a German teenager named Sophie when Russian Empress Elizabeth chose her at age 16 to marry her nephew, the successor to the throne. With her mother (Keller), Sophie leaves her Prussian homeland and arrives in St. Petersburg, where she must convert to the Russian Orthodox religion, endure a loveless marriage and outsmart those who who would try anything, even murder, to keep her from the throne.
Encores: At 10 p.m. Monday at Tuesday. Also both Parts I and II, Thursday at noon, and Sunday, Feb. 24, at 2 p.m.
"Voice of the Planet" is different than previous ecology specials. Based on Michael Tobias' book of the same name, the series deals with a disillusioned author/ecologist (William Shatner) who is taunted by persistent messages on his computer. That viewpoint comes from Gaia (voiced by Faye Dunaway), the spirit of Earth, offering provocative insights in how "Mother Earth" feels about over-population, sex, pollution, survival and her human children.
Each episode repeats at 12:05 a.m.
Sunday on The Disney Channel at 9 p.m. another in the popular "Going Home" series. This time it's "The Bee Gees: Going Home," featuring the five-time Grammy-winning Brothers Gibb -- Maurice, Robin and Barry -- with personal interviews and clips from a recent globe-spanning reunion tour.
Sunday on Bravo at 11 p.m. the American television premiere of Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest," starring Amanda Redman, Natalie Ogle, Paul McGann, Rupert Fraser and Joan Plowright. Encore: Feb. 25, 10:05 p.m.
Sunday on VH-1 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. a two-hour special, "Countdown to the Grammy Awards," spotlighting this year's Grammy Award nominees and their videos, including Phil Collins, Mariah Carey, Wilson Phillips, Bette Midler, Sinead O'Connor and Anita Baker. Repeats on Wednesday, Grammy Day, at 6 p.m.
Wednesday on USA Network at 9 p.m. "Murderous Vision," the network's third world-premiere movie of the month. Bruce Boxleitner stars as a missing persons detective who teams up with a psychic to catch a psychotic killer. Repeats: Sunday, Feb. 24, 7 p.m.
Wednesday on Bravo at 9 p.m. "The Marriage of Figaro" opens the Mozart opera celebration. This year Bravo will present all eight of Mozart's operas, filmed at the Drottningholm Court Theatre in Sweden with 16th-century instruments under the baton of conductor Arnold Oestman. Repeats at 2 a.m.
Wednesday on The Nashville Network at 8 p.m. "Fairs and Festivals: Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo" with Tanya Tucker songs, nostalgia of cowboy life and a look at the merging of the old and new west. Repeats at 11 p.m.
Thursday on A&E at 9 p.m. The first half of "Darlings of the Gods," a North American premiere of the Australian production which goes beyond the gilded facade and details the stormy marriage of Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier, a romance turned from passion to pathos. The conclusion of the four-hour miniseries airs Friday at 8 p.m.
Saturday on VH-1 at 4 p.m. the kickoff of VH-1's Black History Month celebration of great black musicians with "Legend: Bob Marley & the Wailers." The celebration continues through Feb. 27, highlighting Anita Baker, Take 6, Robert Cray, Whitney Houston, Soul II Soul, Aretha Franklin and the Jackson family.
Saturday on Showtime at 9 p.m. "Flight of Black Angel," the premiere of a Showtime original movie starring Peter Strauss and William O'Leary as an Air Force pilot instructor pitted against his star pupil in an effort to squelch a deadly mission. Repeats: Feb. 28, March 4, 8, 13.