Ready for yet another newsmagazine? First NBC's "Dateline" reached out and grabbed all available timeslots. Then CBS indicated that "60 Minutes" -- the top-rated program for the last week in June, followed by an installment of "Dateline" -- might clone itself. And "Prime Time Live" plans to merge with "20/20" and reproduce.
Now there's "Fox Files," debuting Thursday at 9 for a summer run. Because it's staffed by Fox News Channel reporters, the show is also a promo for that cable service, which has limited availability on cable outlets here.
Catherine Crier and Jon Scott will anchor the weekly series, with reporters Chris Cuomo, son of former New York governor Mario Cuomo; Eric Shawn, Fox News's senior correspondent; Catherine Herridge, Fox News's London correspondent; and Amy Holmes, a specialist in women's issues. Internet gossip columnist Matt Drudge will provide weekly commentary.
The show intends to offer "people-driven stories" ranging from investigative reports to pop culture, with exclusive interviews. "Heroes and Zeroes" will highlight the best and worst news stories and/or public figures making news that week.
Roger Ailes, chairman and CEO of Fox News Channel, will serve as executive producer of the new series.
The premiere features Crier's interview with Charles, Earl of Spencer, brother of the late Princess Diana, and home movies and photos of her childhood including her christening and birthday parties. He will also offer a tour of the gardens of Althorp Estate, the family home; the oval island where she is buried; and the new Diana Museum, which opened July 1, her birthday.
Her mother, Frances Shand Kydd, will also appear. She has said this will be the first and only time she will speak about her daughter's life.
AIRPORT Sunday 1 on WETA
For most folks, airports are way stations between where they are and where they are going. But producer Nick Catliff went to London's Heathrow, the world's busiest international air terminal, and watched the place take on a life of its own.
In a three-hour presentation, he shows airport personnel dealing with smugglers, VIP travelers, lost children, missing adults, stricken passengers and the preparation of airplanes and their crews.
(MPT began airing the series last week in three parts on Thursdays at 10 p.m.)
P.O.V.: "Barbie Nation"
Tuesday at 10 on MPT,
Thursday at 10:30 on WETA
Investigative reporter-turn-filmmaker Susan Stern takes an irreverent look at this cultural icon, who began life -- so to speak -- in 1959 when her creator, Ruth Handler, co-founded Mattel Inc. with her husband, Elliot, and introduced the first American doll shaped like the fantasy of an adult woman.
Stern, who said she collects Barbie stories, not Barbie dolls, believes that both men and women project their fears, fantasies and dreams on the plastic doll. Barbie, she believes, is about shaping notions of feminine beauty and gender roles. In the film, women talk about eating disorders and self-loathing that grew from efforts to achieve a slim-waisted, long-legged Barbie body.
Around the world, two Barbie dolls are sold every second; last year Mattel grossed more than a billion dollars on sales of Barbie dolls, although the Handlers are no longer with the firm.
After battling breast cancer, Ruth Handler founded a business that makes breast prostheses for real women.
THE LIVING EDENS: "Palau"
Wednesday at 9 on PBS
East of India and Indonesia, the waters of the Palau archipelago -- more than 200 mostly uninhabited islands that are the tips of submerged volcanoes -- are home to a fascinating undersea world: a coral reef rich with ancient aquatic inhabitants including colorful trigger fish, striped Moorish idols, ornately festooned lionfish, 15-foot-wide manta rays and squid-like cuttlefish, as well as predators.
Al Giddings, director of underwater photography for the movie "Titanic," captures the intricate undersea coral city for this seventh Reader's Digest World presentation. James Coburn hosts. CAPTION: Catherine Crier and Jon Scott anchor Fox's new hour-long weekly newsmagazine, "Fox Files."