Edward James Olmos narrates PBS's "Crucible of Empire: The Spanish-American War" Monday at 9. It's a look at the war that moved the United States to center stage as a world power and caused the country, founded in opposition to imperialism, to become an imperial power under President Theodore Roosevelt.

Filmed in Cuba and the Philippines, the countries where the United States had managed to oust Spain, "Crucible of Empire" tells the story of the Spanish-American War from various perspectives.

Actor Lou Diamond Phillips reads the words of Filipino rebel leader Emilio Aguinaldo, and Patrick Leahy, Paul Simon, Alan Simpson and Frank Lautenberg, all of whom have served in the U.S. Senate, recreate the Senate's heated 1899 debate over the war.

The program also features more than a dozen popular songs from the period.



Monday at 8 on UPN

Ray J joins the Brandy Norwood-led cast as the series begins its fourth season, with Mary J. Blige and Phil Morris as guests. Stay tuned for an encore episode that is the forerunner to "The Parkers," a UPN spinoff series starring Mo'Nique as Nikki Parker. Loretta Devine and Dorien Wilson guest on this show; Devine also guests on an encore "Clueless" Tuesday at 8:30.


Monday at 8:30, Tuesday at 8 on UPN

Jaleel White, who grew up on "Family Matters," joins Marissa Ribisi, Dave Ruby and Soleil Moon Frye, the child star of "Punky Brewster," in a new sitcom about twentysomethings and sexuality. In the opener, White needs a new roommate.


Tuesday at 9 on CBS

MTV veejay Carson Daly will host as 51 young women vie in the 17th pageant, airing live from Shreveport, La. Vanessa Minnillo, 1998 Miss Teen USA, will crown her successor. Julie Moran, co-host of "Entertainment Tonight," and Ali Landry, 1996 Miss USA, will provide commentary.

Entertainers are 'N Sync and Britney Spears, who are on a nationwide tour together. Spears also will present a behind-the scenes look at the pageant.

Finalists will be selected by a panel of judges, whose scores for the contestants will be shown to the television audience.


Wednesday at 9 on PBS

In a series airing this week and next, Peter Ustinov retraces Mark Twain's path when the author-humorist wrote "Following the Equator," his 1897 memoir.

As he visits the countries Twain did, Ustinov notes changes that have taken place during the ensuing century as well as what hasn't changed much since then.

During the first hour, Ustinov talks with a variety of Fiji islanders including the country's prime minister, a singing cab driver, the grandson of a cannibal chief and a Scottish expatriate. During the second hour, he visits Hawaii, Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand.


Friday at 8 on CBS

Candice Bergen hosts this two-hour special featuring actors, comedians, writers and directors who talk about the stars and shows that influenced them.

David Duchovny of "The X-Files" recalls growing up with "The Twilight Zone"; Kelsey Grammer of "Frasier" reflects on Bob Hope's ease and Jack Benny's comedic pauses; and Dennis Franz of "NYPD Blue" discusses the influence of Jackie Gleason's character Ralph Kramden from "The Honeymooners."

Comic actresses Ellen DeGeneres, Fran Drescher and Jenna Elfman talk about "I Love Lucy's" red-haired star, Lucille Ball. Matt Groening, creator of "The Simpsons," explains how his fascination with "Dennis the Menace" and Eddie Haskell from "Leave It to Beaver" inspired his animated Bart Simpson.

Talk-show host Conan O'Brien and comedian Garry Shandling discuss Johnny Carson's influence on them. And Lisa Kudrow of "Friends" recalls the work of comedian Laraine Newman.

Other participants: producers Stephen Bochco and James L. Brooks, director James Burrows and actors Christine Lahti, Dylan McDermott and Paul Reiser.

SERIES FINALE: "America's Funniest Home Videos" (Saturday at 8 on ABC).

SERIES PREMIERES: "Grown Ups" (Monday at 8:30 on UPN); "Chicken Soup for the Soul" (Tuesday at 8 on Pax); "Twice in a Lifetime" (Wednesday at 8 on Pax).

SEASON PREMIERES: "Moesha" (Monday at 8 on UPN); "It's a Miracle" (Thursday at 8 on Pax); "Little Men" (Friday at 8 on Pax); "Cops" (Saturday at 8 on Fox), "America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back" (Saturday at 9 on Fox).