As Hollywood prepares to hand out the Academy Awards, we list the nominees and inquire into the origins of the names of major entertainment trophies. A Bill Moyers special on PBS examines the Chinese experience with Americanization. And PBS's Journey to Planet Earth begins its second season. New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman leads a discussion of Muslim views of the United States on the Discovery Channel. And Wanda Sykes brings her comic sense to a new Fox series.
Sunday at 7 on ABC
The network's intrepid interviewer sits down with nominees Nicolas Cage, Renee Zellweger and Julianne Moore, setting the mood for ABC's coverage of the Academy Award presentation at 8:30.
Cage is up for the best actor Oscar for "Adaptation," Zellweger is nominated for best actress for her work in "Chicago," and Moore has two nominations, for best actress in "Far and Away" and supporting actress in "The Hours."
The interviews were conducted at the homes of the performers.
Cage discusses his divorce from Lisa Marie Presley, among other things. Zellweger is expected to talk about personal and professional triumphs during her quick rise to stardom, and Moore will be asked about her personal life with director Bart Freundlich. Early this year, Moore announced that she plans to marry the filmmaker, with whom she has two children.
Sunday at 8 on ABC
A host of hosts--Jann Carl, Chris Connelly, Jim Moret and Shaun Robinson--
will be on hand to waylay Academy Award nominees and other celebrities as they make their way into the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood for the Oscar presentations.
Carl is weekend anchor on "Entertainment Tonight"; Connelly hosts ESPN's "Unscripted with Chris Connelly" and is correspondent for "20/20"; Moret has hosted specials for ABC since leaving CNN; and Robinson is weekend anchor for "Access Hollywood."
The ABC gang will be taking over the red carpet about the time the crew from the E! departs. E!'s Joan Rivers and daughter Melissa will be on patrol for celebs from 6 to 8 p.m. on the cable channel.
E! also will be seeking out the winners and covering the post-ceremonies parties until about 2 a.m., using a different set of show hosts. E!'s blanket coverage of the Oscar ceremonies is scheduled to start as early as 7 a.m., with on-air talent offering gossip, fashion predictions and fielding e-mailed questions.
A BILL MOYERS SPECIAL
The Chinese Experience"
Tuesday-Thursday at 9 on PBS
Bill Moyers and a team of filmmakers have collaborated to explore questions about immigration through the dramatic experience of the Chinese in America.
Their story begins in the mid-19th century, when civil war, flood and famine in Southern China prompted thousands of young men to seek their fortune in the California Gold Rush. But the welcome they first received in America soon turned cold. Even as they contributed to this country by helping to build the transcontinental railroad, setting new precedents in law and founding thriving businesses, Chinese Americans continued to battle the perception that they are "permanent foreigners" and somehow not fully American.
This story is told through interviews with historians, descendants, and more recent immigrants. The three-part series continues up to the present, as new immigrants from China join Chinese Americans who have lived here for generations.
JOURNEY TO PLANET EARTH
Wednesday at 8 on MPT
This series returns for its second season, exploring the delicate balance between the people of Earth and the world they inhabit. The three-part program deals with environmental, political and social issues surrounding that balance, and continues each Wednesday through April 9.
Wednesday at 9 on ABC
The third installment of "The Bachelor" features Andrew Firestone, great-grandson of tire entrepreneur Harvey Firestone.
Andrew, 27, is the son of Brooks Firestone, founder of Firestone Vineyard, a California winery and brewery, and Catherine Boulton, a former British Royal Ballet soloist.
Andrew currently lives in San Francisco, where he serves as sales manager of the Firestone Family Estates.
Friday at 9:30 on ABC
Daniel Stern and Judd Hirsch return to network television comedy in this new family comedy.
Daniel Stern stars as recent widower Joe Binder who lives with his teenage son, his daughter, and her infant daughter. Now playing the role of both parents, Joe has his hands full as he helps his son navigate his way through high school while helping his daughter face single motherhood and college at the same time.
Complicating his life further is his well-meaning but intrusive father played by Hirsch. Brian George is on hand as the high-strung employee at Joe's hardware store.