The White House is back in prime time as "The West Wing" begins its new season. Linda Ellerbee looks ahead at election issues on Nick, and PBS looks back at the Schmeling-Louis fight. On

Animal Planet, a paws to salute the magnificent mutt. "The Lost Prince" dramatizes the story of an almost-forgotten royal on PBS. "JoJo's Circus" rolls into town for another run on Disney. Rob Lowe plays a stressed-for-success exec on CBS. NBC debuts "The Biggest Loser," and PBS raises the curtain on Broadway's history.

perfect strangers

Sunday at 9 p.m. on CBS

The story line sounds suspiciously like a new reality show -- a New York exec and a London junior ad rep swap homes and lives for a month -- but instead it's a new romantic-comedy movie starring Rob Lowe.

Lowe plays Lloyd Rockwell, an ad agency star with a high-society fiancee. He is sent to London in preparation for his promotion to partner.

Taking his N.Y. spot is Susie Wilding, played by Anna Friel, who moves into Lloyd's sparkling but sparse Manhattan digs, even as he takes over her cramped cottage -- complete with pets.

The two tangle via long distance, when his advice backfires, nearly costing her one of the agency's top clients. And when Lloyd nearly loses both his fiancee and his job, who but Susie could come to the rescue?

masterpiece theatre:

the lost prince

Sunday at 9 p.m. on PBS

He was the uncle of England's current queen, but the story of Prince John has long remained cloaked in mystery.

This dramatization of John's story by playwright Stephen Poliakoff tells the tale of the youngest offspring of George V and Mary, born in 1905 and afflicted with epilepsy and a learning disability.

John was sequestered with his nanny on a royal estate, sent there by parents who did not wish to be embarrassed by his frequent seizures. His birth came at the zenith of the British Empire, torn apart in World War I by the time John died.

Daniel Williams portrays the young Johnnie, while Matthew Thomas is the teenage John. Gina McKee plays Lalla, the loyal and protective nanny.

Miranda Richardson, Tom Hollander and Michael Gambon round out the cast.

Part two airs on Sunday, Oct. 24.

american experience: the fight

Monday at 9 p.m. on PBS

One of history's most storied boxing matches is the subject of this new documentary. The program chronicles the rise to athletic greatness by Max Schmeling and Joe Louis and culminates in their 1938 fight at Yankee Stadium for the world heavyweight championship.

A crowd of more than 90,000 watched from the stands, and millions more listened to the punch-by-punch encounter via radio.

The pair had fought two years earlier, when Schmeling defeated Louis with a fourth-round overhand right.

The rematch carried political overtones, as the once-popular Schmeling had become a symbol of Nazi aggression, and Louis was seen as the standard-bearer for American democracy.

The biggest loser

Tuesday at 8 p.m. on NBC

The American quest to be thin and fit moves beyond everyday life into reality TV. Described as a "weight-loss drama," this new show offers 12 participants the chance to reshape their lives, as well as their bodies.

With the aid of health experts and fitness trainers, the contestants, divided into two teams, will face physical challenges and delicious food temptations. They will vote off one player per week, until the last dieter left -- the biggest loser -- becomes a winner, with a $250,000 payoff.

Caroline Rhea hosts.

The west wing

Wednesday at 9 p.m. on NBC

Returning for its sixth season, the White House drama will continue to follow the day-to-day happenings in President Josiah Bartlet's administration.

Joining the cast is Jimmy Smits, who will play a three-term Houston congressman with presidential aspirations.

48 hours mystery: american taboo

Saturday at 10 p.m. on CBS

Correspondent Susan Spencer reports the story of a young woman volunteering for the Peace Corps who was murdered by another volunteer -- and the killer remains free.