ABC presents "Empire," a miniseries set in ancient Rome, and BET marks its fifth annual awards ceremony. PBS welcomes back the "History Detectives," unveils chapters of "Inspector Lynley Mysteries" and presents "The New Heroes," hosted by Robert Redford. Bravo follows Bobby Brown around, and NBC's "Average Joe" is back -- with revenge on tap. BBC America presents a Victorian tale of contrasts in "North and South." And PBS looks at the staying power of the District's own Sweet Honey in the Rock.
Sunday at noon on NBC
The tennis tournament synonymous with strawberries and cream enters its home stretch, with John McEnroe, Mary Carillo and Bud Collins analyzing the action. NBC will broadcast tennis each day this week, culminating with the women's final on Saturday. The men's final airs July 3.
DECLINING BY DEGREES:
higher education at risk
Sunday at 3:30 p.m. on WETA
This new documentary explores college from the viewpoints of students, parents and professors. Narrated by John Merrow, the program visits four colleges and includes commentary by scholars and other experts on the promises and perils of higher education.
the inspector lynley mysteries
Sunday at 9 p.m. on PBS
The debonair detective with the lordly background and the snappy sports car returns to the scene of four new crimes on Sundays through July 17.
Thomas Lynley, the eighth earl of Asherton, is again played by Nathaniel Parker.
GO AHEAD, MAKE MY DINNER
Monday at noon on Discovery
Wouldn't it be nice to have some of America's top chefs on call to solve your everyday cooking dilemmas? That's the premise of this new series, in which two culinary masters go spatula-to-spatula, creating as many dishes as possible in just 20 minutes to solve a home viewer's culinary conundrum.
When the chefs are through, the challenged but hopeful apprentice picks a winner, then attempts to re-create one of the winning dishes for friends or family.
THE SCIENCE OF LANCE ARMSTRONG
Monday at 8 p.m. on Discovery
If Lance Armstrong so much as raises a thumb during a bicycle race, he loses precious time that could cost him a victory.
This show examines such little-known facts about the cyclist's superhuman physiology and his training techniques. Armstrong chases a seventh straight Tour de France victory; catch live coverage starting Saturday at 11:30 a.m. on Outdoor Life Network.
Monday at 9 p.m. on MPT,
10 p.m. on WETA
The first of 11 new episodes features four experts -- Wesley Cowan, Elyse Luray, Gwendolyn Wright and Tukufu Zuberi -- who help curious individuals determine the background of souvenirs, photographs and other artifacts.
Tuesday at 8 p.m. on BET
Live from Hollywood's Kodak Theatre, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith host the fifth annual celebration of black entertainers. The program will honor the year's top artists in hip-hop, gospel, and R&B, the best actor and actress, as well as athletes and a viewers' choice for best new song.
AVERAGE JOE: THE JOES STRIKE BACK
Tuesday at 8 p.m. on NBC
A tool salesman, a pest-control guy and a computer science student are among the simple Simons hoping to win the heart of a woman who's a little out of their league in the looks department.
This season's bachelorette is 26-year-old Anna -- who, as usual, has no clue she's not on a traditional dating show until it's too late. (Anna, haven't you been watching reality TV?) To earn her love, the fellows will have to work around seven jocks who think Anna will have eyes only for them.
THE NEW HEROES
Tuesday at 9 p.m. on PBS
Robert Redford hosts this four-part series spotlighting social entrepreneurs who hope to transform society. Faced with the world's grimmest realities, from hunger and poverty to illness and violence, these entrepreneurs help others to earn a living or pursue education.
TWIST OF FAITH
Tuesday at 10 p.m. on HBO
For almost two decades, firefighter Tony Comes carried a dark secret -- beginning at age 14, he was sexually abused by a trusted priest. As sex-abuse allegations came to light in the Roman Catholic Church, Comes decided to go public with his accusations -- but he was unprepared for the effect they would have on his family, his faith and his home city of Toledo.
TV ONE ON ONE
Thursday at 8 p.m. on TV One
Host Catherine Hughes's wide-ranging interview with Will Smith covers his music and acting careers, his work as an ambassador for AIDS awareness, his relationships with his family and his views on politics.
BEING BOBBY BROWN
Thursday at 10 p.m. on Bravo
The scandals, the allegations, the headlines and the music -- they're all part of the world of Bobby Brown, aka Mr. Whitney Houston.
This unscripted series shows Brown with his family -- two daughters and a son -- at work and play. Viewers also get a closer look at the sometimes stormy relationship between Houston and the man she has dubbed the "King of R&B."
NORTH AND SOUTH
Saturday at 7 p.m. on BBC America
A feisty heroine and a brooding, complicated mill owner are the central characters in this drama based on a novel by Victorian writer Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865).
"South" represents a pastoral, idyllic English town that the Hale family leaves to venture "North" to a grimy, industrialized city. Contrasts abound: rural vs. urban, mill owners vs. workers, rich vs. poor.
Part 2 airs July 3, beginning at 7 p.m. The full four-hour miniseries will be rebroadcast on July 17 starting at 2 p.m.