Here are a few programs to look out for in the upcoming week ...
THURSDAY 3 P.M. John Ratzenberger's Made in America, Travel Channel. A double shot of TC's rolling look at America's great iconic companies and their products. First stop, the Crayola Factory in Pennsylvania where new colors are made and coloring-book fanatics can feel at home. At Campbell's Soup in Ohio, take a look at how they get so much taste in such a small can. Baseball bats roll off the line at the Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum. Enjoy the taste of the famous Oscar Mayer Weiner, then roll the dice and take a chance at the 1999 National Monopoly Championship at the Hasbro factory. Wrap it all up with a watery beer in a Boston bar.
THURSDAY 7 P.M. Breweries, The History Channel. From Pilgrim brewmasters to early commercial ventures to today's monolithic corporations, imbibe American beer's long history, focusing on the commercial brewing industry that developed in the 19th century and continues today.
We'll also taste social experiments from the past, like the temperance movement and Prohibition, to see how they left scars on the industry and continue to influence sobriety today. Maybe they'll also cover the whole "less filling, tastes great" battle, which almost tore the nation apart.
THURSDAY 10 P.M. Dinner for Five, IFC. Jon Favreau wraps up the season tonight with guests Ray Romano, ER's Ron Eldard, director Richard Donner (Lethal Weapon) and perennial bad psycho-bad guy Michael Madsen. Hope the server gets the latter's order right. Ouch!
THURSDAY 10 P.M. King Arthur, TLC. TLC dusts off this program to uncover what might be the real-life story of King Arthur and Camelot. Based on extensive research and utilizing ultramodern computer animation, King Arthur brings the 12th-century tale of sacred quests, courtly love and bloody battles to life. After you watch this, go to the new film and act like a know-it-all.
SUNDAY 8 A.M. Twilight Zone Marathon, Sci-Fi. It's your seventh annual run of Rod Serling-mania — 31 hours of the classic science fiction anthology series. A good chance to grab some of your faves.
TUESDAY 7:30 P.M. Crossballs, Comedy Central. Unsuspecting real people, some of them experts in their field, are put alongside hired improv actors for a heated discussion on current issues. Each original, half-hour episode features a different topic of debate. The show is host-driven and includes bits shot on location and casts "experts" who appear via satellite. Shot in front of an audience, Crossballs is a smart, comedic spoof of programs like Hardball and Crossfire. Now it makes sense.