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Thursday, October 30, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 47.0° F  Overcast
The Daily


How I did it

In Spielberg on Spielberg (Monday, 8 p.m., TCM), Steven Spielberg discusses his career movie by movie. He begins with a great yarn about sneaking into the Universal lot as a teenager, determined to find a way into the film business. He crept away from his tour group and hid in a bathroom when no one was looking. The tour moved on without him, leaving him free to explore on his own. He wandered through soundstages, made a few connections and convinced the powers-that-be to let him stay. The rest is history. >More
 The spy left out in the cold

Burn Notice (Thursday, 9 p.m.) is another funny/exciting crime show from the USA Network, creator of Monk and Psych . Our hero is Michael Weston (Jeffrey Donovan), a spy who's gotten a "burn notice." He's been cut off by the government in mid-assignment, denied resources, protection and even communication with his handlers. He doesn't know why he's been let go, but he aims to find out. >More
 Unwanted war hero

Homosexuals aren't allowed to serve openly in the military. So they serve covertly, and Semper Fi (Monday, 7:30 p.m., Showtime) shows us how painful that can feel. >More
 Painted pain

I've done my time with Vincent Van Gogh: read the biographies, seen the documentaries, made the pilgrimage to Arles. But he's never come alive for me as he does in Simon Schama's Power of Art (Monday, 8 p.m., PBS). >More
 Going nowhere fast

Jewel, William Shatner and Krista Allen (yes, the obscure actress has been bumped up to "celebrity superstar" status for the purpose of this show) learn the ropes from professional drivers, then go head-to-head on the track. Sadly, these folks prove to be no more exciting at 130 miles per hour than they are standing still. >More
 Animals say the darnedest things

Creature Comforts (Monday, 7 p.m., CBS) is the brainchild of Aardman Animations, creators of the droll Wallace & Gromit series. It takes interviews with ordinary Americans and puts them in the mouths of animals, animated with Aardman's classic stop-motion technique. >More
 'It's gonna mean killing Indians'

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (Sunday, 8 p.m., HBO) dramatizes Dee Brown's nonfiction book about the tragic collision of white and Native American culture as the U.S. expanded westward in the late 19th century. >More
 The voice of choice

This season has had a lot of silly distractions. Antonella Barba turned out to be a pornographic model, and Sanjaya Malakar made the top 10 despite a complete lack of talent. Elvis was resurrected to sing with Celine Dion, then sent back to turn over in his grave. But the season has also featured a singer who makes you want to scream with joy. >More
 The popular vote

It's the most popular show on television. In fact, it's the most popular show in television history, routinely crushing whatever the other networks put in its path. The Olympics? No contest. Among mega-sporting events, only the Super Bowl attracts more viewers, but the Super Bowl's never gone head to head with American Idol, Fox's biweekly, sometimes triweekly, juggernaut. >More
 Tricks and treats

In the early going, Survivor's current season left me cold, with unpleasant contestants in unpleasant situations. Then I became fascinated by Yau-Man's shameless tactics. Brazen? He peeked into a tribe member's bag for the immunity idol - while she was still wearing it on her shoulder! >More
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