Monday, June 24, 2002
Tom Hanks turns 46 next month. He's clearly not a kid anymore, but is he ready for "A Tribute to Tom Hanks: The 30th American Film Institute Life Achievement Award" (8 p.m., USA)? Taped two weeks ago at Hollywood's Kodak Theatre, this salute includes tributes and ribbing from Hank's friends, directors, co-stars and colleagues, including Tim Allen ("Toy Story"), Ron Howard ("Splash" and "Apollo 13"), Helen Hunt ("Cast Away"), Steve Martin, Meg Ryan ("Sleepless in Seattle" and "You've Got Mail"); Gary Sinise ("Forest Gump" and "Apollo 13"), Robert Zemeckis ("Forrest Gump" and "Cast Away") and Steven Spielberg ("Saving Private Ryan"). Spielberg, who was honored by the AFI in 1995, will present Hanks with his award.
Hanks is clearly the youngest recipient of the AFI tribute, considered the highest honor given for a career in film. The first award went to director John Ford in 1973. Other honorees include Orson Welles (1975), Bette Davis (1977), Alfred Hitchcock (1979), Frank Capra (1982), Billy Wilder (1986), Barbara Stanwyck (1987), Kirk Douglas (1991) and Elizabeth Taylor (1993). Like Clint Eastwood (1996), Hanks began his acting career on television. Do you think Hank's "Bosom Buddies" co-star Peter Scolari will show up?
ï¿½ Journalist Brian McDonald traces his family's tradition of serving in the New York City police department in the documentary "My Father's Gun" (8 p.m., History). McDonald's maternal grandfather, Thomas Skelly, joined the force in 1893, when the police department and the city were under the control of the corrupt Tammany Hall political machine. Skelly became a hero for saving hundreds of lives, but when he defied the Tammany bosses, he was relegated to traffic duty, where he served until 1919.
McDonald's father joined the force in 1941, serving in the tough 41st precinct in the Bronx. McDonald's brother Frank became a cop in 1967 and witnessed much of the racial strife and rising crime of that era. Although Brian McDonald never joined the force, he felt close enough to the NYPD to write about it as a family institution. He even wrote his memoirs, the basis of this documentary, on the same old Underwood typewriter that his father had used at the 41st precinct.
Tonight's other highlights
ï¿½ Sports fans used to getting up early to watch World Cup matches can catch Wimbledon tennis action from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. on TNT. Highlights will run on CNN from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
ï¿½ Connie Chung joins the crowded cable talk show battles with her own new program "Connie Chung Tonight" (7 p.m., CNN).
ï¿½ Scheduled on "48 Hours" (9 p.m., CBS): a repeat report on twins charged with the exact same evidence in a murder trial. One is found guilty, the other innocent.
ï¿½ The "Real World" meets "Animal House" meets "Legally Blond" in the new "reality" series "Sorority Life" (9:30 p.m., MTV).