Thursday, August 7, 2003
Presidents have been screening films at the White House since the dawn of cinema. After watching D.W. Griffith's 1915 silent blockbuster "The Birth of a Nation," President Woodrow Wilson declared it "history written with lightning." The three-hour documentary "All the Presidents' Movies" (6 p.m., Bravo) examines the screening habits of America's presidents from Eisenhower to George W. Bush. Paul Fischer, White House projectionist from 1953 to 1986, shares anecdotes and details from his carefully maintained screening log.
Jimmy Carter watched the first X-rated film ever shown in the White House, but the first movie he had screened was "All the President's Men." Fischer confirms the story that President Nixon watched "Patton" repeatedly in the weeks before ordering an invasion of Cambodia. Filmmaker David O. Russell shares home movies of his trip to the White House to screen "Three Kings" for President Clinton. President George W. Bush was reportedly deeply moved by the film "Black Hawk Down," but his father apparently didn't get "Field of Dreams."
- "Celebration of Gospel III" (7 p.m., BET) features performances by BeBe Winans, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Smokie Norful, Dr. Bobby Jones, Trin-I-Tee 5:7, Destiny's Child Michelle Williams, Brent Jones & TP Mobb, The Hawkins Family, Jaheim, Bishop T.D. Jakes & the Potter's House Choir, Karen Clark-Sheard, Mary Mary, Stephanie Mills, Dru Hill and Kelly Price. Steve Harvey hosts.
Tonight's other highlights
Note: Schedules may vary due to baseball and football coverage. Please check local listings.
- "ABC's 50th Anniversary Blooper Celebration" (7 p.m., ABC) includes clips and botched takes from old shows including "Mork & Mindy," "Happy Days" and "Laverne & Shirley," as well as more contemporary fare, including "8 Simple Rules."
- Geoffrey Rush, Famke Janssen and Chris Kattan star in the gory 1999 update of the horror movie "House on Haunted Hill" (7 p.m., WB).
- New evidence reopens a grisly case from Catherine's past on "CSI" (8 p.m., CBS).
- Two women undergo major renovations on "Extreme Makeover" (8 p.m., ABC).
- "Wide Angle" (8 p.m., PBS) examines coca growers in Bolivia.
- An idealistic lawyer invites a troubled youth to live in his posh beach house on the pilot episode of "The OC" (8 p.m., Fox).
Brittany Murphy, Carey Hart and Dashboard Confessional appear on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno hosts Megan Mullally and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC).