Burns documentary tells American tale

Monday, October 6, 2003

The late historian Steven Ambrose once said, "More Americans get their history from Ken Burns than any other source." That may be debatable, but, as a documentary filmmaker, Burns has covered a lot of ground, producing multipart examinations of broad historical topics, including the Civil War, baseball and jazz.

Burns' best documentaries have been his shorter works, which allow great themes to emerge from the study of a single subject. These include his 1981 films "Brooklyn Bridge" and "The Shakers." Burns returns to this form tonight with "Horatio's Drive: America's First Road Trip" (8 p.m., PBS).

Tonight's other highlights

Series notes

Jimmy thinks he has a movie idea on "Yes, Dear" (7 p.m., CBS) ... Kim drops in on "The Parkers" (7 p.m., UPN) ... Rabbi Glass (guest star Richard Lewis) is shattered by his wife's infidelity on "7th Heaven" (7 p.m., WB).

PTA politics on "Still Standing" (7:30 p.m., CBS) ... Julio Iglesias Jr. performs on "Eve" (7:30 p.m. UPN).

Michael's truancy on "Everybody Loves Raymond" (8 p.m., CBS) ... Unused chips raise eyebrows on "Las Vegas" (8 p.m., NBC) ... Too hot, too soon on "Girlfriends" (8 p.m., UPN) .

Fortified by spirits, Charlie and Alan find their backbones on "Two and a Half Men" (8:30 p.m., CBS).

Late night

Rufus Wainwright appears on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno welcomes Katie Couric on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC).