Pint-sized players lost in Little League story

"Small Ball: A Little League Story" (7 p.m., PBS) follows a team of 11- and 12-year-old boys from Aptos, Calif., as their team advances into the 2002 Little League World Championships. The filmmakers emphasize the role of Little League in unifying this beautiful beach community, allowing parents to watch their kids grow up together.

Video footage of the boys progressing from T-ball games in 1995 (when they were 5) to their championship season underscores this parental devotion. The fact that one of the coaches (and a player's dad) is a retired Major Leaguer raises the stakes and the expectations for the Aptos team. But by paying so much attention to the adults and their vicarious experience, the filmmakers lost an opportunity to provide fuller profiles of the young players. In one of the too few interviews with them, however, a player wonders why the grown-ups don't just back off.

  • Survivors of dramatic calamities tell their stories on the news series "I'm Still Alive!" (8 p.m., UPN), including a skydiver tangled in his plane's landing gear; a rodeo star attacked by a bull; and a racecar driver who walked out of a ball of flames.

Tonight's other highlights

  • Scheduled on "60 Minutes II" (7 p.m., CBS): new technology that allows parents to choose their baby's gender; the best-selling last volume of the "Left Behind" series.
  • Accidents can happen on "The O.C." (8 p.m., Fox).
  • Scheduled on "48 Hours Investigates" (9 p.m., CBS): a brutal hazing at a high school football camp.

Late night

Sen. John McCain appears on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno welcomes Jennifer Garner and Emeril Lagasse on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC) ... Cedric the Entertainer and Natasha Henstridge appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (11:05 p.m., ABC).


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