PBS revels in plastics

I always suspected that there were historical artifacts in the bottom of my mother's freezer, but until I watched "Tupperware!" (8 p.m., PBS) I was never truly sure. Best known for its solid biographies of American presidents and insightful documentaries about broad historical themes, this "American Experience" documentary takes a detailed and occasionally whimsical look at the burp-able plastic kitchen storage ware that launched a million living-room parties -- and turned thousands of housewives into entrepreneurs.

"Tupperware!" recalls the chance combination of technology and marketing and the collaboration between a cantankerous inventor and a woman with a knack for sales. Earl Silas Tupper was an unsuccessful New England inventor until, inspired by an empty paint can, he happened upon the idea for turning raw polyethelene, a plastic developed for war use, into sealable containers.

Tonight's other highlights

  • The British military justice series "Red Cap" (7 p.m., BBC America) returns for a second season.
  • A scheduling conflict on "Everybody Loves Raymond" (8 p.m., CBS).
  • Jean-Claude Van Damme guest stars on "Las Vegas" (8 p.m., NBC).
  • Larissa does a slow burn when another beauty (Brooke Burns, "Baywatch") plays with her dates on "Average Joe: Hawaii" (9 p.m., NBC).
  • Women look for love in America's most desperate city on "Single in Vegas" (9 p.m., WE).

Late night

Dr. Phil McGraw appears on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno welcomes Pamela Anderson on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC).

Russell Crowe and Alicia Silverstone are booked on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (11:35 p.m., NBC) ... Gary Cole appears on "The Late, Late Show with Craig Kilborn" (11:37 p.m., CBS).


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