Monday, May 31, 2004
Tom Selleck stars in "Ike: Countdown to D-Day" (7 p.m., A&E;) as you've never seen him before: wrinkled, bald and unsmiling. Selleck may be decades removed from his "Magnum P.I." days, but he still deserves credit for straying so far from his sex-symbol status.
"Ike" focuses on Dwight Eisenhower's actions as a general, statesman and politician as the days dwindled down to Operation Overlord, the 1944 invasion of Europe. Backed by his friend Gen. Omar Bradley (James Remar) and his aide Walter Bedell "Beetle" Smith (Timothy Bottoms), Ike battles with the strutting ego of Britain's Gen. Bernard Montgomery (Bruce Phillips) and the brilliant but mercurial Gen. George Patton (Gerald McRaney). And if the internecine and international scuffles weren't difficult enough, Eisenhower had to contend with bad weather that threatened to delay the invasion well into summer.
The film emphasizes the decisions, big and small, made by the supreme commander. In one scene he agonizes over the decision to send thousands of paratroopers into heavy fire. In the next, he fires an old classmate for getting drunk in a restaurant and revealing the very date of the invasion.
- The reality dating show "The One That Got Away" (8 p.m., NBC) follows bachelor Skipper Kress as he reconnects with seven women from his romantic past, and gets to choose one as his special someone. He's a grown man named Skipper. Let's start, and stop, right there.
- James Caan hosts "Willie Nelson and Friends: Outlaws and Angels" (8 p.m., USA), a two-hour special featuring Nelson and a remarkable lineup, including Jerry Lee Lewis, Bob Dylan, Keith Richards, Toby Keith, Merle Haggard, Carole King, Lee Ann Womack and many more.
- The film "Catching Out" (8 p.m., Sundance) documents modern-day hobos who practice the lost art of stealing rides on empty boxcars. Filled with scenes of lush American countryside as seen from the rails.
Tonight's other highlights
- Do not attempt to adjust your television set, it's only a 10-hour marathon of old "Outer Limits" (7 a.m., Sci Fi) episodes.
- Viewers chose their 10 favorite episodes of "The West Wing" (1 p.m., Bravo).
- On back-to-back repeats of "The O.C." (Fox): Valentine's Day (7 p.m.), Julie's wedding (7:30 p.m.).
- Game Four of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals (7 p.m., ABC).
- "War Letters," a repeat "American Experience" (8 p.m., PBS), presents moving readings of soldiers' correspondence from the American Revolution to Operation Desert Storm.
Chris Rock is on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS).
Jeff Goldblum, Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth and Sarah McLachlan are on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (11:35 p.m., NBC) ... Eric Idle, Lauren Holly and John Caparulo are booked on "The Late, Late Show with Craig Kilborn" (11:37 p.m., CBS).