THURSDAY 10 P.M. Naked Face: Reading Minds, Discovery. What if you could read people's thoughts and know their motives -- just by looking at them? This one-hour special introduces viewers to a revolutionary face-reading procedure called the Facial Action Coding System (FACS) that's already providing people with the ability to read others' thoughts and motives. Viewers will learn how they can use the method to read anyone like a book ... or at least an award-winning alternative newsweekly.
SATURDAY 7 P.M. Mothers of Invention, The History Channel. We all know about the exploits of inventors such as Edison, Bell and the Wrights. But what of the women who pioneered ways to make our lives better? Bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, laser printers ... these are just some of the inventions developed by women. This program details the stories of these extraordinary women and their discoveries, accomplishments and the struggles they had to overcome. For instance, in the early 1800s women weren't allowed to hold patents. Sorry if that School House Rock song is going though your head now.
FRIDAY 7 P.M. Andromeda, Sci-Fi. The channel welcomes the rather successful syndicated show to its stable of programs. Originally developed by Star Trek creator Gene Rodenberry, the program was brought to fruition by his widow, Majel Barrett. Sci-Fi starts from the top with the pilot so y'all can get up to speed.
TUESDAY 10 P.M. Spymaster, TLC "Making the Grade." 27 ordinary men and women from across the Unites States find out if they have the makings of a secret agent. In one brutal weekend they are pushed to the breaking point during 48 hours when they are subjected to a series of mental and physical challenges of their courage, stamina, wits and character. In spy school, they begin a condensed version of real world spy training, based on the secret instructions of the CIA, FBI and Special Forces. If they don't make it they can always play a spy on TV.
TUESDAY 10 P.M. Travel Channel Secrets, Travel Channel. "Islands in America." Explore the islands of America, from the Big Island of Hawaii to an island that cannot even sustain a single human being. You'll see time-honored traditions, unique island cultures and America's majestic beauty, not to mention an Island that seven inhabitants can't seem to get leave. Mostly cuz a fella in a red shirt and white sailor hat keeps fouling up their plans to get off the darn island.
NEWS & NOTES: With the popularity of The World Poker Tour on Travel Channel, Las Vegas remains a popular subject and backdrop for fact-based and fiction TV. Toward that end, GT recommends Season One: Crime Story on DVD, released a few months back. The show ran from 1986-1988 and much of its run was in Nevada (it starts in Chicago). It was basically a battle between cop Mike Torello (Dennis Farina) and crime boss Ray Luca (Anthony Denison). The DVD collection has no special features, but does have a compelling four-page booklet detailing the show's development and subsequent run on NBC. Far more interesting than most "extras" you find in other series sets. In 2001 The New York Times called it "the best show you've probably never seen." Highly recommended. ... Jon Stewart has inked a deal to remain as host of The Daily Show through 2008.