WEDNESDAY 7 P.M. Hockey: NHL Stanley Cup Play-Offs, ESPN. The march begins as 16 teams (eight from each conference) compete for Lord Stanley's cup.
WEDNESDAY 8 P.M. Earthquake in New York, Lifetime. A cop seeks his family after an earthquake strikes the Northeast. He probably goes nuts and stalks a woman or cheats on his wife. Men are bad.
THURSDAY 8 P.M. Friends, NBC. "The One With The Viewer Poll." Before heading into the home stretch, the viewer's poll favorite airs.
THURSDAY 10 P.M. The Real Pontius Pilate: The Man Who Killed Christ, The History Channel. There has been a lot of controversy stirred up by Mel Gibson's film The Passion of the Christ. Now, not to get all theological, but wasn't Pilate the one who ultimately made the fateful decision? Here's a look at the man charged with keeping one of Rome's more troublesome outposts in order.
FRIDAY 10 P.M. Dinner for Five, IFC. This show shouldn't work, but it does. Jon Favreau (Swingers, Friends) sits down to dinner with fellow Hollywood stars. Season three opens with dinner guests Dennis Farina (Crime Story), Gina Gershon (Bound, Showgirls), Ron Livingston (Band of Brothers, Office Space) and comic Faizon Love. I'll start with a beer, please.
SATURDAY NOON. Diary: One Tree Hill, MTV. While not drawing monster ratings, the young people have really taken a shine to this teen drama, which also has some workable storylines about the grown-ups.
SUNDAY MIDNIGHT. Sam Kinison: Breaking the Rules, Spike TV. One of the late comic's performance's is re-run on the "first channel for men ... after ESPN." Ah!
SUNDAY 8 P.M. Cedric the Entertainer's St. Louis, Travel Channel The comedian and actor guides a freewheeling tour of his hometown. Join Cedric as he throws out the first pitch at a Cardinals (boo!) baseball game, hits the links at his first annual golf tournament and visits the Anheuser-Busch brewery. Wonder if he'll do the old "free samples" gag?
MONDAY 9 P.M. 100 Greatest Stand-ups, Comedy Central. Tune in each weeknight at 9 p.m. as the posse of stand-up junkies discuss, debate and toast 20 different killer comedians. Catch original commentary along with clips of some of the best moments ever to hit the stand-up stage.
NEWS & NOTES: Alyson Hannigan (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) is making a sitcom pilot for NBC, according to Zap2it. ... The New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts will open the NFL season on Sept. 9 with a special edition of Monday Night Football, from Foxboro, Mass.
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