WEDNESDAY 9 P.M. History Explorer: Lost Civilizations, History Channel. "Tibet: The End of Time." Tibet's landscape contrasts with its timeless culture's struggle to survive in the modern world. A lot of folks, including several celebrity-types, urge us to work to "free Tibet." Find out why.
WEDNESDAY 9 P.M. USFL Football, ESPN Classic. San Antonio Gunslingers at Houston Gamblers. At one hour, this is a 7-inch edit, if you will, of pretty good game. Houston, lead by Jim Kelly, got a quite a surprise from the lowly Gunslingers. Can you believe this game was played 20 years ago?
THURSDAY 10 P.M. Human Cannonballs, Discovery Channel. It's a job that takes you from zero to 65 miles per hour in less than three seconds, combining the science of ballistics with aerial acrobatics and daredevil adventure. Of the 50 human cannonballs recorded over the past century, more than 30 have died in the act. This program introduces these extreme risk-takers.
A ballistics expert examines the stunts and the careful calculations required for every move. And you thought your job was rough.
SATURDAY 10 P.M. Chris Rock: Never Scared, HBO. He's been called the funniest man in America. Well, maybe. He's up there, to be sure. This program, taped in D.C. last month, marks his return to the stage and to the cable network.
SATURDAY 1 P.M. NBA Basketball, ESPN. The first round of the playoffs begins a whole different season, as the say. Fewer fouls called, no D, more steps -- hey, maybe they should show these on the Travel Channel.
SUNDAY 2 P.M. Road Trip, Travel Channel. "Las Vegas to Los Angeles." Hosts Tina Maddigan and Steven Lee journey through the desert Southwest. From the glitz of Las Vegas, they head out for a tour of the Hoover Dam, then follow the legendary Route 66, with stops at an old-fashioned roadside diner, an Old West gold-mining town, the gravity-defying challenge of Sitgreaves Pass and the transplanted London Bridge (it moved to Lake Havasu, Ariz.). After enjoying some of the hidden wonders of L.A., they'll reach the end of their trip as the sun sets at the Santa Monica pier. California, here we come ...
SUNDAY 8 P.M. Wild, Wild, Web, Animal Planet. And you thought the World Wide Web was something. For some insect species, silk is a formidable medium of information that encourages social interaction. This extraordinary substance can serve as means of communication, transportation, nourishment and reproduction. This program examines how the social life of insects and spiders webs together through the network of silk. Fiber optics, bah!
NEWS & NOTES: Friends: The Complete Seventh Season is out on DVD. The goodies are getting skimpier (another trivia game, another gag reel, commentary on three episodes), but you get a solid season. Highlights include "The One(s) with the Cheesecake," "The Holiday Armadillo," "Rachel's Big Kiss" and "Ross's Library Book."