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MPT examines sinking of battleship

One of the greatest tragedies in U.S. Navy history is re-visited by Maryland Public Television, while one of Hollywood's biggest epics gets a four-hour screening on cable.

* "Sniper" (8 p.m.-10 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- In this 1993 film, Tom Berenger plays a veteran Marine sniper who is teamed with an arrogant Olympic marksman (Billy Zane) in a mission to eliminate a drug lord in Colombia. Fox.

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* "The John Larroquette Show" (8:30 p.m.-9 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Mayim Bialik makes a guest appearance in this repeat, playing John's daughter, Rachel. She is proud of a recent accomplishment but finds her father less than thrilled about her nude appearance in a magazine. NBC.

* "Indianapolis: Ship of Doom" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., MPT, Channels 22, 67) -- About 900 crew members met their deaths -- and their captain was court-martialed in a still-controversial case -- when the U.S. battleship Indianapolis went down in the Pacific in the waning weeks of World War II, torpedoed by a Japanese sub. This documentary is the first of several historical specials Maryland Public Television is airing this month to note the 50th anniversary of the end of the war.

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* "Dateline NBC" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Remember the dramatic rescue eight years ago of baby Jessica, the 18-month-old Texas girl trapped in a well? It made heroes of those who pulled her free -- especially firefighter Robert O'Donnell, the man who wriggled the girl out through a second tunnel. But Jane Pauley reports the sad aftermath of his story, which ended in suicide earlier this year. NBC.

* "In the Spotlight: Mary Chapin Carpenter" (11 p.m.-midnight, MPT, Channels 22, 67) -- The concert special features a performance by the country singer-songwriter at Wolf Trap Farm Park in Virginia, as well as a recording session in New York with Joan Baez. PBS.

Cable

* "Riders Radio Theater: The Television Show" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., The Nashville Network) -- The singing cowboys, Riders in the Sky, offer a television adaptation of their public radio program. In a particularly visual guest stunt appearance, Barbara Mandrell is supposed to be shot from a cannon.

* "Around the World In 80 Days" (8 p.m.-11:45 p.m., TNT) -- It won a Best Picture Oscar in 1956 and producer Mike Todd barred theaters from selling popcorn during screenings, to enhance the presentation as a Broadway spectacle. David Niven plays Jules Verne's globe-girdling gambler, Cantinflas is his able aide, and Shirley MacLaine has a featured role.



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