On 'New Explorers,' following in the footsteps of Darwin


How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice goes the answer to the old joke. But PBS tonight offers another way: a "Great Performances" season premiere from the premier New York concert hall.

* "The New Explorers: What Darwin Never Saw" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., MPT, Channels 22, 67) -- Premiering for a 13th season, the science show profiles two evolutionary biologists from Princeton University, Peter and Rosemary Grant, who have been following in Darwin's footsteps in the Galapagos Islands. PBS.

* "seaQuest 2032" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Remember when this used to be a submarine show? Tonight, Lucas (Jonathan Brandis) has the lives of important dignitaries in his hands aboard a train. It's underwater, at least, traveling to China in a deep tunnel as a terrorist (Ralph Wilcox) plots to make it crash. NBC.

* "Beverly Hills, 90210" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- Valerie (Tiffani-Amber Thiessen) thinks her college professor is guilty of sexual harassment but debates the wisdom of filing charges. Fox.

* "Great Performances: Carnegie Hall Opening Night" (9 p.m.-10:30 pm., MPT, Channels 22, 67) -- In the first show of the series' 23rd season, piano soloist Evgeny Kissin participates in an all-Tchaikovsky program with conductor Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Violin virtuoso and Carnegie Hall president Isaac Stern is the host of the program. PBS.

* "Courthouse" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- The echoes of recent real life ring in tonight's episode as a notorious madam's diary surfaces, and characters wonder whose name might be in it. (No, Charlie Sheen is not a guest.) CBS.

* "Law & Order" (10 p.m.-11 pm., WBAL, Channel 11) -- McCoy and Kincaid (Sam Waterston and Jill Hennessey) have a suspect in the killing of an undercover police officer but disagree on whether they should seek the death penalty. NBC.


* "The Life and Times of Roy Acuff" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., The Nashville Network) -- The country singer who rode "Wabash Cannonball" to a half-century of success is profiled through photos, performance clips and anecdotes. He died in 1992.

* "Tails You Live, Heads You're Dead" (9 p.m.-11 p.m., USA) -- It's a familiar TV tale: Your hit show fades away and you end up playing a serial killer in a made-for-cable thriller. This sad fate befalls Corbin Bernsen ("L.A. Law"), matching wits with detective Tim Matheson.

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