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

THE BALTIMORE SUN

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.

Cable

* "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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