'P.O.V.': being sick in U.S. david.zurawik@baltsun.com

The Baltimore Sun

Even though it is the second week of a new fall network season, you have to go hunting for something special to watch tonight. But shows are out there - they're just not on network TV.

A CRITICAL LOOK: In this era of celebrity worship and reality TV, television with a social conscience is not always easy to find. But in Critical Care, the acclaimed P.O.V. series shows viewers what it is like to be sick in America and not have adequate health insurance. Documentary filmmaker Roger Weisberg chronicles the journey of four Americans who become critically ill.

Health care is a major topic in the presidential election, and you can't say PBS didn't try to help you understand and feel the pain connected to this issue with this moving cinema verite exploration. (9 p.m., MPT) *** 1/2

COSTAS GOES DEEP: He is identified as a sportscaster, but it would be hard to find an interviewer anywhere on TV - news included - better than Bob Costas at drawing out his interview subjects and drawing viewers into his conversation. In Bob Costas: On the Record, he interviews two of the greatest and most reticent athletes of all time, Baseball Hall of Famers Henry Aaron and Willie Mays. Seeing these two great stars talk to a hack interviewer would be a big TV event. But with Costas asking the questions, I am in heaven. (9 p.m. HBO) ****

LATE-NIGHT GUESTS: Actress Anne Hathaway visits the Late Show with David Letterman (11:35 p.m., CBS); talk show host Ellen DeGeneres appears on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35 p.m., NBC).

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