CBS (Mon., Nov. 21, 10 p.m. ET)
Roy Scheider narrates a documentary about sexual development and new means of correcting impotence and other sexual dysfunctions. It is not much more than a harmless excuse for getting the word sex into the TV listings.
The grade for all: A
America does love to note anniversaries, even of its tragedies. But the 25th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination at least provides us with an opportunity to watch television now as we watched it on that day—and that is an opportunity not to be missed. On Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 1:56 p.m. ET, cable’s A&E will interrupt its programming—as NBC did at that moment in 1963—and for the next six uninterrupted hours, we will see NBC’s coverage exactly as it happened. Microphones, telephones and cameras balked. The anchors and reporters—Chet Huntley, Bill Ryan, Frank McGee, Robert MacNeil and David Brinkley—had no videotape of the event to play and replay and replay, as TV would today. They had no fancy video graphics or decorator sets or satellite dishes. They had only facts and emotions. It was rough television, but remarkable television. A few days earlier, on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 9 p.m. ET, CBS News presents a two-hour condensation of its coverage—from the first bulletin through the burial of the President in Arlington National Cemetery—with narration by Dan Rather, who reported from Dallas in 1963. And on Monday, Nov. 21 at 9 p.m. ET, PBS also shows us TV coverage from that time, adding reminiscences from people who were there, including reporters Sander Vanocur and Tom Wicker, retired Rep. Tip O’Neill and Sen. George Smathers. If you were alive then, you cannot watch any of these shows now and not remember and mourn.