Originally created 11/27/05

TV Lookout: highlights for the week ahead

A lonely widow, a distraught father and an estranged son come together for Christmas. And in New York City!

If this sounds like the plotline for a holiday edition of "Hallmark Hall of Fame," well, it is - namely, "Silver Bells," starring Anne Heche as the widow who unexpectedly and reluctantly finds love.

Based on the novel by Luanne Rice, this TV film also stars Tate Donovan ("The O.C.") as a widower who each December travels to Manhattan with his young son and daughter to sell the Christmas trees they grow back home in Nova Scotia.

But after the 16-year-old Danny feuded with his father about staying in New York to study photography, the family is ripped apart. Good thing Danny meets Catherine (Heche), a museum curator who encourages his photographic pursuits.

"Silver Bells" airs 9 p.m. EST Sunday on CBS.

Other shows to look out for:

- On the afternoon of Dec. 5, 1945, five Navy Avenger torpedo bombers took off from Fort Lauderdale Naval Air Station on a short routine flight. The bombers were never heard from again - nor was the rescue plane that was sent to find them. This gave rise to the legend of the Bermuda Triangle, which continues to confound experts with its history dating back to the 15th century of unexplained disappearances and strange phenomena. Now Sci Fi Channel investigates the mystery in a two-hour special, "The Bermuda Triangle: Startling New Secrets," which tracks new leads and employs the latest tools of modern science in an effort to unravel decades-old questions. Hosted by NBC News' Lester Holt, it airs 9 p.m. Sunday. This documentary paves the way for "The Triangle," a six-hour miniseries airing on Sci Fi Channel Dec. 5-7, starring Bruce Davison, Catherine Bell and Sam Neill.

- In a new documentary, E! Entertainment gives viewers a peek at the ugly side of an industry that purports to be about making people beautiful. "Plastic Surgery Nightmares" presents five surgeries - for bigger breasts, a better nose, fuller lips, flatter abs and a younger look - that went terribly wrong. Hear Amber on her fancy-free decision to get a breast lift: "People were having surgery every day, and I didn't hear any horror stories." Well, you hear them on this show, which, hosted by Samantha Harris, is an edition of "True Hollywood Stories." It airs 8 p.m. Monday.

- Don your tie-dyes: Cream is back! Last May, 37 years after its final concert at London's Royal Albert Hall, the legendary band returned for a four-night reunion. If you didn't happen to score a ticket, you can be there with Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker on this "Great Performances" airing 9 p.m. Wednesday on PBS (check local listings). From the opening "I'm So Glad" to the closing "Sunshine of Your Love," it's a satisfying flashback for Cream fans and, maybe, a revelation for newcomers. Releasing just four albums in its short three-year existence, it was a seminal band of the '60s. Now its members are all in their 60s as, briefly, Cream rocks again.

- Fans of Nick Park rejoice! The inspired creator of Wallace and Gromit (currently cleaning up at the box office in their first feature film, "The Curse of the Were-Rabbit") brings his animation looniness to television in a new series, "Creature Comforts." Airing on BBC America, the 26 short films - compiled into nine 30-minute episodes - include the original "Creature Comforts" film, made in 1989, whose many awards included an Oscar. The premise of the series: Animals, addressing the camera with microphones in full view, discuss their likes and dislikes about zoo life. In this twist on vox populi, a Shar-Pei does his impression of Julia Roberts; hens explain how feng shui can be incorporated into their work place; sea lions speak out against liposuction. And making it just a little funnier (if possible), these plasticene creatures mostly speak with British accents. The series premieres 11 p.m. Friday.


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