What's on This week's TV highlights

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Millions of children are solid with Arthur, the cartoon aardvark who stars in PBS' long-running series that shares his name.

Now Arthur's best pal, the soft-voiced bunny named Buster, is getting his own show -- and taking it on the road. The charming "Postcards from Buster" blends animation with live-action footage to chronicle Buster's travels throughout the United States, as well as Mexico and Puerto Rico. (Check local listings.)

Accompanying his airline-pilot father, Buster, seen in cartoon form, discovers new cultures and communities, then reports back to his friends at home through live-action video "postcards" -- sights and sounds from Buster's point of view made with his videocam, and featuring Buster's informed narration.

Aimed at 4-to-8-year-olds, today's "Postcards from Buster" takes viewers to farm country in Knox, Ind., where Buster marvels at a little girl preparing her pet pig for the county fair --she's rubbing down the creature with Skin-So-Soft.

Then, the rest of premiere week, it's on to Chicago; San Antonio; Mount Hood and Canby, Ore.; and Madison, Wis. Then -- who knows? -- maybe Buster will be knocking on your own child's door!

Other shows to look out for:

As voters prepare to choose their next president, PBS' "Frontline" is airing a dual biography of incumbent George W. Bush and his challenger John Kerry. This two-hour special, "The Choice 2004," studies the character, experience and world views of both candidates. It draws from more than 50 interviews with the candidates' families, friends, colleagues and political adversaries, as well as from archival footage. Produced by "Frontline" veteran Martin Smith and reported by Nicholas Lemann, political correspondent for The New Yorker and dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, "The Choice 2004" airs Tuesday (check local listings).

If you like Peter Horton, this is your week! Besides "While I Was Gone," the former "thirtysomething" regular is starring in a second film, "Thoughtcrimes," which airs Friday at 8 p.m. on USA. In this thriller, Horton plays a government researcher who takes an interest in a young woman misdiagnosed as schizophrenic. But when this doctor learns that his patient (played by Navi Rawat) is telepathic and thus able to hear the thoughts of those around her, he becomes all the more interested. Could he possibly have motives besides helping her?

-- With all the soaps you've sat through, who says you aren't qualified to get in on the action? Not SOAPnet, which is offering a dozen would-be soap stars the chance to fake lying, cheating and loving on cue, as they vie for the ultimate prize: a 13-week contract role on ABC's "General Hospital." Cameron Mathison ("All My Children") serves as host of SOAPnet's reality-competition series, "I Wanna Be a Soap Star." Judges include talent manager Michael Bruno, casting director Mark Teschner and soap diva Debbi Morgan ("Port Charles," "General Hospital" and "All My Children"). "I Wanna Be a Soap Star" premieres at 7 p.m. Saturday.

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