Watch HBO's 'The Black List'

Z ON TV

August 25, 2008|By DAVID ZURAWIK | DAVID ZURAWIK,david.zurawik@baltsun.com

One of the byproducts of Sen. Barack Obama's candidacy is the opening of a wide-ranging discussion on race in TV. Exhibit A: Last month's Black in America documentary on CNN. And now comes HBO's The Black List, Vol. 1 featuring interviews with 22 prominent artists, academics, authors, athletes and activists. From guitarist Slash, the child of a white father and black mother, describing himself as "half black or whatever," to author Toni Morrison recollecting with poetic precision her first job in the kitchen of a white home, the 90-minute documentary is consistently thought-provoking. 9 p.m., HBO ***

Built tough (and stupid) Are you ready for a new fall network series - even a lame one? NBC's America's Toughest Jobs is produced by the maker of Deadliest Catch and Ice Road Truckers, big-ratings cable reality shlock, and guess what the 13 contestants do in episodes 1 and 2? They fish in the Bering Sea and drive 18-wheelers above the Arctic Circle. Dance with the one that brung ya, I guess. 9 p.m. WBAL, Channel 11 *

Tonight's guilty pleasure Much as I hate to admit it, I must be an Anglophile. Everything I hate about NBC's The Apprentice, I like in The Apprentice UK, the Brit version. Self-made rich guy Sir Alan Sugar makes Donald Trump seem like a wimp. 9 p.m. CNBC **

Tried and true The Closer is having another great season, and tonight's episode is another winner. It's directed by Kevin Bacon, husband of star Kyra Sedgwick. 9 p.m., TNT ***

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