TV Daily

Salon's guide to what to watch on Monday: Mark the holiday by watching the PBS doc "The Magnificent Voyage of Christopher Columbus."

Topics: Television,

Prime Pick

Photo: PBS

In the PBS documentary “The Magnificent Voyage of Christopher Columbus” (9 p.m. EDT, check listings) filmmakers re-create the first transatlantic crossing on full-size replicas of the Niña, Pinta and Santa Maria. (Did they sell them to CBS’s “Pirate Master” afterward?) But the aim of this two-hour special is not just to celebrate Columbus’ accomplishments in a way that he couldn’t (he went to his grave unaware that he’d discovered two continents). There’s also an effort to express the dramatic (and in many cases negative) impact that European explorers had on the virgin lands and indigenous peoples they encountered.

Also…

Viewers may be tired of traditional sitcoms, but CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” (8:30 p.m. EDT) is actually pretty good, particularly if you tend to chuckle at inside jokes about quantum physics. Speaking of nerds and chuckling, NBC’s “Chuck” is a spy-thriller-dramedy hybrid with a few hearty guffaws on-board (third episode airs at 8 p.m. EDT). For the crustier (yet lustier) crowd, Showtime’s duo of indulgent comedies, “Weeds” (10 p.m. EDT) and “Californication” (10:30 p.m. EDT), are still worth a look, too, particularly with Nancy following in Hank’s Californicating footsteps.



On the talk shows

Regis and Kelly

ABC, 9 a.m. EDT

Cate Blanchett, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin

The View

ABC, 11 a.m. EDT

Meredith Vieira

Ellen DeGeneres

Syndicated, check local listings

Dylan McDermott, Matchbox Twenty

Oprah Winfrey

Syndicated, check local listings

TBA

Charlie Rose

PBS, check local listings

TBA

Larry King

CNN, 9 p.m. EDT

Vicente Fox

Jon Stewart

Comedy Central, 11 p.m. EDT

TBA

Stephen Colbert

Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. EDT

George Saunders

David Letterman

CBS, 11:30 p.m. EDT

George Clooney, Kid Rock

Jay Leno

NBC, 11:35 p.m. EDT

Ben Affleck, Jim Norton, the Shins

Tavis Smiley

PBS, check local listings

Jimmy Smits, John Dean

Jimmy Kimmel

ABC, 12:05 a.m. EDT

Denis Leary, Charlie Day, Modest Mouse (repeat)

Conan O’Brien

NBC, 12:35 a.m. EDT

Joaquin Phoenix, Jim Gaffigan, Paramore

Craig Ferguson

CBS, 12:35 a.m. EDT

Jimmy Smits, Michelle Monaghan, Shout Out Louds

Contributors: Megan Doll, Heather Havrilesky, Eryn Loeb, Amy Reiter

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