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Don Hewitt becomes focus on CBS

Joel Brown New York Times Syndicate

OK, let’s all take an hour tonight and turn out big ratings for a TV legend.

At 9, CBS honors Don Hewitt with “Tell Me a Story: The Man Who Made ‘60 Minutes.’ ”

We all owe the cantankerous Hewitt a debt of gratitude for the great TV and often great journalism that “60 Minutes” has brought us over the 36 years he’s been in charge.

Mike Wallace, Morley Safer, Ed Bradley, Steve Kroft and Lesley Stahl join Hewitt to talk about the show, with plenty of clips and anecdotes. We’ll see how much they reveal about his legendary battles with censors, politicians, the network and the correspondents themselves.

But most of the time anyway, Hewitt was fighting to make the show better, and the results speak for themselves.

We’ll see clips from Hewitt’s favorite segments, including interviews with Katherine Hepburn and Jackie Gleason, and stories about Richard Nixon and Ayatollah Khomeini. But mostly importantly, in this era of “reality TV” and vanishing ethics, we’ll see a guy who knows who he is and what he stands for, and who did what he thought was right.

Don, we’ll miss ya.

Highlights

“8 Simple Rules,” ABC at 8: Hourlong season finale. Cate finds herself having to deal with Principal Gibb (Adam Arkin) over Kerry’s trip to Europe. Then, when she discovers that Bridget took the fall for Kerry over a sit-in, she has to meet with him again.

But the girls are convinced they’re dating.

“Navy NCIS,” CBS at 8: A Navy SEAL dies during a training exercise, but was it an accident?

“American Idol,” Fox at 8: The three finalists perform.

“Colonial House,” KSPS at 8: Inadequate supplies and restrictive laws hamper the colonists in this 17th-century reality show.

“24,” Fox at 9: Saunders tells Jack that the remaining 11 vials of the virus are to be released within the hour. Meanwhile — and you knew this was coming — Sherry makes a play to become Mrs. David Palmer again.

“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” NBC at 9: Two episodes.

In the first, a repeat, a teenage girl is murdered, and she turns out to have been a schoolyard bully. Then, in the season finale at 10, a voyeur caught videotaping women in a restroom tells of a sexual assault against a minor that he caught on tape.

“Less Than Perfect,” ABC at 9:30: Trying to get rid of Lydia, Claude helps Jeb realize it’s time to propose.

“Super Millionaire,” ABC at 10: Regis is back, with $10 million to spend.

“Judging Amy,” CBS at 10: Amy sentences a teen who planned a Columbine-style attack.

Family Fare

“Gilmore Girls,” WB at 8: Season finale. Lorelai suspects that Luke is serious about her, but she doesn’t have time deal with it as she prepares for the opening of the Dragonfly and faces the problems in her parents’ marriage.

Meanwhile, Rory tries to salvage her friendship with Dean. Followed, alas, by an episode of the heinous “Superstar USA” at 9.

Cable Cast

NBA playoffs, ESPN at 5: Game 6, Indiana at Miami.

“28 Days Later,” HBO at 8: Grim but exciting horror flick from Danny Boyle, as a virus turns humans into killer zombies, and London into a ghost town.

“Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” Bravo at 10: Telephone engineer Rob M. gets upgraded.

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