- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 17, 2006

Picturing Mary

No one knows what she looked like, but she’s inspired countless artists all the same.

“Picturing Mary,” airing tonight at 9 on Maryland Public Television, is a one-hour documentary that examines the image of the Virgin Mary throughout history.

The widescreen, high-definition program takes viewers to 12 locations in eight countries, showing them beautiful art from the earliest times to the present day. Titian’s 22-foot-high “Assumption” is filmed in the Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa in Venice, Italy; Jan van Eyck’s full-size pictures of Mary, in the then-new medium of oil painting, are seen in Belgium; and the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, one of Mexico City’s wonders, is shown. Crews even visit Lake Tana, in Ethiopia, where Christians took refuge in the 16th century.

The program promises to be a revealing look at an enigma, a week before the day she made famous.

Match game

Emmy Award-winner comedian-magician Penn Jillette, half of Penn & Teller, can add one more title to his long list of talents: game show host.

“Identity,” a five-night event with Mr. Jillette as host, premieres tonight at 9 on NBC, following another game show, “Deal or No Deal.” The new show will run weeknights the rest of this week at 8.

Each contestant picks a trait, from a profession to a shoe size, and tries to match it with one of 12 strangers. If he matches all 12, he wins a grand prize of $500,000.

Viewers at home can play an “Identity Challenge” for a chance at $10,000.

Indecision time

Comedy Central begins its “Indecision 2008” campaign coverage tonight as the first announced presidential candidate appears on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”

Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, who recently said he’ll be making a bid for the 2008 Democratic nomination, will get grilled on the faux-news show tonight at 11.

Mr. Vilsack became the first Democratic governor of Iowa in more than 30 years in 1998. He was re-elected in 2002 and leaves office in January.

Holiday watch:

m “A Perfect Day,” 8 p.m., 10 p.m. and midnight on TNT, stars Rob Lowe as Robert Harlan, a man who, after being fired from his job, pursues his lifetime dream of writing a novel. He achieves enormous success with his book, but soon realizes it’s lonely at the top. Things change, though, when a stranger enters his life.

m “One Christmas,” 9 p.m., Hallmark: Katharine Hepburn, Henry Winkler and Swoosie Kurtz star in this adaptation of the Truman Capote autobiographical account of his childhood in rural Alabama.

• Compiled by Kelly Jane Torrance and Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff and wire reports.

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