By Mike Hughes
Gannett News Service
"AFP: American Fighter Pilot," 7 p.m., CBS. Back in 1986, director Tony Scott offered a fresh view of military pilots. His "Top Gun" set at the Navy's pilot school in California was a dazzling look at modern cowboys strapped into killing machines. Now he's producing this show with his brother, Ridley Scott, director of "Black Hawk Down." In some ways this is far from "Top Gun" turf. It's a different branch (Air Force), different coast (in Florida), and a different era. It's also a reality show, not fiction. Still, Tony Scott has edited the film with some "Top Gun" concepts in mind. "AFP" wants to capture the differing personalities of men in a life-and-death world.
"THE RIGHT STUFF," (1983), PG, 6 p.m., FLIX. Director Philip Kaufman ("Quills") gathered an ace cast for this Oscar-winning modern-day epic detailing the early days of the U.S. space program. The film follows the first dangerous attempts by crazy-brave Air Force pilots like Chuck Yeager (Sam Shepard) to break the sound barrier, to the Mercury program space flights of John Glenn (Ed Harris) and Alan Shepard (Scott Glenn) that would eventually lead to the Apollo program and the moon. It also offers standout performances from Dennis Quaid, Fred Ward and Barbara Hershey.
"Providence," 7 p.m., NBC. Now that Syd has lost her medical license, she's working in her sister's doggie bakery.
"First Monday," 8 p.m., CBS. The Supreme Court must decide whether a basketball player can be required to finish high school before going pro.
"Law and Order: Special Victims Unit," 9 p.m., NBC. Judith Light ("Who's the Boss?") joins the show as the new leader of this unit. She arrives during a tough case involving a man suspected of molestation.