By Mike Hughes
Gannett News Service
"Becoming American: The Chinese Experience," 7:30 p.m., PBS; continues through Thursday. Filmmakers Bill Moyers and Thomas Lennon offer a story rich in details. As famine and war rocked southern China, many men headed to America. There, the gold rush and the transcontinental railroad created a flood of jobs. Some found success. Polly Bemis (formerly Lalu Nathoy), brought to this country from China as a slave, went on to become a classic frontier woman. Yung Wing graduated from Yale in 1854 and started his own school. Then hatred seethed. Labor leader Denis Kearney stirred fears that the "almond-eyed lepers" would take all the jobs. Politicians joined in. In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed. As historian L. Ling-chi Wang puts it: "The only people that we excluded (from immigration) were prostitutes, lepers and morons and ... Chinese."
"Big Spender," 3, 5 and 7 p.m., Animal Planet. Casper Van Dien plays a handsome prisoner sentenced to work at a horse farm.
"Ringling Bros. Revealed: The Greatest Show on Earth," 3 and 6 p.m., Travel Channel. This special spends eight days in Houston asking stars for their performing secrets.
"Celine in Las Vegas: Opening Night," 8 p.m., CBS. Justin Timberlake hosts Celine Dion's Vegas concert. Cirque Du Soleil director Franco Dragone directs it.
"Nova: Dirty Bomb," 9 p.m., PBS. Here's a rerun of a documentary. Experts explain what a dirty bomb is and the kind of devastation it could cause.
"The Shield," 8 p.m., Fx. The strike team plans to rob the money train, even as Vic teams up with Claudette and Dutch to find a missing child. Meanwhile, Julien gets a nasty surprise. Repeats at 9 p.m.