TMN, Movie Central, HBO Canada, 9 p.m.
In this lovely documentary about Ron Sexsmith, one of our great singer-songwriters, he says: "My career is never being able to get out of 'the cult following' or whatever you want to call it." That's the theme of the program, made by Douglas Arrowsmith. Sexsmith himself comes across as shy, certain that he wants a wider audience for his albums but uncertain about opening himself up in the way that fame demands. Here he takes the camera, with an obvious emotional caution, to homes he's lived in, his old school and other parts of his past. We hear from his admirers, including Feist and Steve Earle. We see and hear him making his album Long Player Late Bloomer with producer Bob Rock. The songs are gorgeous, melancholy reflections, and Rock's job is to turn it all into radio-friendly music. In many ways, the doc itself is drenched in melancholy, but completely captivating.
How'd You Get So Rich?
Sunday, E!, 5 p.m.
An outrageous and entertaining riff on Robin Leach's Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, this one is just about the very rich, not the famous. Joan Rivers is the host/interrogator and is the show's main strength. She barges into the homes and businesses of her subjects, asks bizarre questions and pokes around in the kitchen, the garden, the bathroom or the closet. The subjects are sometimes taken aback. There's one guy on this week's episode who made a ton of money from the invention of a soap-bubble blower thing, and he's laidback about it all. But as Rivers gasps at his house and car, he gets a tad bashful. Then there's a guy in New Orleans who made a ton of money the old-fashioned way, selling cars. He and his very tall, statuesque wife are enormously proud of their wealth. Asked to summarize his situation, he says: "The best part about being wealthy is that you have available funds that you can do a lot with." Amen, but only he would know.
Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired
Sunday, Documentary channel, 8 p.m.
With the Cannes festival going on, this would be a good time to catch this doc about an unsavoury aspect of the movie racket. It's an examination of the legal murk that surrounded director Roman Polanski being charged with statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in Los Angeles in 1977 and then fleeing the United States. For anyone too young to remember, or unfamiliar with the case, it's a fascinating doc, less about Polanski than the L.A. legal circus that surrounded his case because of the showbiz spotlight. The new villain who emerges along with Polanski is Judge Laurence J. Rittenband, who died in 1993. As Polanski's victim says in the program: "The judge was enjoying the publicity. He didn't care about what happened to me and he didn't care about what happened to Polanski."
Sunday, ABC, CTV, 9 p.m.
Oh heaven to Betsy, this show, once a delight, has gone way off the rails this season. Bizarre storylines have been established and then abandoned. Anyone have any idea what happened to the young man whom Bree (Marcia Cross) was involved with? Now she's dating a cop. In the two-hour season finale tonight, apparently there's a fuss about the guy being possibly gay. Meanwhile, Susan (Teri Hatcher) has been inadvertently poisoning that really weird Paul (Mark Moses). And Vanessa Williams, so good on Ugly Betty, has been awful on Wives as the man-eating Renee, giving the abiding impression that she can't act. Who knows where it all goes over two hours tonight. And if peculiar network fare is your bag, tonight also has the two-hour finale of Survivor (CBS, Global, 8 p.m.) followed at 10 p.m. by Survivor: The Reunion.
Check local listings.