Best Bets on TV Tonight

"The Wire" (10 p.m., HBO): "The Wire" returns for a fourth season, with the point of view changing to four boys in inner city Baltimore. "We really wanted to reinvent the theme of the show every season," says executive producer David Simon. "We've always had the idea that there's going to be a new story, a new crew coming in. We're going to be slicing off a different piece of the city. The first year was the law enforcement and the drug war; the second year was the working class and the idea of the death of work; the third season was the political element. And now, it's just quite natural to do schools."This time, the story will follow the boys through their drug-infested neighborhood and school in West Baltimore. It is based on the experiences of Edward Burns, who became a teacher after serving 20 years in law enforcement. Nowadays, Burns has moved on to yet another career. He's a writer and producer on "The Wire." Burns' transition from cop to teacher is played out through the character of Prez (Jim True-Frost)."When you step into that classroom after being 20 years in the street, you think you are pretty tough, and you find out real quickly that you are not," Burn says. "It's a very stunning change of who you are. And it tests things that nothing else in my life tested. But it's also the greatest thing in the world to teach."
"The Path to 9/11" (8 p.m., ABC): Based on the 9/11 Commission's report, this two-part miniseries (part two airs Monday) re-enacts events of that fateful day, with Harvey Keitel, Patricia Heaton and Donnie Wahlberg.
"Legends: Rodney Dangerfield" (9 p.m., Comedy Central): Until he was nearly 30, he made a living as a comic named Jack Roy, then called a halt to show biz for a normal family life. But after a decade in paint-and-siding sales, the man born Jacob Cohen returned to comedy, this time with the name that everybody came to respect: Rodney Dangerfield. Now the king of the self-bashing one-liners is saluted on "Legends: Rodney Dangerfield," premiering 9 p.m. Sunday on Comedy Central. Best known for his catch phrase "I don't get no respect," Dangerfield is remembered with clips from his concerts and appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show," as well as tributes from a lineup of Dangerfield's comedy cohorts including Roseanne Barr, Robert Klein, Bill Maher, Ann Meara, Bill Murray, Chris Rock, Ray Romano, Jerry Seinfeld, Jerry Stiller and many more. Produced by Dangerfield's daughter, Melanie Roy-Friedman, the special is a cavalcade of laughs at his expense, which is just the way he liked it. He died three years ago at 82, but, as every Dangerfield fan well knows: "When I was born I was so ugly, the doctor slapped my mother." This program is an apt reminder that, as long as self-doubt remains part of the human condition, Dangerfield will serve as hilarious relief.
"Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam" (11 p.m., HBO): After nearly a decade, "Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam" returns to HBO with nine new half-hours hosted by comic actor Mike Epps. Ahead on this series (which originally aired from 1992-97) are veterans including D.L. Hughley, Bill Bellamy, Mark Curry, Adele Givens and Earthquake. Newcomers include Katt Williams, Tony Roberts, Vince Morris, Esau and Leslie. On this week's premiere outing: Tony Rock, Sommore and Capone.
"The Simpsons" (8 p.m., Fox): It's the closest thing we'll get to a new "Sopranos" episode right now. Michael Imperioli and Joe Pantoliano are guests for the season opener.

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