Comcast Ch. 71

Though “The Travel Channel” sounds like one of those fuzzy stations they show in hotels to let you know how to use the ice machine, it’s actually a lot of fun — exotic travel without the exotic diseases. Now, Comcast users can finally get in on the action, tagging along as Travel Channel shows take you to far-flung destinations in the U.S. and worldwide. Personal faves (I’ve got Dish, nanny-nanny-boo-boo) are “No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain” (Mondays at 9 p.m.); “Stranded” (Mondays at 8 p.m.), which drops host Cash Peters into remote locations with no money, no translator, and no map; and the big slate of paranormal goodies to be had during their Friday night “Weird Travels” programming, including “America’s Most Haunted Places” and British reality show phenom “Most Haunted” (Fridays at 8 p.m.).


6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17
A&E (Comcast Ch. 51)

It was any parent’s nightmare: Between 1979-1981, a killer stalked the children of Atlanta. By the time it was over, 29 black children had been slain, and a mild-mannered guy named Wayne Williams was in custody, tagged and eventually convicted as one of the worst serial murderers of all time. But the question still remains in some minds: Was Wayne Williams the killer, or was he just the convenient fall guy for a desperate police force, an embarrassed mayor, and an outraged public demanding justice? Subsequent investigations have pointed to holes in the case against Williams and to other suspects, including members of a white supremacist organization bent on igniting a race war. Here, more than 20 years after the fact, A&E’s “American Justice” program looks at the case in-depth, through the eyes of modern forensics. Host Bill Kurtis talks to prosecutors, experts, detectives and jurors to try and find the truth in this most dastardly series of crimes.

7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17
AMC (Comcast Ch. 31)


Anybody who has ever been the victim of violent crime has felt it: that itch in the deepest, animal part of your brain that tells you to find a blunt object, rip off your shirt, and get medieval on the perpetrator’s ass. While most of us are able to keep such urges at bay, it is a dark fantasy: What could you do if you weren’t afraid of the consequences? That’s the terrain explored by the 1974 film “Death Wish.” Deeper than the subsequent sequels, the original is the story of Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson), a work-a-day architect who goes on a bloody spree of vengeance after his wife is killed and his daughter raped during a random act of urban street violence. Though similar blood carnivals would become old hat during the Reagan years, this was the first of the ultra-violent breed. It ain’t pretty, but for anybody who’s ever had to hand over his wallet — or worse — at the point of a knife or gun, it sure is satisfying (in an anti-social sorta way) to see the bad guys get theirs.