Highlights 2/21 to 2/27

Nature explores Florida’s Everglades National Park, one of the last great wildlife refuges in the United States. However, as tens of thousands of giant pythons invaded, the refuge has become less of a haven and more of a killing ground. See it 7 p.m. Sunday.

Sally Hawkins appears as Anne Elliot, destined for spinsterhood at age 27 after being persuaded eight years earlier to refuse the proposal of dashing Captain Wentworth. Then chance brings them together again on Masterpiece Classic at 8 p.m. Sunday.

In 1937, Amelia Earhart set out to circle the earth on an east-west flight. Amelia Earhart: American Experience tells the story of how the “First Lady of the Air” was instantly transformed into an American legend when her plane disappeared without a trace. Step aboard Monday at 8 p.m.

American Masters takes a glimpse into the life of writer, cultural anthropologist, chronicler of folk roots and ethnic traditions, daughter of former slaves, Zora Neale Hurston at 9 p.m. Monday.

This documentary, Spirituals, traces the history of the a uniquely American art form Sunday at 10:30 p.m. Created in the fields and slave shacks of the American South, these folksongs allowed slaves to secretly communicate with each other, giving them the power to console, heal, and resist.

What killed the mastodons? Nova examines new evidence of a cosmic explosion at 7 p.m. Tuesday that suggests mammoths and mastodons that were already stressed out by human “overkill” and climate change may have received a fiery coup-de-grace as devastation swept across the continent.

As the new U.S. strategy focuses on the southern and eastern parts of the country, this Frontline film opens up a window onto a potential new front in the north, and sheds an important light on who’s fighting the U.S. efforts in Afghanistan and why at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Over two tumultuous decades, South Africa has finally arrived on its own bumpy road to democracy. This Independent Lens special gives a previously untold account of the country’s political problems, struggles, and realities Tuesday at 9 p.m.

New Mexico’s high desert is a captivating land of hallowed mountains, red rock canyons and vast, sere plateaus. Remembered Earth presents a vision of hope for humankind’s relationship to the natural world by interpreting the myth, beauty, and power of a scarred but sacred landscape of the American West at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Episode Three of Making America tells the story of the peopling of the New World, how land came to define the settling and identity of America, and how the guests’ ancestors were part of this history at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

In the midst of an economic catastrophe and then a world war, the national parks provided a source of much-needed jobs and then much-needed peace for Americans as seen on National Parks: America’s Best Idea at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

In their debut Austin City Limits appearance, influential superstars R.E.M. take the stage in support of their latest acclaimed record, Accelerate at 10 p.m. Wednesday and 9 p.m. Friday.

Texas Monthly Talks at 7 p.m. Thursday features an interview with the youngest mayor of a major U.S. city, San Antonio’s Julian Castro.

The “Live Music Capital of the World” began with live music venues such as the Vulcan Gas Co. and the Armadillo World Headquarters. Learn why their influences are such a part of Austin’s culture today on Best of Downtown at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

Candidates answer questions regarding their candidacy and qualifications to serve on the State Board of Education on Texas Decision 2010: State Board of Education at 8 p.m. Thursday.

In the season one finale of The Austin Daytripper, airing at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Chet travels to Fredericksburg, Texas—the land of German food, wineries, boutique shopping, and rock climbing.

Over the last 50 years, legendary icon Willie Nelson has maintained a mighty presence in music. The troubadour mixes up elements of folk, blues, classic country, western swing, and a little gospel during his versatile Soundstage set at 9 p.m. Thursday.

As one of Country music’s premier singer/songwriters, Kenny Chesney has reigned a chart-topper and award-winning favorite for music lovers and critics alike. See him on the Austin City Limits stage at 7 p.m. Saturday.