“Stardust: The Bette Davis Story” – This gripping documentary from Emmy-winning director Peter Jones provides viewers with a startling portrait of one of the legendary heroines of American cinema. Jones, we’re told, is the first filmmaker to receive unrestricted access to Davis’ life-spanning personal archives. He puts that access to wonderful use in a film that relies heavily on never-before-seen photographs and letters. But the piquant interviews are what gives “Stardust” its real power. In addition to commentary from Jane Fonda, James Woods, Ellen Burstyn and other Hollywood luminaries, Davis’ son Michael Merrill speaks for the first time about his parents’ violent marriage and some accusatory questions are raised about the mysterious death of Davis’s second husband. Fasten your seatbelts, it’s a bumpy – and highly compelling – ride. 8 p.m. Wednesday, TCM.
TUESDAY: In “Dynasty Reunion: Catfights and Caviar,” Joan Collins, Linda Evans and John Forsythe get together with fellow cast members to reminisce about their days on the glitzy 1980s primetime soap. The show was taped at Northern California’s Filoli Mansion, which served as the TV home of the filthy-rich Carringtons. 10 p.m. CBS.
Guest-star alert: Natalie Cole, who dropped by “Grey’s Anatomy” earlier this season, appears in tonight’s episode of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” She plays an attorney in a murder case involving child obesity issues. 10 p.m., NBC.
WEDNESDAY: It seems like it’s been ages since Michael disappeared into the jungle on “Lost.” Tonight, Jack and Kate finally bring him back to camp and provide their fellow castaways with an update on The Others. Meanwhile, Anna Lucia takes another shot at getting the prisoner in the hatch to confess. 9 p.m., ABC.
THURSDAY: On “Smallville,” Clark is visited by his father’s ghost at the cemetery, and Pops has a message for him. Apparently, he wants his son to go and kill Lionel. 8 p.m., the WB.
On “Will & Grace,” the title characters begin attending child-birth classes in preparation for the expected baby. But when Will takes another shot at his relationship with Vince, Grace starts to doubt whether he is ready to raise a child with her. 8 p.m., NBC.
FRIDAY: “Ghost Whisperer” wraps up its successful freshman season with an episode that has Melinda contending with crash investigators and an evil spirit as she tries to help hundreds of dead passengers cross over following a jetliner disaster. 8 p.m., CBS.
SATURDAY: Marion Ross – Richie’s mom on “Happy Days” – stars in “Where There’s a Will,” a made-for-cable movie about a granny who can no longer take care of her large home, or herself. Enter her ne’er-do-well grandson (Frank Whaley), who is in debt to a loan shark. We smell trouble. 9 p.m., Hallmark Channel.
Chuck Barney is the Times TV critic. Reach him at 925-952-2685 or [email protected]