Panorama Men Aren't Working: BBC1, Monday, October 16, 9.30-10.10pm. A report from schools and colleges in Darlington on how boys are lagging further behind girls in academic results. The programme puts this in the context of the rise of long-term male unemployment and the social problems posed by young men without qualifications or any prospect of work.
Education Matters: Radio 4LW, Monday, October 16, 11.00-11.30pm. How should parents judge a school? This education magazine programme asks whether parents should be checking exam league tables or looking deeper into school life. And asks to what extent parental choice is a real possibility?
Death of a Salesman: Radio 4FM, Monday, October 16, 7.45-9.45pm. Marking Arthur Miller's 80th birthday, this production of his 1949 classic play stars Timothy West as the beleagured Willy Loman, a man who finds the promise of the American dream fading, as he struggles to make sense of his life as an ageing, failing salesman.
The Knowledge: BBC2, Tuesday, October 17, 7.30-8.00pm. Record numbers of students have been dropping out of higher education, often soon after courses begin, and this programme reports on how Sheffield Hallam university has developed a project to support new students disorientated and lonely in an unfamiliar environment.
People's Century: BBC1, Wednesday, October 18, 10.00-10.55pm. This week's programme in this oral history project looks at the development of mass production. Eye-witnesses recall life on the first moving assembly lines, introduced into the car industry in the United States by Henry Ford in 1913. The high-pressure, high-profit production lines caused bitter disputes in the Thirties between owners and workers, and the programme records the violence and loss of life in strikes of the era.
Cinefile Dark and Deadly: Channel 4, Thursday, October 19, 9.00-10.00pm. A documentary introducing a season of film noir films, showing how the genre evolved from the German Expressionist films of the 1920s and the more pragmatic influence of Hollywood directors saving money by hiding bare sets with low-lighting. The doom-laden, evocative movies moved from being B-movies to high art. Among the films being shown are Big Sleep and The Postman Always Rings Twice.