What's on tap this month that executives won't want to miss

CALENDAR

Monday: The Commerce Department reports whether consumer spending was up at the first of the year after a dismal fourth quarter.

Friday: Did job losses exceed 600,000 last month? The Labor Department tally tells.

March 8: Daylight Saving Time begins.

March 13: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown meets with President Obama on the global financial crisis.

March 31: Chrysler and General Motors say they'll go out of business if they don't get more government money by then.

WATCH, LISTEN & READ

ON TV:

The Powder & the Glory

PBS, March 23, 10 p.m. ET (check local listings or pbs.org)

In the early 1900s, Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein immigrated to the United States and started their own cosmetics businesses. They turned pots of facial cream into pots of gold. The Powder & the Glory, a documentary produced by Ann Carol Grossman and Arnie Reisman, paints a vivid portrait of two pioneering business rivals who operated their enterprises blocks from one another in New York over a span of 50 years but never met.

"They are amazing people who came from nothing, and by the seat of their pants, started an industry," Grossman says. "We were just inspired by their example as gutsy women."

As the film traces each decade of Arden and Rubinstein's stories, it becomes clear the women were adept at reinventing themselves and their products through good times (the Roaring Twenties) and bad (wars and the Great Depression).

Party Down

Starz, March 20, 10:30 ET/PT

Finally, a reason for the remote to land on Starz. A stellar cast with keen comedy chops plays the inept crew of Party Down, a Los Angeles catering outfit made up of Hollywood hopefuls and almosts.

One of the many intriguing things about this smart new workplace sitcom is that the workplace changes every week. That gives regular players such as Ken Marino (Role Models, MTV's The State) and charismatic Adam Scott (HBO's Tell Me You Love Me) new scenery to chew and some well-placed guest stars (Marilu Henner, Ed Begley Jr., Rob Corddry) to mock at such glamorous affairs as homeowners association meetings, singles seminars and corporate retreats.

The show, which wouldn't be safe for work — it's premium cable, after all — boasts a hip pedigree: Among its co-creators is Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars) and actor Paul Rudd (Knocked Up).

Celebrity Apprentice

NBC, Sundays, 9 p.m. ET/PT

On Sunday night, Celebrity Apprentice kicked off its second season with a cupcake challenge and the firing of Andrew Dice Clay. This Sunday, the remaining 15 celebrities — including Joan Rivers, Dennis Rodman, Clint Black and Scott Hamilton — design a comic-book character and present it to an Internet executive.

The boardroom is again full of Trumps: CEO/host Donald Trump and two of his children, Donald Jr. and Ivanka, who return as advisers and judges. Trump Jr. says the two-hour episodes give viewers better insight into what actually goes on in some of the character conflict.

"When we're filming those things, sometimes we're in the boardroom for three or four hours just with the back and forth," Trump Jr. says.

Candidates are playing for charity again this season, though Trump Jr. says the economy posed an extra challenge.

PODCAST:

Money Girl

Available free on Tuesdays at www.qdnow.com or on iTunes

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