NBC has sweeps sociopath movie

February 17, 1992|By John J. O'Connor | John J. O'Connor,New York Times News Service

NEW YORK -- Another sweeps period is upon broadcasters, and strenuous efforts are again being made to raise the ratings that will determine what advertisers will pay in the months ahead.

Not everyone can have the Olympic Games, so the others are left with the business-as-usual spate of television movies about sociopaths. Tonight's, on NBC (Channel 2) at 9 p.m., is "Till Death Us Do Part." It's better than most.

Phil Rosenberg's teleplay is based on a book Vincent Bugliosi wrote with Ken Hurwitz.

"Till Death Us Do Part" pits Bugliosi (played by Arliss Howard) against Alan Palliko, a former policeman with a fierce compulsion to control. When a man is found murdered just a month after he has remarried his wife who has taken out a large insurance policy on him, and when the wife's boyfriend turns out to be Palliko, Bugliosi is convinced he has his man.

As the villainous Palliko, barely able to contain his sadistic rage, Treat Williams puts his meandering career back on track.

"Till Death Us Do Part" manages to be grisly, scary, silly and, making it a bit different, provocative.

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