'Nova' takes 'Jurassic Park' seriously


November 09, 1993|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Contributing Writer

Tonight's TV is surprisingly and refreshingly busy, so let's get right to it.

* "Victim of Love: The Shannon Mohr Story" (8-10 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- As a television docudrama inspired by stories previously presented on "reality shows," this "Unsolved Mysteries Movie" is much better than the Charles Stuart case from "Rescue 911," though not nearly so potent as the John List case from "America's Most Wanted." NBC.

* "Nova: 'The Real Jurassic Park' " (9-10 p.m., WMPT, Channels 22 and 67, WETA, Channel 26) -- A truly enjoyable hour, this "Nova" traces the hypothetical steps to creating a "real" Jurassic Park. Best sequence: a scientist who identifies and profiles prehistoric animals by examining their fossilized excrement, a process she wittily calls a "whodungit." Jeff Goldblum provides lively narration. PBS.

* "Roseanne" (9-9:30 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Vicki Lawrence, of all people, guest stars as a former flame of Dan's (John Goodman). ABC.

* "The Barbara Walters Special" (10-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Very watchable, with Whitney Houston being stunning and serious, Julia Roberts being lovely and loose, and Tim Allen being witty and wicked. ABC.

* "Frontline: 'Showdown in Haiti' " (10-11 p.m., WMPT, Channels 22 and 67, WETA, Channel 26) -- Two PBS documentaries tackle terribly complex issues and personalize them. This documentary explains the recent political turmoil in Haiti and boasts a wide range of disturbing and revealing film footage. PBS.

* "What's Ailing Medicine" (11 p.m.-midnight, WMPT, Channels 22 and 67, WETA, Channel 26) -- And this documentary, with Walter Cronkite as host, presents individual cases of people with health and health-insurance problems, then takes those problems to Hillary Rodham Clinton to ask the first lady how her health-care reforms might affect each case study. PBS.


* "From Broadway" (8-9:30 p.m., WWOR) -- Another straight-from-Broadway local TV production, this one keyed to the remake of the musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."

* "With the President (1961-1963)" (9-9:35 p.m., DIS) -- John F. Kennedy's White House and personal photographer, Cecil Stoughton, displays and reflects upon his gallery of presidential photos -- some famous, some rare.

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