Tale of faith, miracles on 'Picket Fences'

TODAY'S TV

December 03, 1993|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Contributing Writer

For the most thought-provoking, surprising and engrossing drama series episode of the year, check out tonight's "Picket Fences." It's about the possibility of a virgin birth, right there in the fictional town of Rome, Wis. Also on tap tonight: a judicial episode of "Nightline" and a feminist episode of "Brisco County, Jr."

* "The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr." (8-9 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- Denise Crosby guest-stars as a sheriff in this witty, action-packed episode, which has Brisco visiting a town -- called No Man's Land -- not because it's uninhabitable, but because it's an Amazonian environment populated solely by women. Bruce Campbell stars. Fox repeat.

* "The X-Files" (9-10 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- Another repeat from Fox, but another intriguing one. Borrowing a plot from the original "The Night Stalker" TV movie, "The X-Files" presents the story of a serial killer who appears to resurface every generation or so. * "Picket Fences" (10-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- VCR alert: Even if you're expecting to be surprised, this episode of "Picket Fences" will catch you unprepared at some point. At bottom, it's a story examining the presence -- and absence -- of modern-day faith, with all the regular residents of Rome evaluating their reactions when a potential miracle occurs in their midst. Guest stars Roy Dotrice and Denis Arndt are especially good, and Kathy Baker and Tom Skerritt, even at moments without dialogue, display their superb acting talents. CBS.

* "ABC News Nightline" (11:35 p.m.-12:05 a.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Part 2 of 2. Is there justice on TV? Tonight there is, as Ted Koppel and Nina Totenberg complete a two-part interview with Supreme Court Chief Justice Harry Blackmun on "Nightline." Justice Blackmun is being asked questions by two of TV's best and brightest. How will he come off? Tune in and judge for yourself. ABC.

Cable

* "Candles in the Dark" (8-10 p.m., FAM) -- This original Family Channel TV movie about the emancipation of Estonia stars Alyssa Milano, last seen as Amy Fisher in one of those forgettable network docudramas, and Chad Lowe, last seen on "Life Goes On."

* "Wax Cracks Hollywood" (12:30-1 a.m., HBO) -- Comedian Ruby Wax returns to Hollywood intending to get noticed, but I'm not sure this special will help.

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