Performances make 'Homicide' intense

January 20, 1994|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Contributing Writer

It's such a good TV night that even the repeats, at least of "The Simpsons" and "Seinfeld," are outstanding. As for first-run programming, there's a superb episode of "Homicide: Life on the Street," and, on "Larry King Live," an appearance by President Clinton.

* "Nightly Business Report" (7-7:30 p.m., WMPT, Channel 22 and Channel 67) -- This "little program that could" began in Miami as a 15-minute local show, and now, as a half-hour PBS staple, is taking a few minutes from each show this week to celebrate its own 15th anniversary. And why not? "Business" has never been better. PBS.

* "The Simpsons" (8-8:30 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- Bart gets life-threatening mail from Sideshow Bob, and the former Krusty sidekick's threats are real enough to cause the Simpsons to flee. And since Sideshow Bob's voice is supplied by the star of "Frasier," listen closely and you'll hear some really good Grammer. Fox.

* "Seinfeld" (9-9:30 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Other "Seinfeld" devotees may disagree with me on this, but I think this episode, from 1991, is the one that started the "Seinfeld" buzz really rolling among its early fans. It's the episode in which the gang spends the entire half-hour waiting for a table at a Chinese restaurant -- a plot line that perfectly embodied the show's minimalist intentions. NBC.

* "Frasier" (9:30-10 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- A charity auction results in some unusual one-night stands: Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) nets a model (played by guest star Claire Stansfield), while Daphne (Jane Leeves) matches up with Frasier's high-voltage radio colleague, Bulldog (Dan Butler). NBC.

* "Homicide: Life on the Street" (10-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- VCR Alert: The interrogation scenes are intense, and impeccably performed, as Pembleton (Andre Braugher) pursues his hunch that a street shooting may have been done by a cop -- a hunch that has Pembleton directly at odds with his boss, Lt. Giardello (Yaphet Kotto). It's a powerful show with a lyrical, beautiful climax. Don't miss it. NBC.

* "PrimeTime Live" (10-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Correspondent Judd Rose, who grew up in Southern California, delivers a personal essay about growing up with the threat of earthquakes -- and also reports on Monday's quake and the subsequent, ongoing rebuilding efforts. ABC.

CABLE

* "Larry King Live" (9-10 p.m., CNN) -- The last time Bill Clinton was on King's show, he promised to return in six months. That was exactly six months ago, and the president has kept his promise. If it's like previous outings, expect the program to run overtime.

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