'Picket Fences' plot is under the gun

TODAY'S TV

January 21, 1994|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Contributing Writer

The night's big deals include fresh episodes of "Picket Fences" and "The X-Files," and Peter Arnett on CNBC instead of CNN.

* "Burke's Law" (9-10 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Executive producer Aaron Spelling seems to think that if he loads up his "Burke's Law" series with actors who played private eyes on other TV series, he'll get the show a lot of free publicity -- especially if he has, for example, Anne Francis, formerly of "Honey West," playing Honey Best, and Tanya Roberts, formerly Julie on "Charlie's Angels," playing a different Julie tonight. I could say that "Honey West" and "Charlie's Angels" were two other Spelling productions, but I'm not falling for Mr. Spelling's tricks. CBS.

* "The X-Files" (9-10 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- Tonight's episode is about a mysterious adversary killer who can change genders at will -- or is that Wilhelmina? Fox.

* "Picket Fences" (10-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Last week's episode ended with a very frightening image -- Sheriff Brock's youngest child finding and fondling his gun before replacing it. Tonight's show picks up where that one left off. CBS.

Cable

* "Dick Cavett" (9-9:30 p.m., CNBC) -- Mr. Cavett has been hopping all over the tube lately, providing welcome humor in unexpected places. Last week he was funny as a moderator during the C-SPAN telecast of the information superhighway conference -- a presentation that desperately needed comic relief. And just the other night on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien," as the big payoff for a bit in which Susan Lucci poked fun at her own Emmy-losing image, Mr. Cavett beat her out in the category of O'Brien's best talk-show guest -- and walked on as an unannounced guest to receive his "Coney." All of which is to lead up to the fact that tonight Mr. Cavett gets serious, as he talks with CNN war correspondent Peter Arnett.

* "Shattered Image" (9-11 p.m., USA) -- Jack Scalia and Bo Derek star in this new USA Network telemovie, in which she shoots almost every co-star at least once, and undresses only once. Mr. Scalia has been in one excellent USA Network telemovie, "After the Shock." This does not make two. Ms. Derek still has 10 to go.

* "The State" (10-10:30 p.m., MTV) -- Simply and quickly put, this new MTV satirical sketch show is in a really sorry "State."

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