It's the ubiquitous Bill Clinton show


January 25, 1994|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Contributing Writer

Two weeks ago, President Clinton was seen on "Nightline" all week long, in a superb set of shows in which Ted Koppel acted as a high-tech Boswell. Last week, Clinton showed up, as promised, on CNN's "Larry King Live." And tonight he faces his largest and toughest audience yet, delivering his annual State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress and to the American people. The speech will be carried live, and dissected afterward, by the major networks, but some of the minor ones have other ideas.

* "Dateline NBC" (8-9 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- The show, occupying the opening hour of prime time, is devoted to the issue of violence, the theme NBC's news, talk shows and newsmagazines are discussing all this week. On this particular program, the Rev. Jesse Jackson is scheduled to discuss violence within the black community. NBC.

* "State of the Union Address" (9 p.m., all local network channels, except PBS, and on CNN-C-SPAN) -- Every year, the networks give lots of coverage to the State of the Union speech, even though, every year, the presidential address never changes. Year and in year out, Republican or Democrat, it's always the White House.


* "Fade to Black" (9-11 p.m., USA) -- The good old USA Network, even with its all-American moniker, can be relied upon to counter-program the President of the United States by showing a tacky telemovie -- and, usually, getting record ratings as a result. This year it's not even bothering to show an original production, figuring that people so eager to avoid politics will NTC watch just about anything -- even this repeat of a horrible 1993 "Rear Window" and "Blowup" rip-off called "Fade to Black," starring Timothy Busfield and the suddenly resurgent Heather Locklear.

* "The Manitou" (12:15-2:15 a.m., TNT) -- This 1978 movie was so bad, there was no "Manithree."

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