Gless has a dual role in a CBS movie

TODAY'S TV

April 12, 1994|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Special to The Sun

Most of the good sitcoms tonight are showing repeats -- as is "NYPD Blue," which automatically makes it a can-miss Tuesday night. The night's biggest draw is Sharon Gless in a dual role on a new CBS telemovie, but as star turns go, it's more flashy than sturdy.

* "The Good Life" (8-8:30 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- NBC is pulling the curtain, at least for the season, on some of its new sitcoms tonight. This is the last first-run episode of "The Good Life," for example, unless it's renewed, which isn't all that likely. NBC.

* "The Second Half" (8:30-9 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- And this is the last first-run episode of "The Second Half," unless it's renewed, which isn't all that likely. NBC.

* "The John Larroquette Show" (9-9:30 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- This is the last first-run episode of "The John Larroquette Show," unless it's renewed, but it's the one show tonight that has the best chance of surviving -- or is most deserving. NBC.

* "Separated By Murder" (9-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Sharon Gless gets to play two roles -- one flashy, one frumpy -- in this fact-based murder story in which one or both identical twins may be implicated. Ms. Gless does a good job of changing her look, and even her voice, when playing the two roles, but the story isn't good enough to distract you from watching her act -- or from watching the editing and camera angles, which allow her to play two roles in the same scene. Bottom line: Without the twin angle, this would be a rather dull story. With it, it still is. CBS.

* "NYPD Blue" (10-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- A few years ago, Traci Lords made one of her first crossover appearances, switching from porn films to main

stream show business, by appearing as a seductive Soviet agent on "Wiseguy." In a similarly unpublicized appearance, another actress with a porno past, Ginger Lynn Allen, crossed over in this episode of "NYPD Blue," playing Monique -- a topless dancer. ABC repeat.

Cable

"Biography: 'Sid Caesar' " (8-9 p.m., A&E) -- On one memorable skit from Sid Caesar's glorious TV career, he sat in the audience and was singled out by comedy cohort Carl Reiner, who was playing the unctuous host of "This Is Your Story" and yanking Caesar from his chair to participate in an instant TV biography. This episode of "Biography" begins with that sequence, and uses it as the framework by which the real Caesar's story is told. Producers Del Jack and Cress Darwin cover it all, from Caesar's first public appearance (as a saxophonist) to Neil Simon's fond Broadway treatment of his years as a writer for Caesar, "Laughter on the 23rd Floor." Museum of Television & Radio curator Ron Simon provides quick and clever insights, and best of all are the excerpts from "Caesar's Hour," which are more rare than the skits preserved in "Ten From Your Show of Shows." Watching Caesar poke fun at Leonard Bernstein in a parody called "What is Jazz?" or perform in an upscale "Honeymooners" parody called "The Commuters" proves all over again just how gifted Caesar was.

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