Newsmagazines focus on newspapers


April 13, 1994|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Special to The Sun

To say that there's nothing worth staying home to see on TV tonight is an understatement. Except for the newsmagazines, it's nearer to the truth to suggest that you ought to leave the house during prime time, just so you don't have to see most of what's being shown. The most watchable alternatives on a very slow night include the following.

* "The Nanny" (8-8:30 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Robert Culp guest stars as C.C.'s father, who sort of asks Fran (Fran Drescher) out on a date. Lauren Lane plays C.C. CBS.

* "Melrose Place" (9-10 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- This soap opera's world turns so fast, repeats are from another era entirely. Watch tonight, for example, to note how many of the couples linked together on this repeat from last fall are still together. There won't be many. Fox.

* "Turning Point" (10-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Coincidentally, both of tonight's network newsmagazines present installments relying heavily upon visits to big-city newspapers. On "Turning Point," the focus is a yearlong series of stories by the Chicago Tribune, giving front-page prominence to the homicide death of any child less than 15 years old. That averaged to more than one front-page obituary per week, and makes for an interesting study in how news agendas can be set and have a definite impact. It would be more impressive had "Turning Point" done the story on its own, but even spreading the news, so to speak, is a commendable move. ABC.

* "48 Hours: 'Making News' " (10-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Meanwhile, "48 Hours" decided to spend two days hanging around at the New York Daily News -- although, perhaps pointedly and wisely, it managed to steer clear of the paper's entire TV department. CBS.

* "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" (11:35 p.m.-12:35 a.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- One of Mr. Leno's scheduled guests tonight is a former talk-show rival, Chevy Chase. One thing about being a guest instead of a host: You don't have to worry about being asked to leave early. NBC.


* "Sex in the '90s: 'Then and Now' " (10-10:30 p.m., MTV) -- This latest "Sex in the '90s" show compares current sexual attitudes and concerns with those of previous generations. Kurt Loder narrates.

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