'Most Wanted' looks for 300th fugitive

TODAY'S TV

April 30, 1994|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Special to The Sun

Last year during the May sweeps, NBC presented such ripped-from-the-headline ripoff made-for-TV movies as "In the Line of Duty: Ambush in Waco," "Triumph Over Disaster: The Hurricane Andrew Story" and "Without Warning: Terror in the Towers" (about the World Trade Center bombing). Tonight, as part of this year's May sweeps, the same network presents another docudrama designed to cash in on the well-known misfortunes of others: "Tonya and Nancy: The Inside Story." If this keeps up, NBC ought to change its mascot -- from a peacock to a vulture.

* "Tonya and Nancy: The Inside Story." (8 p.m.-10 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- There's only one part of this movie with which I can identify: the scene in which Heather Langenkamp, as Nancy Kerrigan, gets whacked in the knee and screams, "Why me?" Watching the preview tape of this repugnant made-for-tv, I was screaming the same thing. Ms. Langenkamp wastes a decent performance here, but Alexandra Powers of "L.A. Law" is woefully miscast as Tonya Harding. The Comedy Central five-minute spoof movie, starring Tina Yothers, was much more on the mark. This is called "The Inside Story" even though neither Harding nor Ms. Kerrigan contributed in any way. What it doesn't show us, though, is the real Warren Littlefield giving this puerile, cynical lump of TV trash the green light. Compared to that, letting David Letterman go was the move of a genius. "Tonya and Nancy" is the worst telemovie anyone has made in years. NBC.

* "America's Most Wanted." (9 p.m.-10 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- Two nights ago, "The Simpsons" celebrated its 100th episode.

Tonight this series, which premiered in 1988, celebrates its 300th episode, and is hoping to nail one more fugitive tonight in order to keep its average at one criminal apprehended per episode. Fox.

* "The Jerk." (8 p.m.-10 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- "The new phone book's here! The new phone book's here!" That line, among others, makes this early Steve Martin vehicle impossible to shake. ABC repeat.

* "Tales From the Crypt." (11 p.m.-midnight, WBFF, Channel 45) -- The second of two episodes tonight is called "The Thing From the Grave," and when it premiered on HBO, its two biggest features were a visually gruesome ending and a starring role by Miguel Ferrer of "Twin Peaks." The ending may be diluted tonight, but Mr. Ferrer's co-stars have become more prominent since then: Kyle Secor did great work on "Homicide: Life on the Street," and Teri Hatcher landed the female lead in "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman." Fox.

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