Holbrook makes his stand as a lawyer

TODAY'S TV

May 10, 1994|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Special to The Sun

There's no "Stand" tonight -- ABC is taking the night off rather than pre-empt "Roseanne" and "NYPD Blue." For entertainment, it's the network to watch anyway; for more serious fare, tune to PBS and "Frontline."

* "A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Lethal Lifestyle." (8-10 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Almost 25 years ago, Hal Holbrook starred as "The Senator," one of several rotating "wheel" elements in an umbrella show called "The Bold Ones." Tonight he plays the latest attorney presented under the Perry Mason banner, suggesting that life is indeed cyclical and that there are wheels within wheels. What Mr. Holbrook really ought to be doing, though, is playing Mark Twain in a biographical miniseries. NBC.

* "Full House." (8-8:30 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Since Little Richard already has shown up on The Disney Channel, singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider," it's not that much of a shock to find out that he's guest-starring tonight on "Full House." Wop-bop-a-lu-bop-a-baby-boom! ABC.

* "Roseanne." (9-9:30 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Roseanne's mom has broken her hip, and the way it happened has her daughter all out of joint. Estelle Parsons and Red Buttons guest star. ABC.

* "Getting Gotti." (9-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Gotti minute? That's all it'll take to shoot down this tepid telemovie, which casts former "Crime Story" bad guy Anthony John Denison as John Gotti, the "Dapper Don." Denison as Gotti? Didn't the casting directors of this docudrama see Paul Sorvino in the last reel of "The Firm"? And while Lorraine Bracco of "Goodfellas" gives her all to the role of assistant U.S. attorney Diane Giacalone -- the woman whose tireless pursuit of Gotti ended in his eventual conviction -- her all is all over the place, and the script is so disjointed and disappointing, this ought to be called "Badfellas." CBS.

* "Tales From the Crypt." (9-10 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- Well, it HTC made it. After making the transition from HBO to the late-night lineup of Fox, it was only a matter of time before Fox would try out these slightly diluted "Crypt" tales in prime time. Doing it during the May sweeps, though, suggests the network has a lot of faith in this particular experiment. These two repeats, however, are relatively weak stories. Teri Garr stars in the first, Blythe Danner in the second. Fox.

* "NYPD Blue." (10-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Last week's fight between Sipowicz (Dennis Franz) and Sylvia (Sharon Lawrence) and a strong guest performance by former "Hill Street Blues" regular Charles Haid served notice that "NYPD Blue" came back from its brief hiatus stronger than ever. So watch tonight, as both Sipowicz and Licalsi (Amy Brenneman) confront their past demons. ABC.

* "Frontline: 'Romeo and Juliet in Sarajevo.' " (9-10 p.m., WMPT, channels 22 and 67) -- He was 24 and Serbian. She was 25 and a Muslim. Even though their people were at war, they were in love -- and they died in each other's arms, one year ago today, killed by sniper fire in Sarajevo. The show's title sets the scene; producer Virginia Storring does the rest, along with help from foreign camera crews, who, incredibly, recorded their actual, grisly deaths. This "Frontline" is not easy to watch, but should be seen. PBS.

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