Friday the 13 bodes well for TV fans


May 13, 1994|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Contributing Writer

In one respect, I hate Friday the 13 because it means TV, with its usual far-reaching imaginative vision, will be trotting out a bunch of Jason projects. This particular Friday the 13, though, offers more palatable options as well, including the season finales of "The X-Files" and "Picket Fences."

* "Diagnosis: Murder." (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Delta Burke as a nun? That's the guest-starring role she plays tonight -- the same night, coincidentally, that "Sister, Sister" leaves the ABC lineup. If you're keeping score, that's an overall loss of one sister -- not necessarily a good Friday. Dick Van Dyke stars. CBS.

* "The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr." (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- Part 1 of 2. How many films and TV shows does this two-part season finale of "Brisco" allude to? There's a "Mission: Impossible"-type rescue plot, an "A Few Good Men"-type courtroom interrogation (with Terry Bradshaw instead of Jack Nicholson), a return of Elvis-type sheriff and, in a variation of Robert Duvall's famous line from "Apocalypse Now," a character who announces, "I love the smell of cattle in the morning." As usual, lots of fun, and a strong argument for Fox to renew the series. Fox.

* "Ray Alexander: A Taste for Justice." (9 p.m.-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Louis Gossett Jr. stars as the latest sleuth in this Friday mystery-movie wheel from NBC, and with an episode featuring James Coburn and Ossie Davis as guest stars. NBC.

* "The X-Files." (9 p.m.-10 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- There's more tension than logic in this season finale, but it's a fitting -- and, in some respects, unexpected -- way to end the season. Included in the mix: cryogenics and extraterrestrials, an odd event echoing the still-mysterious recent cases of toxic gases emerging from the bloodstreams of human bodies, and a climax that leaves more than one major question mark. This show already has been renewed by Fox, and with good reason. Fox.

* "Picket Fences." (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- This, too, is a season finale, and one that closes the strongest first two seasons of a drama series since the salad days of "St. Elsewhere." CBS.

* "The Spider and the Fly." (9 p.m.-11 p.m., USA) -- Even with Peggy Lipton and Mel Harris in it, this isn't worth watching. From the USA Network, predictably.

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