'Saturday Night Live' is everywhere

TODAY'S TV

May 17, 1994|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Special to The Sun

On NBC, "Saturday Night Live" has a hand in the entire evening of prime time: Its two-hour special leads off the evening, and Phil Hartman, who said goodbye to the show last Saturday night, is interviewed tonight on "Dateline NBC." The evening's biggest draw, though, is the season finale of "NYPD Blue."

* "Saturday Night Live Presents President Clinton's All-Time Favorites." (8-10 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Phil Hartman plays Mr. Clinton, whose choices here are strange but have range: You'll get to see Julia Louis-Dreyfus, for example, when she was an SNL regular. NBC.

* "Roseanne." (9-9:30 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Three players from "One Life to Live" -- Clint Ritchie, Robert S. Woods and John Loprieno -- show up on tonight's "Roseanne," which also features Roseanne Arnold in a long blond wig. ABC.

* "Search for Grace." (9-11 p.m., Ch. 10) -- Ken Wahl and Lisa Hartman play dual roles in this "Dead Again"-style mystery, which, unfortunately, has no style. A waste of time -- mine, that is. Don't make the same mistake. CBS.

* "Dateline NBC." (10-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Mr. Hartman is on hand here to talk about his career after "Saturday Night Live" -- which, so far, has lasted 36 hours and counting. NBC.

* "NYPD Blue." (10-11 p.m., Ch. 6) -- Last week's episode was the best so far in a very strong first season, setting the stage for this week's season finale. Kelly (David Caruso) has lost some of his nobility, Sipowicz (Dennis Franz) has wavered in his sobriety, and everyone else at the precinct is going through one change or another, from a wife's infidelity or pregnancy to guilt over shooting someone. ABC.

* "Declarations: Essays on American Ideals." (10-11 p.m., WMPT, channels 22 and 67) -- Part 1 of 3. One of the things I like most about this series of essays is that I don't like all of them. These essays on "Liberty: Freedom of Expression" include James Bernard's energetic defense of rap music, which makes sense, and professor Charles Sykes' attack on TV violence, which doesn't. Salman Rushdie's essay on free speech is the hour's highlight ("I have become a master of the Nintendo machine," says the famous recluse, somewhat surprisingly), but anyone planning to go trucking down the Information Superhighway -- or, to use the term I prefer, the Infobahn -- should stay tuned for the essay on "cyberspeech" by Grateful Dead lyricist John Perry Barlow. PBS.

* "Nightline." (11:35 p.m.-12:05 a.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- The dairies of H.R. Haldeman are examined in tonight's edition. ABC.

Cable

* "Nick News Special Edition: 'Stranger Danger.' " (8-8:30 p.m., NIK) -- "In talking to kids," Linda Ellerbee says at the start of this special, "we discovered that what the fear of nuclear war was to kids my age, the fear of abduction is to kids today." This show takes a look at how kids can deal with the fear, and the reality, including good advice about code words and a visit with a young girl who escaped a would-be abductor by faking an asthma attack. "That's cool," Ms. Ellerbee says.

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