'Today' tonight and more soccer today

TODAY'S TV

June 21, 1994|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Special to The Sun

Another slow night, unless you have cable and like soccer.

* "Today at Night" (8-9 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- A day after inaugurating its new glass-lined street-level studio at Rockefeller Center, "Today" presents a prime-time special to show it off. Viewers can sample this hour and decide for themselves whether the new "Today" set is an invigorating addition to the program, or merely so much window dressing. Bryant Gumbel, Katie Couric are hosts. NBC.

* "NBC News Special: 'To Your Health' " (9-10 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Tom Brokaw hosts this special about health-care issues, which is presented commercial-free and contains a panel discussion and "Donahue"-type studio interaction. NBC.

* "XXX's & OOO's" (9-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- CBS passed on developing this two-hour movie pilot into a new series, but cuts its development-budget losses by televising it anyway. Nia Peeples, Debrah Farentino and Susan Walters star in a story about unhappy wives of country-music stars, but the whole project reeks of condescension and manipulation: Put enough music on the soundtrack, and twang in the accents, and people will buy anything. Not this. And not even CBS bought it. CBS.

Cable

* "World Cup Soccer: Argentina vs. Greece" (12:25 p.m.-conclusion, ESPN) -- Today's play completes the opening matches of the World Cup, with each team getting its first chance to win, lose or tie.

* "World Cup Soccer: Germany vs. Spain" (3:55 p.m.-conclusion, ESPN) -- The first of the games to feature teams that already have competed in this year's World Cup (though not against one another), this contest pits Germany (which beat Bolivia on Friday) against Spain (which tied South Korea the same day).

* "World Cup Soccer: Nigeria vs. Bulgaria" (7:35 p.m.-conclusion, ESPN2) -- Like Argentina vs. Greece, the other teams in Group D, these two teams are participating in their first match. But if you watch this game, having seen all the other World Cup games since Friday, you'll have seen each of the 24 teams play in at least one game.

* "Unplugged" (8-8:30 p.m., MTV) -- Another "Spoken Word" "Unplugged" -- featuring the kind of a cappella rhymes and rantings that '50s hep cats would have dared to call "poetry" -- is presented tonight, featuring a lineup of rappers (in both senses of the word) that includes both MC Lyte and Eric Bogosian.

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