That UFO could be one more soccer ball


June 24, 1994|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Special to The Sun

Now that the United States has a great chance to advance to the second round, will more people be tuning in to World Cup games? I hope so -- because these games have been fun to watch, and there are more good ones on tap today.

* "Greyhounds." (8 p.m.-10 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- The latest ad hoc installment of "Write-Off Theater," this is another unsold pilot thrown onto the summer schedule. This features a better cast than most: James Coburn, Dennis Weaver and Robert Guillaume. CBS.

* "Encounters: The Hidden Truth." (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45, and WTTG, Channel 5) -- Last season, Fox had "Sightings," a silly "reality" show about the paranormal whose relative success led to the fictional, and vastly more intelligent, "The X-Files." Now here comes another "reality" series, with a more intentional "X-Files" flavor, and with an opener about -- what else? -- UFOs. Fox.

* "The X-Files." (9 p.m.-10 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45, and WTTG, Channel 5) -- Here, though, is the real thing -- a thing, at least, that's worth watching. Fox.


* "World Cup Soccer: Mexico vs. Ireland." (12:35 p.m.-conclusion, ESPN) -- The second first-round game for both teams, this contest is more crucial for Mexico, which lost its first game (against Norway), than for Ireland, which scored an upset by beating Italy.

* "World Cup Soccer: Brazil vs. Cameroon." (4:05 p.m., ESPN) -- Cameroon, which tied Sweden in its only previous game, was lots of fun to watch because of its almost dizzying reliance on speed and energy. The heavily favored Brazil, which beat Russia handily, is fun to watch because of its one-touch ball-control handling, and the beautiful and strategic way it moves the ball up and down the field. It may not make for a great game, but it'll make for a great clash of soccer styles.

* "World Cup Soccer: Sweden vs. Russia." (7:35 p.m., ESPN) -- If you paid attention during the previous World Cup entries, you already know Sweden has a tie, and Russia a loss, in their previous first-round matches. If Brazil beats Cameroon, a win today by either Sweden or Russia -- the other two teams in Group B -- puts that winning team in second place in the same division, with a solid chance to move to the next round.

* "The Getaway." (9 p.m.-11:30 p.m., LIF) -- Just as the new Alec Baldwin-Kim Basinger "Getaway" is released on home video, Lifetime is resurrecting the 1972 original. Who acts worse, Basinger or Ali MacGraw? You make the call. In a supporting role, Jennifer Tilly acts much better than Sally Struthers did in the original, but doesn't get the good scenes that Struthers did. As for Baldwin vs. Steve McQueen, it's McQueen, for a day.

* "National Association of Radio Talk Show Hosts." (10 p.m.-midnight, C-SPAN) -- This annual meeting is broadcast from Santa Monica, and leads to several obvious questions? Who's the host? Will there be questions from the crowd? And with all those talkers in the same room, who's left to listen?

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