Beyond 'Fences,' the schedule is bland

TODAY'S TV

August 05, 1994|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Special to The Sun

If you've seen "Forrest Gump" -- and, based on the box-office returns, chances are you have -- you might want to see tonight's rerun of "The Princess Bride" on cable. Or, for other reasons, you might want to see an old docudrama about Richard Nixon or a new made-for-TV movie starring Gary Busey's son. At any rate, there are very few reasons I can muster for watching broadcast TV tonight, outside of a chance to catch a "Picket Fences" rerun.

* "I Witness Video" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- All night tonight, NBC is taking out the trash and turning it into trash TV, starting with a rerun of this bottom-feeding reality series. NBC repeat.

* "Best Sellers" (9 p.m.-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- This two-hour program is a pastiche of talk show, documentary, newsmagazine and docudrama, featuring actress Finola Hughes in dramatic re-creations tied to Susan Forward's book, "Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them." Back in the '70s, when NBC presented a series called "Best Sellers," it was to present worthwhile dramas such as "Captains and the Kings." Today, the title could just as easily be "Networks Who Love Junk and the Critics Who Hate Them." NBC.

* "Picket Fences" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- A great episode: Did a man with chronic memory loss mistake his brother for a burglar and shoot him, or was the killing premeditated? It's a case that involves the entire town, and ends up in Judge Bone's court. CBS repeat.

Cable

* "The Princess Bride" (9 p.m.-11 p.m., USA) -- Since this delightful 1987 comedy was made, Cary Elwes starred in "The Crush" and Mandy Patinkin is about to star in the CBS series "Chicago Hope." The biggest star on the rise, though, is Robin Wright, who has the title role here, and currently co-stars with Tom Hanks in "Forrest Gump."

* "The Final Days" (9:30 p.m.-midnight, DIS) -- Lane Smith, now featured as Perry White in "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman," turns in a brilliant portrayal as Nixon in this 1989 made-for-TV movie about the events leading up to his resignation 20 years ago.

* "Rebel Highway: Motorcycle Gang" (10:05 p.m.-11:30 p.m., SHO) -- Jake Busey, Gary's son, stars in this story about a motorcycle gang leader with a heart of gold underneath his tough leather exterior. Carla Gugino plays the innocent young girl captivated by Mr. Busey's charms. John Milius directs.

* "Vegas in Space" (1-3 a.m., USA) -- This may well be the strangest movie Rhonda Shear has ever shown on USA's Up All Night -- which just about says it all.

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