Watergate revisited 'TV Nation' fun


August 09, 1994|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Special to The Sun

On the 20th anniversary of Richard Nixon's resignation as president, cable offers two documentaries keyed to Watergate tonight. Unfortunately, they overlap -- but you can enjoy both, providing your TV room is equipped with a secret taping system. On broadcast TV, the most intriguing offering is a new episode of "TV Nation."

* "TV Nation" (8-9 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- I don't want to give too much detail about which reports are scheduled in tonight's "TV Nation," because part of the fun is in the surprise, and in the variety. But here are two high-profile hints: Bill Clinton and O. J. Simpson. They aren't guests, though; they're topics. NBC.

* "I Can Make You Love Me" (9-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Notice that CBS, much more attuned to violence on TV these days, has dropped the subtitle of this 1993 docudrama, which was "The Stalking of Laura Black." Brooke Shields plays a young woman who is courted, then harassed and terrorized, by a co-worker (played by Richard Thomas). Docudrama or not, the almost casual shotgun violence near the end of this telemovie is hard to defend, and harder to enjoy. CBS repeat.

* "NYPD Blue" (10-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- David Caruso stars in this repeat -- and suddenly, based on the latest rumors from Hollywood that have him leaving the show, that makes it more valuable than ever. ABC repeat.

* "Late Show with David Letterman" (11:35 p.m. WBAL, Channel 11) -- Among Dave's guests tonight are Spencer Horseman, an 8-year-old ventriloquist from South Baltimore. Peter Gabriel will also be on. CBS.


* "The Nixon Interviews With David Frost" (9-10:35

p.m., DIS) -- Part 2. David Frost parries and thrusts with Nixon on foreign-policy issues in this episode, and rejects one Nixon argument with a mixture of incredulity and hilarity that is laugh-out-loud funny. (Listen for it; you'll know it when you hear it.) As an added bonus, outtakes from the original 1977 interviews are tacked on at the end, and are eminently interesting and worthwhile.

* "Watergate" (10-11 p.m., DSC) -- Part 4. While reporting on the so-called Saturday Night Massacre at the height of the Watergate investigation, then-NBC newsman John Chancellor, in a clip shown during tonight's outstanding "Watergate" installment, says, "In my career as a correspondent, I never thought I'd be announcing such things." Tune in tonight and see the reasons for his impromptu incredulity.

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