Fox drops one murder tale, adds another


September 13, 1994|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Special to The Sun

Thank goodness for small favors, and for brief delays: Today was the day Fox had set aside for the prime-time premiere of its controversial docudrama "The O. J. Simpson Story," but the network decided it would be in poor taste to present the movie before the jury in the double homicide case had been selected.

(The mere act of making it is poor taste in itself, but that's another matter.)

* "Deadly Vows" (8-10 p.m., Channel 45) -- So what does Fox scrape up to use as a last-minute substitution for its unauthorized O. J. telemovie? Would you believe a fact-based drama about an obsessive man who plots to murder his wife? Well, believe it.

Gerald McRaney is the husband, Peggy Lipton the wife, and Josie Bissett of "Melrose Place" is the other woman. (In fact, she's the other wife, but I don't want to give away too much of the plot.) Fox.

* "Roseanne" (9-9:30 p.m., Channel 13) -- This series did not win an Emmy this year; nor did John Goodman or Roseanne. But for the third straight year, Laurie Metcalf did, and tonight's repeat episode showcases her very nicely. ABC.

* "Ellen" (9:30-10 p.m., Channel 13) -- Patricia Richardson of "Home Improvement" was almost a nonentity as an Emmy host on Sunday, but her co-host, Ellen DeGeneres, was truly funny in her ad-lib "remote reports" during the telecast.

That may entice many people to tune in tonight and sample this repeat of "Ellen" for the first time. That, of course, was part of the reason ABC, which televised the Emmy Awards, handed her the co-host duties in the first place. ABC.


* "75 Seasons: The Story of the NFL" (8-10 p.m., TNT) -- In five days, Ken Burns and company will begin taking more than 18 hours on PBS to tell the story of pro baseball. Tonight, as a sort of safety blitz, TNT sets out to tell the entire history of pro football in two commercial-filled hours. The interviews are good, the images better, and the timing somewhat amazing: NFL Films president Steve Sabol interviewed Mr. Simpson extensively at his Brentwood home six days before the murders.

* "Picture What Women Do" (9-11 p.m., LIF) -- What women do, in this first hour, is be honored for their multi-faceted lives and achievements. In the second hour, broadcast live, there's a discussion about women and women's issues. Mary Alice Williams is host.

* "Warlock: The Armageddon" (9:45-11:25 p.m., MAX) -- I don't know about you, but Armageddon tired of this "Warlock" movie series.

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