'Boys,' 'Girl' and a few 'Angels'


September 14, 1994|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Special to The Sun

Tonight marks the premiere of "All-American Girl," which, in a lackluster crop of new sitcoms, is the one with the most sparkle. It's also the night in which NBC presents a new movie co-produced by and starring Dennis Franz, and doubtlessly will benefit from his recent Emmy win as best actor in a drama series.

* "Moment of Truth: Caught in the Crossfire" (8 p.m.-10 p.m., Channel 2) -- This fact-based made-for-tv movie begins with a murder, followed by an inquisitive Dennis Franz stepping on the gas to chase after the sirens and dust of a passing ambulance and squad car. The latest in a long line of dramas in which Mr. Franz plays a cop? Not this time. This time he plays a reporter, working for the Beaumont Clarion-Journal -- and, after a while, as a secret tipster for the FBI. "An informant?" Mr. Franz's Gus Payne says, when asked about the offer. "I'm gonna have to give that some thought." He and his publisher decide to take the risks in exchange for an exclusive, and the plot thickens from there. I could reveal more, but Efrem Zimbalist Jr. made me promise to keep quiet. NBC.

* "The Boys Are Back" (8 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Channel 11) -- In more ways than one, because this series premiered last Sunday. Suzanne Pleshette, Hal Linden star. Here's hoping the script improves. CBS.

* "Beverly Hills, 90210" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., Channel 45) -- Last week, in the season premiere, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen established herself as a new regular on "90210." Tonight it's Kathleen Robertson's turn. She was seen for several episodes last season as Clare, the chancellor's wayward daughter, who was interested in Brandon (Jason Priestley). Tonight she winds up at the same university as Brandon, who's now interested in Kelly (Jennie Garth), who used to be interested in Dylan (Luke Perry). This ought to be . . . interesting. Fox.

* "Angels Among Us" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., Channel 11) -- If this were demonic rather than angelic, it might be called "Rescue 666," because this CBS special is patterned after "Rescue 911." It's got actual people describing something unusual that happened to them, followed by hokey re-creations, with an overly somber celebrity as host. This time, instead of William Shatner, it's Roma Downey, who just happens to be the star of next week's CBS series premiere of "Touched By An Angel." If anyone likes this show, it'll be a miracle. CBS.

* "All-American Girl" (9:30 p.m.-10 p.m., Channel 13) -- Margaret Cho is charming, as well as funny, in this new series, and the concept of a Korean-American sitcom is a big plus. If this series catches on, though, it'll be equally due to the unusually strong supporting cast: B. D. Wong, Clyde Kusatsu, Amy Hill and Jodi Long all score points in tonight's pilot. It's not an instant triumph on the scale of "Roseanne" or "The Cosby Show," but "All-American Girl" is a series that starts strongly and has lots of growth potential. ABC.

* "Turning Point" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., Channel 13) -- Frank Serpico is among those interviewed by Barbara Walters in this hour on police corruption, the assertions in which ought to make the NYPD blue. ABC.

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