'Northern Exposure' has a devilish tale

TODAY'S TV

October 17, 1994|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Special to The Sun

I haven't had to complain for a while about things being slow, but tonight TV seems to be taking a breather. There's a devilishly imaginative episode of "Northern Exposure," where the devil himself seems to be visiting Alaska -- but past that, there's not much going on.

* "The Nanny." (8 p.m.-8:30 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Without waiting the usual nine months, Fran (Fran Drescher) has a baby. She found it on the subway -- and took it home, one presumes, as a token of her affection. CBS.

* "Melrose Place." (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- I'm not sure what direction this series is headed this season, but I'm pretty sure that producer-writer Darren Star isn't too sure, either. "Throw it against the wall and see what sticks" seems to be the philosophy so far, and Kathy Ireland certainly didn't stick. Also, Heather Locklear's Amanda needs a worthy adversary, or at least someone new to corrupt. Tonight, Jack Wagner joins the cast, and time will tell whether he'll stick. Fox.

* "Moment of Truth: A Mother's Deception." (9 p.m.-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Joan Van Ark, who used to star in a prime-time soap of her own, returns with a new made-for-TV movie vehicle in which she plays a member of a religious cult -- a morbidly well-timed topic, considering the recent mass deaths in a religious cult abroad. Daniel Hugh Kelly stars as the cult leader. NBC.

* Great Performances: "Dangerous Liaisons." (9 p.m.-11:30 p.m., WMPT, Channels 22 and 67) -- Frederica von Stade stars as the manipulative Marquise in this new San Francisco Opera production, sung in English, based on the Pierre Choderlos de Lacios novel that everyone seems to be adapting these days. Conrad Susa wrote the music, Philip Littell the libretto. The costumes are lavish, and the bedroom scenes are a lot more natural and amorous than is usually the case. PBS.

* "Northern Exposure." (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Charles Martin Smith, who once ran naked with the wolves in "Never Cry Wolf," guest stars as a seemingly literal little devil who visits Cicely to tempt Shelly (Cynthia Geary). Question of the night: With the devil making an appearance in Alaska, does that mean hell has frozen over? CBS.

Cable

* "Watch It." (12:40 a.m.-2:25 a.m., HBO) -- That's the name of this 1993 comedy starring the usually entertaining Peter Gallagher -- but in this case, "Watch It" is bad advice.

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