Reality, fiction go head to head in prime time


January 05, 1995|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Special to The Sun

Of all the battles taking place in prime time tonight, as several newsmagazines shift slots in a fight for viewers and survival, the most interesting and ironic is the one between "E.R." on NBC and "48 Hours: The Real E.R." on CBS. Reality on CBS; fiction on NBC. Which will win in the ratings? Get real. It's "E.R." in a first-round KO.

* "My So-Called Life" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Pre-emptions cause unsettling time shifts once again, as this show presents its New Year's Eve episode -- a week late. ABC.

* "Friends" (8:30 p.m.-9 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Guest star of note: Morgan Fairchild guest stars as Chandler's mother. NBC.

* "Seinfeld" (9 p.m.-9:30 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Plot revelation of note: In tonight's episode, we learn Kramer's first name. Or is it his last name? NBC.

* "Eye to Eye With Connie Chung" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- To launch this show in its new time slot, Ms. Chung interviews the camera-shy Newt Gingrich (that's a joke), Roberta Baskin provides a report on diet pills, and Bernard Goldberg, whose report was available for preview, does a piece on the press and the presidency that provides absolutely no new information or insights regarding the loss of presidential privacy. CBS.

* "E.R." (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Another slightly mis-timed episode: This one, too, is set on New Year's Eve. NBC.

* "Day One" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Tonight's scheduled lead story: Forrest Sawyer interviews Oprah Winfrey. ABC.

* "48 Hours: The Real E.R." (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- "Hope for the best, expect the worst, and take what God gives you," says one real-life doctor in Newark, N.J.'s University Hospital, which serves as home base for this "48 Hours" report on life and the ongoing threat of death in a real-life emergency room and trauma center. This hour, like NBC's fictional counterpart, moves quickly and is loaded with interesting stories and characters. CBS.


* "Juice" (8 p.m.-9:35 p.m., MAX) -- Don't worry, this isn't the first TV biography of O. J. Simpson. This is a 1992 drama starring Omar Epps and Tupac Shakur, in which the term "Juice" means something else entirely.

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