A well-rounded view of Vikings' journey


January 24, 1995|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Special to The Sun

Two TV events draw wall-to-wall coverage today: Coverage of the O. J. Simpson trial during the day, beginning at noon, and President Bill Clinton's annual State of the Union Address at 9 tonight. You know where to find those two TV offerings; here's a rundown of others.

* "Nova: Vikings in America" (8-9 p.m., Channels 22, 67) -- The Vikings believed the world was flat, but also round: They pictured it as a flat disc, with land masses on the outer edges and water contained within -- kind of like a skimpy serving of mashed potatoes and gravy. Because of that image of the world, these Scandinavian sailors set off without fear -- and actually landed, and settled, in North America five centuries before Columbus set foot in the New World. This "Nova" recounts the Vikings' journeys and troubles, and answers most, but not all, of the questions regarding this little-known chapter of North American history. Footage of modern sailors retracing the Norsemen's route, and lots of helpful animated graphics, put the journeys in a very solid context. PBS.

* "Your Favorite Commercials" (8-9 p.m., Channel 45) -- Tonight, Fox presents a repeat of its "Your Favorite Commercials" special. Tomorrow night, it presents a repeat of its "TV's All-Time Classic Comedy" special. Soon to be repackaged, probably, into yet another Fox showcase: "Fox's All-Time Favorite Low-Budget Time-Fillers." Fox.

* "Dateline NBC" (10-11 p.m., Channel 11) -- CBS is continuing with its analysis of the State of the Union Address until the arrival of the late news, but NBC is the only network tonight with a prime-time newsmagazine already in place on the schedule. NBC.

* "NYPD Blue" (10-11 p.m., Channel 2) -- This is a repeat of the November episode in which Jimmy Smits joined the cast as Bobby Simone. It's also the episode in which Barbara Bosson, "Hill Street Blues" veteran and Steven Bochco's wife, made her first appearance on his latest prime-time series. ABC.


* "Tall, Dark and Deadly" (9-11 p.m., USA) -- This is nothing but a sex-reversal twist on "Fatal Attraction," with Kim Delaney as a successful architect who picks up a handsome man in a bar, then has her life threatened as he becomes increasingly possessive and psychotic. The actions, though, are as improbable as the acting, and this USA Network telemovie ends up being more "Deadly" than anything else.

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