Run, don't walk, to catch 'Nova: Little Creatures'


January 31, 1995|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Special to The Sun

O. J. Simpson defense attorney Johnnie Cochran has described the prosecution's case against his client as a "rush to judgment." That would be a good title for tonight's Fox telemovie as well; instead, the network calls its docudrama "The O. J. Simpson Story." It's tacky, at times ill-advised, definitely ill-timed, and it can be dismissed in two words: Alan Smithee. That's the credited director of this docudrama, but "Alan Smithee" is the official pseudonym used whenever a director doesn't want his real name associated with a particular project. If the person who directed "The O. J. Simpson Story" doesn't want to have anything to do with it, why should you?

* "Nova: Little Creatures Who Run the World" (8-9 p.m., Channels 22, 67) -- The "Little Creatures" are ants, and this "Nova" is must-see viewing for every kid who's ever stared at or stepped on an anthill (which covers just about everyone). If the Little Creatures Who Run Congress see this informative and fascinating installment of "Nova," maybe it'll soften their desire to cut funding for public television. It bounces across the globe, looking at ants from the Sahara to the rain forest and examines their totally selfless, cooperative society. PBS.

* "The O. J. Simpson Story" (8-10 p.m., Channel 45) -- This movie begins with a plaintively barking dog and uses Mr. Simpson's one interview with police, before his arrest, as a springboard for flashbacks that propel this story both backward and forward. There's no art here, and there are no conclusions, just a cynical grab for ratings. Fox.

* "The Marshal" (10-11 p.m., Channel 2) -- Jeff Fahey stars in the title role of this new series, which ABC has had on the shelf for quite a while. Usually, that's a sign of a loser gathering dust, but both Mr. Fahey's character and this series display a lot of sparkle in tonight's premiere. Think of a series version of "The Fugitive," but with Tommy Lee Jones' Lieutenant Gerard as the hero. ABC.


* "Politically Incorrect" (10-10:30 p.m., COM) -- Departing from his usual format, host Bill Maher goes one-on-one with a guest: presidential adviser George Stephanopoulos. A few of Mr. Maher's questions -- like his one-word "Babes?" query -- are no more reverent than the famous MTV "boxers or briefs?" question asked of Bill Clinton himself. But there's a lot of serious political talk, too, and Mr. Maher's easygoing way gets Mr. Stephanopoulos to reveal some private thoughts about Newt Gingrich and others. (Just between you and me, of course.)

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