'Murder One' returns, and so does 'Nixon'

Today's TV

January 08, 1996|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF

First CBS brings back "American Gothic"; now "Murder One" is back on ABC. Maybe there's hope for TV yet. All in all, tonight's a great night for prime-time TV.

* "The American Experience" (9 p.m.-midnight, MPT, Channels 22 and 67) -- A superior profile of Richard Nixon is featured in this special edition of PBS' brightest light. "The Quest" tracks Nixon through his unsuccessful bids for the presidency in 1960 and California's governorship two years later; "Triumph" shows him winning the presidency and what he did with it; "The Fall" traces exactly that. No man dominated post-World War II American politics like Dick Nixon, and this documentary does a wonderful job of explaining why. PBS.

* "Cybill" (9:30 p.m.-10 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- TV Guide calls this the show of the year. Unfortunately, in one of those wonderful network programming moves we've all come to love, it's been showing on Sunday nights against "Mad About You" and "The Simpsons." Just for tonight, however, it's moving to Monday, so here's your chance to watch it with a clean conscience. Do. CBS.

* "Murder One" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- To call this latest effort from Steven Bochco the best new series of the year hardly does it justice; suffice to say it's as good as dramatic television gets and the best lawyers' showcase since "Perry Mason." The plot is pretty straightforward: a beautiful woman has been murdered, famous people are involved (including a TV star charged with the crime), and the show will follow the investigation and court trial from start to finish. Unfortunately, after being drubbed by "E.R." in the ratings, it was yanked from the schedule for a few months. But now it's back, and while tonight's show, about jury selection, is hardly the series' most compelling, it's still a fascinating and entertaining hour. ABC.

* "Chicago Hope" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Mandy Patinkin returns to perform a heart transplant, then leaves almost as quickly. Throwing this show and "Murder One" against each )) other proves again that programmers are merciless. One will probably end up killing the other, but isn't there room for both? Thank goodness for VCRs. CBS.

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