Watching 'ER' tonight? Don't forget to breathe

Today's TV

January 11, 1996|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF

Welcome to a night of returning classics: two regulars from the original "Dick Van Dyke Show" return to prime time; Rod Steiger reprises (sort of) one of his most memorable roles; that know-it-all mail guy, Cliff Clavin, shows up on PBS; and possibly the finest "ER" yet gets a repeat showing on NBC.

* "Bill Nye the Science Guy" (5:30 p.m.-6 p.m., MPT, Channels 22 and 67) -- Cliff, the mailman from "Cheers," and Bill Nye have it out over dinosaurs. PBS.

* "The Commish: Redemption" (9 p.m.-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Rod Steiger plays a Nazi death camp survivor, a role reminiscent of his Oscar-nominated turn in 1965's "The Pawnbroker," one of the bleakest, most powerful movies ever made. Should be interesting. ABC.

* "Mystery!" (9 p.m.-10 p.m.) and "Murder She Said" (10 p.m.-11:30 p.m., MPT, Channels 22 and 67) -- A wonderful double-feature for lovers of fictional British detectives. First Jeremy Brett's Sherlock Holmes tries to crack the mystery surrounding "The Red Circle," then Margaret Rutherford's Miss Marple tackles a murder case without a corpse, in a 1961 film that suggests how good "Murder, She Wrote" could be if

only it tried.

* "Caroline in the City" (9:30 p.m.-10 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Sally Rogers and Buddy Sorrell -- er, I mean, Rose Marie and Morey Amsterdam -- show up as the original owners of Caroline's antique desk. Maybe there are some old "Alan Brady Show" scripts hidden inside. NBC.

* "ER" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- In a show that's more like a roller coaster ride than drama, Dr. Greene battles to save the life of a woman whose pregnancy develops some brutal complications. Anthony Edwards really shines in this one; you won't be able to take your eyes off the TV screen. NBC.

Cable

* "Call Northside 777" (6:05 p.m.-8 p.m., AMC) -- Jimmy Stewart stars as a newspaper reporter convinced the criminal he's profiling is innocent. Thank goodness they put dates on newspaper front pages. Good stuff.

* "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" (10:05 p.m.-12:05 a.m., TBS) -- See Dr. Quinn as you've never seen her before. Jane Seymour earns a paycheck (but not a whole lot else) in this story of a woman trying to find her lost husband through a phone-sex service. She couldn't have tried the yellow pages?

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