Life on PBS, death on CBS 'In Cold Blood' and Lilith

Today's TV

November 26, 1996|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,SPECIAL TO THE SUN Staff writer Chris Kaltenbach contributed to this article.

It's a night to rally around PBS, which presents two remarkable documentaries tonight: the final installment of the fascinating "Odyssey of Life" on "Nova," and an agonizingly intimate profile about a woman, in a film made by her own daughter, on "Frontline."

"Promised Land" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Delta Burke guest stars on her husband's show this week, playing Nathaniel's estranged mother. CBS.

"Nova: Odyssey of Life" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., MPT, Channels 22, 67) -- Lots of times, when watching the previous two installments of this fabulous, ultra-close-up look at nature and people, I asked myself, "How did the photographer get these pictures?" The photographer is Lenart Nillson, whom this documentary describes, with probable accuracy, as having "revealed more of life's secrets than any other photographer." In tonight's concluding episode, he reveals the secrets behind those secrets and shows how he captured his pictures. PBS.

"Something So Right" (8: 30 p.m.-9 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Bob Barker and Shirley Jones guest star. NBC.

"In Cold Blood" (9 p.m.-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Part 2 of 2. Tonight's conclusion is, by far, the better installment of this CBS miniseries -- not because it includes the murders at the core of this nonfiction story, but because Sam Neill, as the chief investigator solving the crime and interrogating the prime suspects (played by Eric Roberts and Anthony Edwards), gives the docudrama's strongest performance. CBS.

"Frasier" (9 p.m.-9: 30 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Great episode: Bebe Neuwirth returns as Lilith and this time has the most fun engaging in a very short, yet riotously barbed, verbal duel with Frasier's brother Niles (David Hyde Pierce). NBC.

"Frontline: Secret Daughter" (9 p.m.-11 p.m., MPT, Channels 22, 67) -- Producer June Cross stacks up one surprise after another in this pointedly personal documentary, which is a daughter's search for reasons why she was given away by her mother at a young age. Cross is so honest -- about her memories, feelings, fears and even her filmmaking errors while making the documentary -- "Secret Daughter" is a must-see, won't-forget TV event. PBS.

"Spin City" (9: 30 p.m.-10 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Ed Koch makes a guest appearance tonight. Do what you will with that information; I merely report it, without spin. ABC.

"Caroline in the City" (9: 30 p.m.-10 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Judd Hirsch guest stars. NBC.


"Assassination" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., repeats 2 a.m.-3 a.m., Discovery) -- Part 2 of the series looks at "Betrayal," leaders who died because they trusted someone who had far from their best interests at heart. The show goes back to the original betrayal, a little brother-brother squabble involving guys named Cain and Abel.

Pub Date: 11/26/96

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