Dutton reprises role on `Without a Trace'

Today's TV

January 30, 2003|By David Zurawik

The February "sweeps" ratings period starts tonight, and that means lots of guest stars appearing on weekly series. Sometimes, that can be a good thing, as with Charles S. Dutton's appearance on the CBS drama Without a Trace, tonight at 10 on WJZ (Channel 13).

Dutton revisits the role of Chet Collins, the father of a 2-year-old boy who disappeared in a previous episode. Collins tries to persuade Jack Malone (Anthony LaPaglia) and his team to follow up on a clue that has led the father to believe his son is still alive even though the boy has been missing for six years. Malone turns him down, but Collins refuses to give up.

The hour is mostly Dutton, and he delivers the dramatic goods as a distraught parent fighting a very good fight against the system and impossible odds.

The final scene, with Dutton playing it as quiet and gentle as he was fierce throughout the rest of the episode, has Emmy written all over it.

Dutton is nominated for an NAACP Image Award for his initial appearance as Chet Collins earlier this year.

At a glance

Columbo Likes the Nightlife (8 p.m.-10 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Peter Falk nailed his character from the very beginning, and the rest is history -- or at least a long string of shows and movies that began in 1968. Tonight, the rumpled detective looks into some nefarious deeds on the Los Angeles "rave" scene. ABC.

The Surreal Life (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WNUV, Channel 54) -- Catch back-to-back repeats of the episodes from the past two weeks. WB.

Scrubs (8:40 p.m.-9:20 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- At a bar, Carla continues to search for the right answer to Turk's proposal while Elliot thinks she has struck gold when she meets Paul (guest star Rick Schroder), a charming man whom she assumes is a fellow physician. (NBC's sitcoms are "super-sized" tonight, each running 40 minutes.) NBC.

Frontline (9 p.m.-10 p.m., MPT, Channels 22 and 67) -- Tonight's program is the first of two examining problems associated with foster care for children, illustrated by the case of a 5-year-old who died in Maine. PBS.

The Pulse (9 p.m.-10 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- The newsmagazine featuring people from the Fox News Channel returns, along with Shepard Smith as host. Evan Marriott (Joe Millionaire) will be interviewed. Fox.

Cable

TV Tales: Saturday Night Live (8 p.m.-10 p.m., E!) -- This two-hour episode includes interviews with Lorne Michaels, Chevy Chase, Joe Piscopo, Victoria Jackson, Ellen Cleghorne, Molly Shannon, Jay Mohr, Ana Gastayer, Tina Fey, Mary Gross, Al Franken, Kevin Nealon, Julia Sweeney, Jimmy Fallon and Tracy Morgan. Archival interviews include Laraine Newman, Jane Curtin, Bill Murray and Garrett Morris.

106 & Park Prime (9 p.m.-9:30 p.m., BET) -- On BET's new late-night music countdown show, get music news and hot performances from guest hosts Fabolous and Lil' Mo, with a guest appearance by Queen Latifah.

Compiled from wire reports by Sarah Kickler Kelber

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