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May 03, 1987|Kevin Thomas

Keith Carradine plays a Kansas highway patrolman in the four-hour Murder Ordained (CBS Sunday and Tuesday at 9 p.m.). It's based on events surrounding a shocking pair of murders in Kansas that attracted national attention.

Police Story: The Freeway Killings (NBC Sunday at 8 p.m.) finds Angie Dickinson, Richard Crenna, Ben Gazzara, Don Meredith and Tony LoBianco pursuing a serial killer while involved in various personal crises.

Meanwhile, Jaws is back on Channel 13 Sunday at 6 p.m.

Robert M. Young's The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (Channel 28 Monday at 9 p.m.) is a compelling Western that vividly depicts the fate of an innocent Mexican (an intense Edward James Olmos), a victim of prejudice at its most virulent. The story is derived from an incident that occurred in Texas in 1901. (The film also airs on the Movie Channel Monday at 7 p.m. and again Thursday at 9 p.m.)

Teen Wolf (NBC Monday at 9 p.m.) is a stripped-down, streamlined but misfired attempt to bring the old Michael Landon movie "I Was a Teen-age Werewolf" up to date. Michael J. Fox plays a typical teen-ager in a typical small American city who discovers he's a werewolf, which, far from ostracizing him, makes him the high school's heaviest dude. Unfortunately, the film makers fumble a potentially comic notion.

Rhinestone (ABC Monday at 9 p.m.), in which Dolly Parton bets her virtue that she can make New York cabbie Sylvester Stallone a country singing star in two weeks, proves to be disastrously unfunny.

Airing Monday at 8 p.m.: Charlton Heston as Ben-Hur (Channel 5, to be completed Tuesday at 8), and Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry (Channel 13), which launches a week of Eastwood movies.

Channel 11 presents a pair of potent dramas, Fort Apache, the Bronx (Tuesday at 9 p.m.), in which Paul Newman plays a veteran police officer in one of the most dangerous precincts in America, and Taxi Driver (Wednesday at 9 p.m.), in which Robert De Niro is a ticking time bomb as a deeply disturbed ex-Marine working as a Manhattan cabbie.

With Red Dawn (Channel 5 Thursday at 8 p.m.) John Milius convinces us that a full-scale Soviet invasion could happen here, only to settle for making a cheap rabble-rouser that becomes increasingly incoherent and bathetic. Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen play high school resisters to Red rule.

The new TV movie Harry's Hong Kong (ABC Friday at 9 p.m.), which sounds like a series pilot, stars David Soul as a soldier of fortune who investigates the apparent murder of one man and the disappearance of another.

Airing Friday at 7:30 p.m. on Channel 5 (following a California Angels baseball game): Patton, which brought George C. Scott his unwanted Oscar.

The 1984 TV movie Burning Rage (CBS Saturday at 9 p.m.) finds country singer Barbara Mandrell improbably cast as a government geologist investigating corruption in an Appalachian coal mining town. A much better bet: the 1983 TV movie Homeward Bound (Channel 11 Saturday at 9 p.m.) in which David Soul plays a man coming to terms with his dying son and long-estranged father.

Selected evening cable fare: Love Me or Leave Me (Showtime Monday at 6); Smooth Talk (Cinemax Monday at 6:30); La Ronde (Z Monday at 7); Turtle Diary (Z Tuesday at 6 and Thursday at 9); The Elephant Man (HBO Tuesday at 8); Blood of a Poet (Bravo Wednesday at 6); Beauty and the Beast (Bravo Wednesday at 7); The Power and the Glory (Z Wednesday at 7:30); The Testament of Orpheus (Bravo Wednesday at 9); Accident (Bravo Thursday at 8:30); Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (WTBS Thursday at 9:20); Streetwise (Bravo Friday at 8); The Ploughman's Lunch (A&E Friday at 9); Rustlers' Rhapsody (Showtime Friday at 9); Julia (Movie Channel Saturday at 7).

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