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March 27, 1988|Kevin Thomas

Despite a couple of exploitation elements, such as an extraneous razzle-dazzle chase, The New Centurions (Channel 13 Sunday at 8 p.m.) is a solid, highly entertaining 1972 adaptation of Joseph Wambaugh's first best seller about life and death in the Los Angeles Police Department. George C. Scott, Stacy Keach, Jane Alexander and Scott Wilson star; Richard Fleischer directed from Stirling Silliphant's script.

The 1982 Tootsie (ABC Sunday at 9 p.m.) seems destined to be a classic screen comedy, so perfect is its timing. What a joy is Dustin Hoffman as a dedicated but unemployed New York actor driven to disguise himself as an actress, winding up a soap opera star while the actor ends up with his consciousness raised. Among Hoffman's perplexed colleagues and friends are Jessica Lange, Teri Garr, Charles Durning and Bill Murray. Larry Gelbart wrote the inspired script, directed flawlessly by Sydney Pollack, who also plays Hoffman's agent.

Ricky Schroder stars in the new TV movie Too Young the Hero (CBS Sunday at 9 p.m.), which is based on the true story of Calvin Graham, who enlisted in the Navy and became a World War II hero at the age of 12.

Gore Vidal's Lincoln (NBC Sunday and Monday at 9 p.m.) is a new two-part, four-hour drama starring Sam Waterston as our 16th President and Mary Tyler Moore as his wife. Richard Mulligan, John Houseman, John McMartin, Ruby Dee and Cleavon Little co-star. Lamont Johnson directed from Ernest Kinoy's adaptation of Vidal's best seller.

Channel 13 fills its 8 p.m. movie slot throughout the week with the Barbara Taylor Bradford saga of the fabulously wealthy Emma Harte, heroine of the popular three-part, six-hour A Woman of Substance, followed by its two-part, four-hour sequel Hold the Dream. Jenny Seagrove and Deborah Kerr star.

Stanley Kubrick's bloody 1960 Roman saga, Spartacus, airs in two parts on Channel 11 Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m.

Addicted to His Love (ABC Monday at 9 p.m.) is a new TV movie starring Barry Bostwick and Polly Bergen, in which four women join forces to trap a con man.

Sunday in the Park With George (Channel 28 Wednesday at 9 p.m.) is a reprise of the "American Playhouse" presentation of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's dazzling, intricate Pulitzer Prize-winning musical inspired by the life of French impressionist painter Georges Seurat. Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters star.

Hide in Plain Sight (Channel 5 Thursday at 8 p.m.) is a modest but very affecting 1980 film based on a true story. James Caan directed and stars as a decent man who struggles with plodding persistence against the smug, indifferent forces of bureaucracy to locate his children, who have disappeared along with his ex-wife when her new husband, a small-time criminal, becomes part of the government's witness relocation program.

Hennessy (Channel 5 Friday at 8 p.m.) is a handsome, but credibility-defying 1975 film starring Rod Steiger as a mild-mannered engineer in Northern Ireland who becomes consumed with revenge when his wife and daughter are gunned down by British bullets during a Belfast street battle.

In the award-winning 1983 TV movie Memorial Day (Channel 2 Saturday at 8 p.m.) Mike Farrell stars as a Vietnam veteran whose reunion with some old combat buddies triggers a flood of memories that he has struggled to forget. This finely fashioned morality play makes the point that "the whole damn thing was so damn stupid"--and it bears down as much on those who didn't go to war as those who did.

John Huston and John Milius joined forces, as director and writer, respectively, of The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (Channel 13 Saturday at 8 p.m.), a whimsical, highly sophisticated mock-heroic Western starring Paul Newman in the title role as the tough hombre who brought law and order to the Texas Badlands and became part of the folklore of the Old West. Like "Little Big Man," this fine and unjustly neglected 1972 film plays upon our traditional love of the tall tale to confront us with what the cherished myths of the frontier reveal about ourselves and our heritage.

Selected evening cable fare: Ferris Bueller's Day Off (Movie Channel Sunday at 7); The Revolt of Job (Bravo Sunday at 8:30); The Color of Money (Movie Channel Sunday at 9); Back to the Future (SelecTV Sunday at 9, HBO Monday at 8); The Trip to Bountiful (Movie Channel Monday at 7); Stalag 17 (Z Monday at 7); The Assault (Bravo Monday at 8); Black Narcissus (Z Monday at 9); Three Women (A&E Tuesday at 6); The Conformist (Z Tuesday at 7); The Crazy Family (Bravo Tuesday at 8); Kiss of the Spider Woman (Movie Channel Tuesday at 9); Le Beau Mariage (Bravo Wednesday at 7); Travels With My Aunt (Movie Channel Wednesday at 7); A Passage to India (SelecTV Wednesday at 7); Something Wild (Cinemax Wednesday at 8); Summer (Bravo Wednesday at 9).

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