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TV REVIEWS : Randy Travis Tries on Acting Hat

August 25, 1993|RICHARD CROMELIN

Never mind the other woman, the bottle, the open road. . . . The most treacherous temptation facing country singers today is to act in a movie. Randy Travis gives it a go in "Wind in the Wire," an hourlong comedy-drama airing at 10 tonight on ABC (Channels 7, 3, 10, 42), and if he ever writes a song about it, it should be a certified weeper.

The story concerns the making of a Western in which Travis is the star. The plot, involving a prairie waif who becomes involved with the film company, is so thin as to be nonexistent, and it's communicated primarily by explanatory voice-overs rather than dramatized scenes. When Travis, among the most stoic of country singers, is called on to act . . . well, he appears to be a very good rider.

The show is stocked with guest stars such as Chuck Norris and Burt Reynolds, like fat bass dropped into an artificial pond, and Travis regularly breaks into song in spectacularly scenic settings.

Travis, who helped set the stage for the current country boom but has been somewhat eclipsed by newer acts, is an amiable cipher, but good will goes only so far. When he pronounces, "Little did I know what fate had in store for me," you can hear even the most tolerant fans around the nation barking back at the screen, "You must be the only one."

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