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'David' rules as king on TNT; Fox lathers up 'Pacific Palisades' from Spelling; NBC 'Fired Up'

Highlights | TURN ON, TUNE IN OR MISS OUT

April 06, 1997|STEVEN LINAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Sunday

"David" / 5, 7 and 9 p.m. TNT. Concludes Wednesday

Nathaniel Parker has the title role as king of the Israelites in this violent Old Testament tale. In Part 1, he slays--and beheads--the Philistine giant Goliath, triumphantly presenting it to Saul (Jonathan Pryce), who falls out of favor with God before meeting his end in a bloody battle. Leonard Nimoy, as the aging prophet Samuel, is one of the few characters who does not raise a sword in this four-hour film from the producers of "Joseph," "Moses" and "Abraham."

Monday

"Killing Mr. Griffin" / 9 p.m. NBC

We've all had an unpopular teacher at one time or another, but who was ever tempted to kidnap him? One such abduction takes a deadly turn in this TV movie based on the 1960s novel by Lois Duncan. The taskmaster is played by Jay Thomas, who was a much nicer fellow as a gym teacher in "Mr. Holland's Opus." Here, he's a humorless autocrat whisked away by members of the senior class (Scott Bairstow, Mario Lopez and Amy Jo Johnson), who face more than detention for their foolish prank, which goes awry.

****

"When Innocence Is Lost" / 9 p.m. Lifetime

Single parenthood and the viability of day care are the focus of this cable movie inspired by actual events. Keri Russell ("Malibu Shores") plays Erica French, a Cornell University freshman caught up in a custody battle after putting her daughter in day care while attending classes. Receiving emotional and financial support from her mother (Jill Clayburgh), Erica fights for custody with the family of her ex-boyfriend (Vincent Corazza), who initially has no interest in raising his daughter.

Wednesday

"Pacific Palisades" / 9 p.m. Fox

When the network announced this new Aaron Spelling serial in January, the joke was that the prolific producer ("Melrose Place," "Beverly Hills, 90210," "Sunset Beach," "Malibu Shores") eventually would run out of upscale Southern California locales. The more obvious concern for Fox should be that Spelling will run out of original ideas. Greg Evigan, Finola Hughes, Jarrod Emick, Michelle Stafford, Jocelyn Seagrave and Lucky Vanous (yeah, the hunk from that Diet Coke commercial) are part of the large ensemble.

Thursday

"Fired Up" / 9:30 p.m. NBC

Sharon Lawrence swaps cops for comedy in this new sitcom. Lawrence, who already has one prime-time role as Dennis Franz's wife on "NYPD Blue," acquires another in this midseason series embarking on a trial run in the much-sought slot between "Seinfeld" and "ER." The actress plays Gwen Leonard, a downsized marketing executive forced to run a business out of a SoHo loft with her assistant (Leah Remini) after both lose their jobs at a prestigious firm. Jonathan Banks ("Wiseguy") co-stars as the owner of a neighborhood nightclub.

Friday

"VH1 Honors" / 9 p.m. VH1

Sheryl Crow, Celine Dion, James Taylor, Steve Winwood, Stevie Wonder and the Wallflowers are scheduled to perform at the fourth annual concert. Dion will be joined by a children's choral group from the Memphis area in a song spotlighting this year's salute to music education. Proceeds from the event--recorded the previous evening at the Universal Amphitheatre--are earmarked for public schools.

Saturday

"Leaving L.A." / 9 p.m. ABC

"Gun" / 10 p.m. ABC

Two midseason series premiere as part of the network's revamped lineup opening at 8 p.m. with "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman," which has been exiled to Saturdays after plummeting in the ratings on Sundays. "Leaving L.A." tracks the "offbeat" exploits of workers in the county coroner office. "Gun" is an anthology from Robert Altman ("The Player") about the assorted owners of a pearl-handled weapon. In the opener, Daniel Stern plays an actor who encounters two armed robbers at a mini-mart. Rosanna Arquette, Peter Horton, Randy Quaid, Edward James Olmos, Jennifer Tilly and Sean Young star in upcoming episodes.

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