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Highlights | TURN ON, TUNE IN OR MISS OUT

'Murder One' serves up sensational ending; KCET takes an artistic journey; saluting Scorsese on CBS

May 25, 1997|STEVEN LINAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Sunday

"National Memorial Day Concert" / 8 p.m. KCET

The 80th anniversary of World War I is commemorated in this year's salute to the men and women who have served their country. Executive producer Jerry Colbert says, "I hope people will focus on the wartime losses and sacrifices that were made ... " Actor Ossie Davis (a World War II veteran) hosts the telecast, which includes readings and performances by Tony Danza, James Earl Jones, Charles Durning, Sylvia McNair and Martina McBride.

****

"The Garden of Redemption" / 8 p.m. Showtime

It's a good week for Anthony LaPaglia, who stars in this cable drama and a six-hour ABC miniseries closing out "Murder One." First, he plays Don Paolo, a cowardly priest given a last chance to do something of heroic proportion in 1944 Italy after hearing the confession of a young woman caught by Germans while carrying out a dangerous mission in his place. The film is based on a short story by O. Henry.

****

"Murder One" / 9 p.m. ABC; Continues Monday and Thursday

LaPaglia Week continues as the actor dominates the final six hours of producer Steven Bochco's splendid drama, pulled from the schedule in January for the standard reason: rotten ratings. In the opener, scrappy defense attorney Jimmy Wyler (LaPaglia) defends Clifford Banks (Pruitt Taylor Vince), a serial killer of 17 ex-convicts. "Every man I killed," says the articulate Banks, "deserved to die."

Wednesday

"American Visions" / 9 p.m. KCET

Critic Robert Hughes is the writer and host of this eight-part PBS series tracing the history of America's people and places through art. Hughes, who hosted the network's 1981 series "The Shock of the New," guides viewers through three centuries of visual culture, illustrating how painting, drawing, sculpture, architecture and monuments convey messages about who we are as a nation.

****

"The Three Lives of Karen" / 9 p.m. USA

"NYPD Blue" alumnus Gail O'Grady plays a wonderful gal about to marry a great guy (Tim Guinee). There's just one little problem. Another man (Dennis Boutsikaris) shows up with proof that Karen is his wife. And before she can say "I do," the protagonist discovers she has fugue amnesia, a condition associated with people who create new identities when reality bites.

****

"The 25th American Film Institute Life Achievement Award: A Salute to Martin Scorsese" / 10 p.m. CBS

He cruised New York's "Mean Streets," sat behind the wheel of "Taxi Driver" and never pulled a single punch in "Raging Bull." It wouldn't surprise us if the popular guest of honor told the AFI, "You honoring me? You honoring me?!" Sharon Stone, who earned critical plaudits in Scorsese's 1995 drama "Casino," hosts this hourlong tribute interweaving film clips with anecdotes from Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Paul Newman and Ellen Burstyn, each of whom won an Academy Award under Scorsese's direction.

Friday

"Melinda: The First Lady of Magic" / 8 p.m. CBS

Move over, David Copperfield. There's a new illusionist on the small screen. In this one-hour special, the svelte Melinda pulls off the tricks of her trade with help from actresses Shelley Long and Kelsey Mulrooney. And four-time Indy 500 winner Al Unser also shows up, then vanishes, in a Lamborghini. In the evening's top illusion, Melinda makes a Lear jet appear out of thin air with Roger Rabbit as a passenger. Take that, Copperfield!

Saturday

"The Lost Children of Berlin" / 6 and 10 p.m. A&E

Airing without commercial interruption (a genuine rarity for A&E), this documentary is presented by "Schindler's List" Oscar winner Steven Spielberg in association with the Shoah Foundation and Fogwood Films. It features a reunion of 50 people who attended the Berlin reopening of a Jewish school closed down by the Gestapo in 1942.

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