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Highlights | TURN ON, TUNE IN OR MISS OUT

KCAL plays 'Pictionary'; now live, from the 'ER'; '3rd Rock,' new time; who's 'Mad' about baby?

September 21, 1997|STEVEN LINAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Sunday

"All the Winters That Have Been" / 9 p.m. CBS

In the mood for a love story? This one stars Richard Chamberlain as Dane Corvin, whose passionate affair 20 years ago with an artist named Hanna (Karen Allen) was spoiled because he was a federal agent in pursuit of her brother. Now Dane has returned to idyllic Raven Island, where he attempts to win Hanna back. This time, however, she's the one who's keeping a secret ...

Monday

"Pictionary" / 5:30 p.m. KCAL

The popular board game becomes the basis of a new weekday show hosted and co-produced by Alan Thicke. Essentially "charades on paper," the half-hour show features two teams (each consists of two celebrities and a contestant) racing to solve linked words and phrases in an allotted time. The contestants vie for cash and a chance to play the bonus round, which can bring bigger earnings.

Tuesday

"Mad About You" / 8 p.m. NBC

As the sitcom's sixth season begins, Paul (Paul Reiser) and Jamie (Helen Hunt) are no longer just mad about each other. There's a new bundle of joy in their lives. But just how much joy can these first-time parents handle with their baby girl? After returning from the hospital, it doesn't take long for the inexperienced couple to realize the tasks ahead of them. Meanwhile, Murray's tail fails to wag upon meeting baby Buchman and snippy British neighbors Maggie and Hal are less than thrilled with their tiny "neighbor."

****

"Steel Chariots" / 8 p.m. Fox

A remake of "Ben-Hur," Fox style? Hardly. This new TV movie tracks the rivalry between two brothers (Ben Browder and Scott Gurney) competing for fame, money and women on the NASCAR circuit. Veterans John Beck ("Dallas") and Kathleen Nolan ("The Real McCoys") co-star with country singer Randy Travis as driver-turned-preacher Revvin' Reverend Wally Jones. As an unsold pilot from the producers of "Baywatch," you just know it has to be good.

Wednesday

"The 31st Annual CMA Awards" / 8 p.m. CBS

Newcomer Deana Carter and warhorse George Strait have five nominations apiece at this tape-delayed ceremony hosted by Vince Gill at the Grand Ole Opry. Shania Twain, Clint Black, Martina McBride, Lorrie Morgan, Alan Jackson, LeAnn Rimes, Trisha Yearwood and Travis Tritt will appear. And get ready for Sting to sing a little country tune he wrote called "I'm So Happy I Can't Stop Crying."

****

"In Performance at the White House" / 8 p.m. KCET

Name your favorite song by Gladys Knight and the Pips, and odds are it will turn up during this PBS special. President Clinton welcomes the Grammy winner, who performs on the south lawn before a VIP audience including First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and various officials. "Midnight Train to Georgia," "Neither One of Us" and "If I Were Your Woman" are a few of the selections. You might say we heard it through the grapevine.

****

"3rd Rock From the Sun" / 9 p.m. NBC

When last seen in an original episode, the wacky Solomons were involved in some truly surreal 3-D adventures on a Sunday night. What a difference four months can make. Now Dick (John Lithgow) and company have moved to a new night where they will battle for Nielsen points opposite "The Drew Carey Show" on ABC. In the one-hour season premiere, Roseanne (whose ABC sitcom was made by "Rock's" production company) guests as Dick's intended bride. One problem: He's already engaged to Mary (Jane Curtin).

Thursday

"ER" / 10 p.m. NBC

Whatever happens in the fourth-season premiere of this hit medical drama, rest assured it will be done without retakes. That's because the opener is a live episode--tape-delayed for West Coast viewers--in which the story will be shot with hand-held cameras and told through the viewpoint of a documentary crew visiting the hospital. Making the announcement last May, executive producer John Wells said the broadcast presents "a logistical nightmare," but it should be interesting for viewers--not to mention the cast.

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