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Highlights | TURN ON, TUNE IN OR MISS OUT

Relive 'The Day Lincoln was Shot'; 'Love Boat' docks again; divas are doing it for music studies

April 12, 1998|STEVEN LINAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

"The Day Lincoln Was Shot" / 5, 7 and 9 p.m. TNT

The most interesting aspect of this sluggish cable drama is the crack casting of gaunt, gravel-voiced Lance Henriksen as the nation's 16th president. With dark whiskers and stovepipe hat, the "Millennium" star is a dead-ringer--no pun intended--for the chief executive shot by actor John Wilkes Booth (Rob Morrow) at Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865. Morrow is adequate as the avenging Southern sympathizer, but a good part of the film lacks a strong dramatic pulse as it builds toward the assassination. Donna Murphy co-stars as Mary Todd Lincoln.

Monday

"The Love Boat: The Next Wave" / 8 p.m. UPN

It once earned titantic ratings for ABC. Now the revival of this romantic comedy is making another run, setting a course for adventure as a six-episode midseason entry. Robert Urich stars as Capt. Jim Kennedy, the divorced father of a 15-year-old son. Also coming aboard for the hour, which UPN would like to see as an anchor next season: Joan Severance as chief of security; Corey Parker as the ship's physician; Stacey Travis as cruise director and Phil Morris as chief purser. Michelle Phillips is one of next week's passengers.

****

"Harry Connick Jr.: Romance in Paris" / 10 p.m. KCET

Ballads dominate the bill as "In the Spotlight" covers a concert in the City of Lights. Backed by a seven-piece band and Parisian orchestra, the New Orleans-born crooner performs 11 compositions revolving around the theme of amore. Some of those love songs come from Connick's latest album "To See You," which he composed after a flight attendant once asked him to recommend one of his CDs for "romantic purposes."

Tuesday

"Divas Live--An Honors Concert for Save the Music" / 9 p.m. VH1

Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin, Gloria Estefan, Shania Twain and Mariah Carey come together for an evening of songs at New York's Beacon Theater. The music channel's fifth annual special again raises funds for music education at the nation's public schools. Past programs have recognized the efforts of AIDS and human rights organizations.

Wednesday

"Burt Bacharach: One Amazing Night" / 6 p.m. TNT

The celebrated songwriter kicks off a series of TNT specials spotlighting public figures acknowledged as masters in their fields. Few could dispute that tag as it relates to the prolific Bacharach, whose chart-topping tunes will be sung by Elvis Costello, Chrissie Hynde, Dionne Warwick, Luther Vandross, Sheryl Crow and Ben Folds Five. Potential highlight of the evening (taped April 8 in New York): Mike ("Austin Powers") Myers offering a special rendition of "What's New Pussycat?" Yeaaahhh, BA-by!

****

"Win Ben Stein's Money" / 7:30 and 11:30 p.m. Comedy Central

Each viewer has his or her favorite, be it "Jeopardy!" or "Wheel of Fortune," but yours truly takes a perverse pleasure in watching the know-it-all host occasionally get knocked off his intellectual high horse on this consistently challenging game show. (Hey, we dare you to try the Best of 10 Test of Knowledge!) Back for its second season with wisenheimer sidekick Jimmy Kimmel, the show's format remains intact as contestants try to outsmart Stein for a prize of $5,000. A pittance for some perhaps, but no less entertaining, as the show's three Daytime Emmy nominations will attest.

****

"Search for Justice With Fred Goldman" / 8 p.m. UPN

Fred Goldman, who has become an advocate for victims' rights in the aftermath of his son Ronald's murder in 1994, is host and producer of this hourlong special. A prominent public figure who dealt with the media during the O.J. Simpson criminal trial and civil case, Goldman hopes the program will heighten awareness of problems within the justice system and yield positive changes.

****

"To Life! America Celebrates Israel's 50th" / 9 p.m. CBS

When last seen in prime time, Kevin Costner was making a surprise appearance during Billy Crystal's inspired opening on the Oscar show. Here, Costner and fellow Oscar winner Michael Douglas serve as co-hosts for this two-hour special honoring Israel's 50th anniversary. Sid Caesar, Natalie Cole, Jessye Norman, Richard Dreyfuss, Stevie Wonder and Arnold Schwarzenegger are among the celebs on hand.

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