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Highlights | TURN ON, TUNE IN OR MISS OUT

Three tenors light up Paris; the 'True' Shepard; return to post-riot 'Oz'; Sinbad is jammin' again

July 05, 1998|STEVEN LINAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Monday

"FANatic" / 11 p.m. MTV

Ever dream about being the next Larry King ... Oprah Winfrey ... Kurt Loder? You know, the inquisitive one who poses all the personal questions everyone says they would ask of famous people. Well, that time has arrived for the lucky individuals chosen to interview their favorite celebrities on this new weeknight show. The first week features Wesley Snipes, Van Halen, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Boyz II Men, Bruce Willis and Everclear.

Tuesday

All-Star Game / 5 p.m. NBC

Baseball's midsummer showcase will be played in the high altitude of Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies and a veritable launching pad for the sport's top sluggers. Mark McGwire, the St. Louis Cardinal first baseman leading the majors in home runs at press time, will be one of the offensive forces at the 69th game between the National and American leagues. Mike Piazza, Barry Bonds, Tony Gwynn, Ken Griffey Jr. and Juan Gonzalez are among other starters selected by the fans.

****

"P.O.V." / 10 p.m. KCET

The non-fiction film series presents "If I Can't Do It," Walter Brock's portrait of Arthur Campbell Jr., a disablity rights activist born with cerebral palsy. Brock and Campbell spent six years collaborating on the film, which features interviews with the Kentucky native, his parents (who isolated him for the first 38 years of his life) and therapists. Brock sets out to illustrate the accomplishments and aspirations of his subject through his foibles and "grandiosity" as well as the "endearing and infuriating qualities."

Wednesday

"Great Performances" / 8 p.m. KCET

In "Sam Shepard: Stalking Himself," the lean playwright reads from his own prose and dramatic works. Producer Sarah Teale says the show has been in the works for five years, describing the seasoned actor and writer as "publicity shy." Interwoven throughout the hour are performance excerpts from Shepard projects such as "Curse of the Starving Class" and "The Tooth of Crime." At 9 p.m., KCET repeats "True West," an "American Playhouse" production from 1984 about two brothers played by John Malkovich and Gary Sinise.

****

"My Husband's Secret Life" / 9 p.m. USA

Anne Archer stars in this modestly arresting yarn about corrupt cops. Cissy Sullivan (Archer) is the unhappy "tin wife" of a veteran investigator who is ostensibly killed during a drug bust. Further investigation leads to the discovery of a woman (Maria Conchita Alonso) running an illegal club protected by police. Faced with mounting debts and eager to cover the cost of her daughter's college education, Cissy boldly sets out to blackmail the NYPD into arranging a posthumous promotion for her late husband.

Friday

"The Three Tenors Live in Concert" / Noon and 8 p.m. KCET; 7:30 p.m. KOCE

They wowed 'em at Rome in 1990. And they packed Dodger Stadium in 1994. Now Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti are set to perform for a global audience in Paris (site of the World Cup final), and viewers have a front-row seat courtesy of PBS. With James Levine as conductor and the Eiffel Tower as backdrop, the celebrated singers will be accompanied by the L'Orchestre de Paris. On tap: a repertoire of arias and pop songs. Magnifique!

Saturday

"Oz" / 10:15 p.m. HBO

Raw, tense and routinely profane, the hard-boiled prison drama from creator Tom Fontana ("Homicide: Life on the Street") returns for its second season. In last summer's chaotic finale, a riot erupted among the brutal, seething inmates, prompting the callous governor to send in troops armed with rifles. As the opener begins, we learn that the violent confrontation resulted in eight deaths and 34 injuries. In response, Gov. Devlin (Zeljko Ivanek) establishes a commission to investigate the rebellion, appointing law school dean Alvah Case (Charles S. Dutton) to head the probe.

****

"Sinbad's Summer Jam 4" / 11:30 p.m. HBO

If the aforementioned tenors do not stoke your fire, perhaps the soulful sounds of the '70s will. Back for his fourth go-round as host, Sinbad the comic introduces a lineup highlighted by Stephanie Mills, Isaac Hayes, Cheryl Lynn and K.C. and the Sunshine Band. The Whispers, Rose Royce, the Emotions and Earth, Wind & Fire are other acts on the show, which was taped at a stadium in Aruba.

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