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Highlights | TURN ON, TUNE IN OR MISS OUT

Jon Voight is 'The Fixer'; high jinks in the 'House' on NBC; 'Life' and 'Pizza' go together on ABC

March 08, 1998|STEVEN LINAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Sunday

"The Fixer" / 8 p.m. Showtime

Jon Voight stars in this cynical tale of corruption as Jack Killoran, a wealthy Chicago attorney who solves problems for greedy city officials by way of favors or payoffs. When a desperate colleague asks him to fix a messy murder, Jack reluctantly agrees but then has an attack of conscience after nearly dying in an equestrian accident. By trying to do the right thing after a lifetime of wrongs, Jack now has a major problem of his own--the key question being, how will he fix it?

****

"To Live Again" / 9 p.m. CBS

"Locked Away" was the previous title for this TV movie about two protagonists played by Bonnie Bedelia and Annabeth Gish. Iris (Bedelia) is a social worker facing a tough test after returning from a self-imposed retirement. Karen (Gish), whose mother (Frances Sternhagen) thinks she is mentally ill, has been isolated at home for 16 years. Frail and emotionally scarred, Karen is responsive to Iris, and the two form a close bond.

Monday

"House Rules" / 8:30 p.m. NBC

Three longtime friends share Colorado digs on this midseason comedy from Chris Thompson ("The Naked Truth"). Casey (Maria Pitillo) is a deputy district attorney, Billy (David Newsom) is an emergency-room doctor and Riley (Bradley White) is a reporter, though you wouldn't know the latter tidbit from the two episodes supplied by NBC. "Melrose Place" siren Lisa Rinna plays a prospective roommate in one and Patrick Warburton ("Seinfeld's" delightfully droll Puddy) steals his scenes in the other. Otherwise, don't expect many laughs.

****

"Indiscretion of an American Wife" / 9 p.m. Lifetime

A luminous Anne Archer buoys this pretty yet predictable remake of the 1954 melodrama that paired Jennifer Jones and Montgomery Clift. Archer's Julia is the supportive spouse of a neglectful U.S. diplomat (Michael Murphy) based in Rome. One glance at a dreamy Italian vintner (Andrea Occhipinti), and Julia tells her best friend she could never leave her husband. Viewers will know better, even if they never saw the original.

Tuesday

"That's Life" / 9:30 p.m. ABC

Mike (Gerry Red Wilson), a big, blustery, working-class butcher from Queens, N.Y., has just been named "head of meat." He loves beer and Bullwinkle, but just when everything is hunky-dory with his loyal wife Patty (Kellie Overbey), along comes her sarcastic sister (Nadia Dajani) whose husband split for California. Is this the setup for a boisterous new sitcom or what? Based on the opener, it's not a very funny one.

Wednesday

"Significant Others" / 9 p.m. Fox

With nods toward "Jules and Jim" and "thirtysomething," this chatty ensemble drama comes from the team behind "Party of Five." It's a midseason series about the tangled relationships of twentysomethings in Los Angeles. Confused and sometimes self-absorbed, Cam (Eion Bailey), Henry (Scott Bairstow), Nell (Jennifer Garner), Ben (Michael Weatherly) and Jane (Elizabeth Mitchell) will evolve over the next six weeks, with "Party of Five" returning to this slot on April 22.

****

"Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place" / 9:30 p.m. ABC

Yet another half-baked "Friends" facsimile. Newcomers Richard Ruccolo and Ryan Reynolds are roomies in Boston, where they go to grad school and work at a pizzeria. Ruccolo is analytical; Reynolds is wacky. Traylor Howard ("Boston Common") plays their pal, a testy neighbor lacking people skills. But the real oddball is a delusional dolt (David Ogden Stiers) who thinks scenes from famous films have played out in his own life. Mama mia!

Thursday

"Great Performances" / 8 p.m. KCET

During its current pledge drive, the PBS station has offered an assortment of music shows, but this one promises to be the best. In "Frank Sinatra: The Very Good Years," the legendary vocalist appears in clips culled from his splendid specials of the '60s and '70s. "My Way," "I've Got You Under My Skin" and "New York, New York" are featured in addition to duets with Ella Fitzgerald and Gene Kelly.

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