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Highlights | TURN ON, TUNE IN OR MISS OUT

War's dividing line; 'Dawson's Creek' is ready to ripple; UPN debuts 'DiResta' plus 2

October 04, 1998|STEVEN LINAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Sunday

"Shot Through the Heart" / 8 p.m. HBO

Billed as a tragic tale of how war affects relationships, this fact-based movie tells how two best friends were divided by the Bosnian war. Set in 1984, the on-location drama delves into the camaraderie of Vlado (Linus Roache) and Slavko (Vincent Perez), teammates on a Yugoslavian shooting team. Trouble intervenes when Vlado, a Croatian married to a Muslim, realizes the sniper he must hunt is none other than Slavko, a Serbian he has known since childhood.

****

"Legalese" / 8 and 10 p.m. TNT

Where "Barbarians at the Gate" targeted the greed of corporate executives, this satirical TV movie takes on the media's lust for salacious stories and an inequitable legal system. The links between these films are James Garner and director Glenn Jordan. Garner plays Norman Keane, a savvy, high-priced attorney to the stars who hires an inexperienced mouthpiece (Edward Kerr) to secretly represent a calculating actress (Gina Gershon) accused of murder. Kathleen Turner co-stars as their nemesis, a take-no-prisoners tabloid reporter who sniffs out the ruse.

****

"About Sarah" / 9 p.m. CBS

College senior Marybeth (Kellie Martin) must make a life-altering choice. As legal guardian for her mentally disabled mother (Mary Steenburgen), does Marybeth give up a shot at medical school to care for Sarah, who has been declared incompetent by the courts, or does she place her in an institution? In spite of legal obstacles and the opposition of an aunt (Diane Baker), Sarah is finally granted the independence denied in her past, which leads to a surprising discovery that alters their relationship.

Monday

"DiResta" / 8:30 p.m. UPN

The weblet takes on the big boys with a revamped comedy lineup sporting three new shows, two of which wouldn't wrest laughs from a clown. The least objectionable casts John DiResta as a New York transit cop with a wife (Leila Kenzle, who played Fran on "Mad About You") and two children. The leads are likable, though the bland script is short on humor. But viewers can see for themselves. After all, you pays your tokens, you takes your chances.

Wednesday

"Dawson's Creek" / 8 p.m. WB

Teens have a tough decision to make this week. With Kevin Williamson's hormonally heavy soap moving to a new night, will its young audience follow what has become the most talked-about TV show among their peers or do they show loyalty to "Beverly Hills, 90210," the Fox serial that has held this slot since the summer of 1992? In the season opener for the WB hit, Dawson (James Van Der Beek) and Joey (Katie Holmes) are uncertain about the direction of their relationship, while Pacey clashes with a new student (Meredith Monroe) at Capeside High.

****

"7 Days" / 8 p.m. UPN

Frank Parker is the perfect candidate for a potentially suicidal mission. He has a photographic memory, a high threshold for pain and an arrogant, can-do attitude. But can he undo ghastly present-day events by going back in time a mere week? Most top-level government officials, including a seductive Soviet scientist (Justina Vail), are betting he's the right man for the job. Jonathan LaPaglia plays the brash Parker, who in the suspenseful yet oversized two-hour premiere, races against time to prevent the murders of the chief executive and vice president.

Thursday

"Columbo: Ashes to Ashes" / 9 p.m. ABC

Patrick McGoohan has won two Emmys for his splendid work on previous installments of the clever detective show. Who's to say he won't cop a third statuette for this one? In it, he plays a murderous mortician and one of the last people to see a Hollywood gossip reporter (Rue McClanahan). Enter the ragged but ever-resourceful Lt. Columbo (Peter Falk), whose keen observational skills again are tested in a battle of wits with a worthy adversary. Sally Kellerman plays a widow who gets mixed up in the investigation.

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