Back-in-time show is predictable, yet fun

'For All Time' is fantasy romance drawn from 'Twilight Zone'

Wednesday, October 18, 2000

The passage of time does not seem to affect Mark Harmon's good looks. That makes him the perfect actor to star in "For All Time" (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG), a time-travel fantasy romance based on an old episode of "The Twilight Zone." Charles Lattimer (Harmon) is a gifted artist, frustrated by his soulless advertising job, his loveless marriage and a world that moves too fast. His home and office are filled with antiques and reminders of a bygone era of civility. So it's perfectly natural that he buys an old stopwatch from a mysterious dealer (Bill Cobbs). A few days later, while commuting, Lattimer spots the dealer in an old-time conductor's outfit just as he is announcing a train stop at a quaint 19th century village. A village only Lattimer can see.

Anyone who has ever seen "The Twilight Zone," or read "Time and Again," or any number of time travel stories can see where this is going. Lattimer meets a charming widow, Laura Brown (Mary McDonnell), the proprietress of the small-town newspaper, as well as her precocious daughter, Kristen (Catherine Hicks, "7th Heaven"). But just because "For All Time" is familiar or predictable doesn't mean it's not watchable in a fun, hokey way .

� Director Wes Craven ("Nightmare on Elm Street") hosts a Halloween special on "Exposure" (9 p.m., Sci Fi) showcasing the next generation of horror filmmakers, including the 26-year-old director, Jamie Blanks ("Urban Legends"), whose short film, "Silent Number," makes its television debut.

� The three-hour special, "Critical Condition with Hedrick Smith" (7 p.m., PBS, TV-G) presents a "flesh and blood report card" on America's health care. Smith examines a system where more than 98,000 patients die each year from medical errors.

Other highlights

� If necessary, NBC programming from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. would be replaced by the Seattle Mariners at New York Yankees baseball game.

� Heather throws a dinner party for her new nephew-in-law Ethan (Kevin Zegers) on "Titans" (7 p.m., NBC, TV-14).

� Toby tries to ride a post-shooting bump in the polls on "The West Wing" (8 p.m., NBC, TV-14).

� The new deputy mayor Charlie Crawford (Charlie Sheen) arrives late for his first press conference on the fifth season premiere of "Spin City" (8:30 p.m., ABC, TV-PG, D, L).

� Dianne Wiest joins the cast as "Law & Order" enters its 11th season (9 p.m., NBC, TV-14). She'll replace Steven Hill as the new district attorney.

� Gideon frets as a patient treats her breast cancer with an herbal remedy on "Gideon's Crossing" (9 p.m., ABC, TV-14, D).

Cult choice

Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise star in the 1988 drama, "Rain Man" (7 p.m., TNT, TV-PG, L, S).

Series notes

Celebrity stalkers on "When Cameras Cross the Line" (7 p.m., Fox, TV-PG, D, L, V) � Regis Philbin hosts "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" (7 p.m., ABC) � Pacey and Jen set sail on rough seas on "Dawson's Creek" (7 p.m., WB, TV-PG, L).

Marsha discourages Jim from fraternizing with the staff on "Welcome to New York" (7:30 p.m., CBS, TV-PG).

Drew flashes back to his school daze on "The Drew Carey Show" (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG, D, L) � Paris and Torres compete in a risky race on "Star Trek: Voyager" (8 p.m., UPN, TV-PG).

� Julie blurts out her true feelings on "Felicity" (8 p.m., WB, TV-PG, D, L).