Cable TV celebrates James Caan

Friday, September 13, 2002

It's James Caan week on cable television. Saturday, A&E aired the futuristic fantasy "Lathe of Heaven" starring Caan as a slyly manipulative therapist. Tonight, Caan stars again, this time in "Blood Crime" (7 p.m., USA).

A veteran of more than 50 motion pictures, Caan is still best known for his early work, including his turn as the hot-headed Sonny Corleone in "The Godfather," (1972) and his portrayal of doomed football star Brian Piccolo in "Brian's Song" (1971), one of the most beloved television movies of all time.

"Blood Crime" also stars Johnathon Schaech ("The Sweetest Thing") as Daniel Pruitt, a cop who leaves the big city to escape the violence and hassles of his beat. But when is wife is brutally attacked on a camping trip, Pruitt discovers that country life may hold its own special dangers.

While on the way to the hospital, his wife points out the man who she thinks attacked her. Pruitt goes into a rage and beats the man, leaving him near death. Later in the hospital Pruitt's wife identifies yet another suspect, leaving Pruitt with the dreadful feeling that he has savaged the wrong man. Matters take a turn for the much worse when he discovers that the man has died, and that his victim is the son of the town's low-keyed, but intense sheriff, Morgan McKenna (Caan).

Naturally, McKenna turns to the big city cop to help him find his son's murderer, leaving Pruitt with a dreadful dilemma. Should he confess, or go along with an investigation that will lead right back to his own misguided deed?

This film is the first of a series of murder mysteries that the USA Network will air on Friday nights. In November, the cable network will air "Murder in Greenwich," starring Christopher Meloni ("Law & Order: SVU") and Robert Forster ("Jackie Brown"), an account of the notorious Skakel-Moxley murder case based on a book by Mark Fuhrman.

� Britain's naughty talk show host presents a Mexico City travelogue on the one-hour special "Si Graham Norton" (10 p.m., Eastern, BBC America). Norton stays in the home of a Mariachi band family, visits exotic markets and even consults a coven of four fortune-telling sisters who squabble over his future and give him a curious tequila rub-down.

Tonight's other highlights

� James Garner discusses his film and television career with host Robert Osborne on the 2001 interview "Private Screenings: James Garner" (6 p.m., Turner Classic Movies).

� Rob Schneider stars in the 1999 comedy "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo" (7 p.m., Fox).

� Scheduled on "48 Hours" (7 p.m., CBS): seemingly minor infections that can prove fatal.

� A dog show fanatic (Melissa Gilbert) is horrified when Heather uses the wrong shampoo on her precious pooch on a repeat of "Providence" (7 p.m., NBC).

� Bruce Willis stars in the 1997 thriller "The Fifth Element" (7 p.m., UPN).

� Stars and fans, including Cher, Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara Walters celebrate television's favorite red head on a repeat of the "I Love Lucy 50th Anniversary Special" (8 p.m., CBS).

� A scheming nurse (Shannen Doherty) discovers that Mr. Right (Tim Matheson) is Mr. very wrong in the 1997 drama "Sleeping with the Devil" (8 p.m., Lifetime).

� Scheduled on "20/20" (9p.m., ABC): an investigation of four Army soldiers who murdered their wives after a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Series notes

Tom Bergeron hosts back-to-back episodes of "America's Funniest Home Videos" (7 p.m. and 8 p.m., ABC ... On back-to-back episodes of "Reba" (WB), Brock finds fatherhood exhausting (8 p.m.), Cheyenne gives birth on graduation day (8:30 p.m.).