'Angel' spreads its wings for final two shows

I never go into greeting card shops any more. The presence of scented candles and buckets of potpourri make my lungs seize up in an allergic reaction. It's funny how one person's means of spiritual uplift can be completely repellent to somebody else. That's kind of how I feel about "Touched by an Angel" (7 p.m. today and Sunday, CBS), the heavy-handed spiritual melodrama that sheds its wings this weekend.

The two-part series finale features stints by returning guest stars, including Patty Duke, Marion Ross and Randy Travis, as well as past "angels" like Cloris Leachman, Paul Winfield and Charles Rocket. In Sunday's showstopper, Monica takes on Satan himself. Guess who wins.

  • If you're thinking of having children, I'd advise you to avoid the TV movie version of "Eloise at the Plaza" (6 p.m. Sunday, ABC). It may make you think twice about the joys of parenthood.

Kay Thompson's beloved books may be timeless and whimsical, but this children's movie inflates Eloise (Sofia Vassilieva) from a two-dimensional imp to a full-bodied brat. She spends the movie bossing around her nanny (a beleaguered Julie Andrews) and terrorizing the staff of the posh Plaza hotel, led by the eager-to-please manager Mr. Salomone (Jeffrey Tambor, "The Larry Sanders Show") and events coordinator Prunella Stickler (Christine Baranski, "Chicago").

  • Based on John Grisham's best-selling semi-autobiographical novel, "A Painted House" (8 p.m. Sunday, CBS) has nothing to do with torts, courts or long-shot lawyers. But it serves to remind us of why the author is the undisputed king of formula fiction. "House" unfolds slowly and then sort of stops altogether at least a half-hour shy of its closing credits. Like most "Hallmark" productions, "House" is consistently handsome. But this prettiness often seems at odds with the story.

Today's highlights

  • A service station expands with the help of the mob on "Hunter" (7 p.m., NBC).
  • Tom Hanks runs across America to the soundtrack of the '60s in the 1994 weepy "Forrest Gump" (7 p.m., ABC).
  • Andrew McCarthy and Mandy Patinkin guest-star on "Law & Order" (8 p.m., NBC).
  • John Walsh lectures FBI agents on "America's Most Wanted" (8 p.m., Fox).
  • A gruesome death has links to the animal rights movement on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (9 p.m., NBC).
  • Queen Latifah is host of "Saturday Night Live" (10:30 p.m., NBC).

Sunday's highlights

  • "The Best Damn Sports Show Period" (5 p.m., Fox Sports) presents highlights of the 24th Annual Sports Emmy Award ceremonies, taped Monday.
  • Scheduled on "60 Minutes" (6 p.m., CBS): Halliburton; Syria; saving New York City's school system.
  • B2K with Marques Houston guest-star as the legendary pop group The Temptations performing "My Girl" on "American Dreams" (7 p.m., NBC).
  • "Surviving Everest" (7 p.m., National Geographic) recalls the 1953 "conquest" of the peak by Edmund Hillary.


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