Thursday, February 6, 2003
Does anyone care about Michael Jackson anymore? ABC sure hopes so. The network paid big bucks to secure the rights to the British documentary "Living with Michael Jackson" (7 p.m., ABC). (Note: This feature originally was scheduled for Friday, but it will air in place of the film "NTSB: The Crash of Flight 323" which was pulled from tonight's schedule after the crash of the space shuttle Columbia.)
The two-hour special features an extensive interview with the reclusive pop star conducted by British television journalist Martin Bashir. It was Bashir who chatted with the late Princess Diana when she uttered the rather famous phrase "there were three of us in that marriage," referring to her husband's dalliance with his longtime flame, Camilla Parker Bowles.
Bashir spent the past eight months with the secretive singer and happened to be with Jackson when he shocked his Berlin fans with a curious gesture -- he dangled his infant over a hotel balcony. Maybe he was just misunderstood.
And, of course, no chat with the peculiar pop star would be complete without a visit to the Neverland Ranch.
After more than a decade of taking it on the chin, nose and every other spare inch of epidermis, Jackson has to see this interview as one last face-saving ploy.
- Every year thousands of children are taken from dangerous and abusive home settings and placed into foster care. Who is qualified to make such fateful decisions? The documentary "Failure to Protect" on "Frontline" (9 p.m., PBS) takes viewers inside Maine's Department of Human Services, where a small group of overburdened caseworkers face heartbreaking domestic tragedies and make difficult choices every day. This is a powerful film.
Tonight's other highlights
- "Star Search" (7 p.m., CBS) wraps up its successful return season with eight finalists competing in four categories for a $100,000 prize.
- Sara vows to find her friend's attacker on "CSI" (8 p.m., CBS).
- Shepard Smith is host of "The Pulse" (8 p.m., Fox).
- A flight attendant fails to make her flight on "Without a Trace" (9 p.m., CBS).
- Abby learns that her mother is missing on "ER" (9 p.m., NBC).
- Scheduled on "PrimeTime" (9 p.m., ABC): Manhattan's young big spenders; charity scams; a lawyer fakes his own suicide.
One by one, spunky spouses are turned into sexy, submissive hausfraus in the 1975 thriller "The Stepford Wives" (7 p.m., AMC), starring Katharine Ross.
Joey and Phoebe set a parent trap for Ross and Rachel on "Friends" (7 p.m., NBC) ... Faux Joe cavorts on the beach on "Joe Millionaire" (7 p.m., Fox) ... Wrestling on "WWE SmackDown!" (7 p.m., UPN) ... A cocktail party sparks a catfight on "High School Reunion" (7 p.m., WB). Elliot keeps up a false front for Nurse Paul (Rick Schroder) on "Scrubs" (7:30 p.m., NBC). Karen's ex takes up with new flame (Minnie Driver) on "Will & Grace" (8 p.m., NBC) ... Brande goes on a blind date on "The Surreal Life" (8 p.m., NBC) ... Dylan and Gavin go puppy shopping on "Good Morning, Miami" 8:30 p.m., NBC) ... Improvisation on "Jamie Kennedy Experiment" (8:30 p.m., WB).
The Pretenders perform on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno welcomes Dr. Phil McGraw and actress Molly Shannon on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC). Chuck Barris appears on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (11:35 p.m., NBC) ... The All-American Rejects are booked on "The Late, Late Show with Craig Kilborn" (11:37 p.m., CBS).