ABC features exclusive on Michael Jackson

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.

Tonight's other highlights

Cult choice

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.

Series

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).

Late night

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).