Monday, February 17, 2003
Television's peculiar obsession with Michael Jackson continues. Two weeks ago ABC paid a tidy sum for a British documentary that included a disturbing interview in which Jackson admitted to sleeping with young boys. Jackson also denied allegations that he had undergone repeated sessions of plastic surgery, arguing that he had only two medical procedures to help him breathe better. Later this week Fox will air footage provided by Jackson that the former pop star feels will counter the negative publicity from the ABC show. Fox also paid millions for this film.
Tonight's two-hour "Dateline" (8 p.m., NBC) enters the fray with "Michael Jackson Unmasked." The special includes an interview with Bill Dworin, a police detective who looked into charges of child molestation and sexual abuse lodged against the singer in 1993. Dworin emphatically states that Jackson may be a danger to youths.
Jackson's current and former friends, colleagues and hangers-on discuss his bizarre behavior and lifestyle. "Dateline" also chats with Dr. Wallace Goodstein, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who shared a practice with Jackson's primary cosmetic surgeon. Goodstein believes Jackson has had more than 50 procedures performed on his face, far more than the two that Jackson acknowledges.
- Tonight marks the two-hour conclusion of the enjoyable, if absurd, "reality" series "Joe Millionaire" (7 p.m., Fox).
For what it's worth, I will miss "Joe Millionaire." A show this dumb has proven to be the welcome tonic for a harsh winter and a silly distraction from much bad news. Unfortunately, the time for such diversions seems to have come to an end.
Tonight's other highlights
- Ray's enthusiasm for charity work proves grating on "Everybody Loves Raymond" (8 p.m., CBS).
- Bobby wants justice for a wrongly imprisoned man on "The Practice" (8 p.m., ABC).
- A peep-show habitue expires on "CSI: Miami" (9 p.m., CBS).
- The vision of a young girl seems to trigger tragedy on "Miracles" (9 p.m., ABC).
Dr. Phil McGraw appears on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno welcomes Bill Maher and Kathleen Edwards on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC).
Sen. John McCain and Katie Holmes appear on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (11:35 p.m., NBC) ... Will Ferrell, Khandi Alexander and Supergrass are booked on "The Late, Late Show with Craig Kilborn" (11:37 p.m., CBS).