'Impact' one hail of a TV movie

If you lie to your wife, you will be punished with a storm of biblical proportions. That seems to be the lesson of the weird new TV movie "Frozen Impact" (7 p.m., PAX).

Ted McGinley stars as Dan Blanchard, an outdoorsy guy married to Christy (Linda Purl), a doctor and control-freak. She's particularly nervous about their 12-year-old Jason (Myles Jeffrey), whose liver was damaged in a rock-climbing accident some months back.

"Frozen Impact" packs a staggering number of cliches into its two hours. In addition to baseball-sized hailstones, we have a race against time to get a donor liver to a needy patient. The dialogue ("You need to tear down the emotional walls between you") never deviates from the predictable. On the positive side, the movie does show the effects of a wicked hailstorm on a used car lot. There's something to be said for that.

  • Reruns and reality television may drive some viewers to distraction. Others might take solace in the kitchen. The new series "Tyler's Ultimate" (8:30 p.m., Food Network) follows chef Tyler Florence ("Food 911") as he searches the globe for fresh ingredients and essential recipes. In tonight's premiere, Tyler travels to the Vaucluse region of France and Washington state's Wenatchee orchard country to find the best apple pie recipes.

Tyler is that rare TV chef who actually listens to his guests and does not feel compelled to fill every silence. Emeril the Loud could learn something from Tyler's taciturnity.

  • A young boy (Max Weinstein) may be the only witness to his mother's rape and murder on "Law & Order: SVU" (9 p.m., NBC). While most young actors are given cute, precocious dialogue, the 7-year-old turns in a chilling performance as a child too traumatized to speak.

This being "Law & Order" things are not as they first appear, and we learn that the boy was not the victim's real son. But that doesn't alter the fact that he quivers in terror at the sight of his father (Rob Estes), the pillar of a suburban community with a secret penchant for spousal abuse. Look for Sandra Bernhard ("King of Comedy") as defense attorney Priscilla Chaney.

Tonight's other highlights

  • Mitzi Gaynor and Rossano Brazi star in the 1958 screen adaptation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "South Pacific" (7 p.m., Turner Classic Movies).
  • A possible filibuster on "Mister Sterling" (8 p.m., NBC).
  • Mike helps Heather get the word out about a dangerous quack on "Hack" (8 p.m., CBS).
  • Scheduled on "20/20" (9 p.m., ABC): Gulf War POWs; a high school grad forgos the Ivy League for the Marines; outrageous concert ticket prices.
  • Russell Crowe and Kevin Spacey head a great ensemble cast in the 1997 tabloid thriller "L.A. Confidential" (9:30 p.m., TBS) based on James Ellroy's novel.


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