Saturday, April 10, 2004
It's Saturday night. Do you know where your networks are? ABC, CBS and NBC continue to tiptoe away from the night that once showcased hit shows like "All in the Family," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "Love Boat," "Fantasy Island" and even "Who's the Boss?"
Tonight, these networks unite to offer one movie that already spawned a sequel, another film whose sequel is about to released, and a feature-length Disney cartoon that failed to find much of an audience.
Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and a pug named Frank star in the 1997 sci-fi spoof "Men in Black" (7 p.m. today, NBC), a film that has aired about a zillion times already on the Peacock network. Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry star in the 2000 comedy "The Whole Nine Yards" (7 p.m. today, CBS). Look for the extra yard, coming soon to a theater near you.
The voices of Kenneth Branagh, Kevin Kline and Rosie Perez animate the 2000 feature "The Road to El Dorado" (7 p.m. today, ABC). Critic Leonard Maltin calls this offering "beautifully designed and staged" but "relentlessly mediocre." He also complains about the less-than-compelling characters and the stale Elton John-Tim Rice score.
- Speaking of television throwbacks, "The Nick & Jessica Variety Hour" (8 p.m. Sunday, ABC) offers an old-fashioned mix of sketch comedy, song and dance. Critics and viewers have been mourning the demise of the variety show tradition since "Sonny & Cher" and "Donny & Marie" signed off. ABC tried to revive the genre with Wayne Brady, but audiences never turned up.
- Jamie Foxx continues to put his sit-com reputation behind him. Acclaimed for his performances in "Ali" and "Any Given Sunday," Foxx stars in "Redemption" (7 p.m., Sunday, FX) as Stanley "Tookie" Williams, the co-founder of the notorious Crips gang.
- Put down that chocolate bunny! And step away from the plastic grass! Now that I have your attention, here's news about two Easter marathons. The Trio network will roll out 12 original episodes of "Egg: The Arts Show" beginning at 7 a.m. The Hallmark Channel offers a "Touched By An Angel" marathon that runs from noon to 2 in the morning.
- The old expression "at night, all cats are grey" may need some revision after "Night Cats on the Prowl" on "Wild Kingdom" (6 p.m. Sunday, Animal Planet).
This documentary uses a remarkable new infrared photographic technique to catch wildcats, lions and other felines capturing a midnight snack under a full moon on Africa's Serengeti. You might keep your cats in at night after watching this slaughter-fest.