Monday, July 19, 2004

TV Best

Gannett News Service


The Grid debut, 9-11 p.m., TNT.

At a London hotel a terrorism scheme takes a sudden detour. People die; officials converge.

So far, The Grid might seem like just another cable thriller. As directed by Mikael Salomon, who also did this summer's Salem's Lot, it's quick and compelling.

That soon changes, though. The Grid is smarter and deeper than viewers might have suspected. It's also slower with lots of conversations between people in suits.

TNT is breaking TV traditions with a four-week, six-hour series. There will be one-hour episodes during the next two Mondays then a two-hour finale Aug. 9.

It is also trying to uncover layers of a complex situation. The anti-terrorism team combines American and British agents, including an Arab- American who bristles at his colleagues' assumptions. The terrorist team includes a doctor with mixed emotions. The good news is that The Grid is smartly written and solidly acted. Julianna Margulies, Dylan McDermott and Jemma Redgrave (the niece of Vanessa and Lynn Redgrave and the cousin of Natasha and Joely Richardson) play key officials.

The mixed news is that this is a relatively thick story with few easy moments. Viewers will enjoy the opener but only if they work at it.

Worth watching

North Shore, 8 p.m., Channels 19, 45. Nicole (Brooke Burns) and Tessa are caught up in the efforts of a politician's daughter to escape from her bodyguards.

My Wife and Kids, 8 p.m., Channels 9, 2. Michael offers an unusual punishment when Kady's carelessness causes Claire to be injured.

TV Movie Superstars: Women You Love, 8 p.m., Lifetime. Here's a lightweight ride through the female-oriented TV movies that dominated recent decades. Connie Sellecca says one House of Secrets and Lies scene came from a real-life moment when she was five months pregnant and found her then-husband (Gil Gerard) in bed with another woman. Jaclyn Smith says her Lies Before Kisses bed partner (Greg Evigan) insisted she really be naked under the sheets; she refused.

The Funniest Families in Television Comedy, 9:30-11 p.m., Channels 9, 2. Combine this with Lifetime and you have a night of clips. The title, incidentally, helps us understand that these aren't the funniest families in TV tragedy.

CSI: Miami, 10 p.m., Channels 12, 7. A woman wakes up in a body bag in the morgue. Naturally, she is displeased with this situation.

Who Wants to Marry My Dad? 10:05 p.m., Channels 5, 22. After a night at the racetrack, the field is trimmed from three to two.

Cabbage Patch Kids
Retro toys get makeovers
'Carmen' seduces but doesn't sizzle

Body & mind
Spice up basic foods

Incubus loses style points
Will Smith remains summer's sure bet
Elliott Smith album coming

QB dispels 'I do' rumor
Duncan Disses Broadway

Get to it! Taste of Simone's
TV Best