'Dead on the Money' fairly lifeless.



* Cable viewers have learned to expect anything from the increasing number of original movies on a variety of services, for they range from the thoroughly excellent to the awful. Put "Dead on the Money" down toward the latter half of that equation. The movie debuts at 8 tonight on the basic TNT channel.

It actually seems pretty promising at start, a light-hearted mystery with some bounce. But by a preposterous and confusing climax, viewers would be justified in wishing for truth in advertising by renaming the film, "Dead on Conclusion."

They might also be dead-on in thinking the whole thing is merely an excuse to get Corbin ("L.A. Law") Bernsen and his real-life wife Amanda ("The Flash") Pays in a film together.

For the record, the fetching, English-accented Pays plays a young actress who falls in love with the mysterious Bernsen. But he may merely be using her in a scheme for revenge against wealthy relatives, one of whom (played by Towson State alumnus John Glover) seemingly falls in love with her. Then again, (begin ital) he (end ital) may actually be interested only in killing Pays in some kind of insurance scam.

It is all played more for laughs than anything else, but the plot twists are teasing torture, building toward a conclusion which - -- quite literally - falls flat.

* One constant on cable is the presence of comforting reruns, and another of mogul Ted Turner's cable enterprises, the WTBS superstation carried by most basic systems, this week is running a nice salute in celebration of Father's Day.

It is "TV's Greatest Dad, Andy Taylor," with five episodes of the great old "Andy Griffith Show" illustrating the laconic sheriff's paternal technique. The show is seen at 6:35 weeknights.

* As a frequent late-night radio dial scanner, Media Monitor wants to know more about WDST-FM 94.7, a station picked up recently too briefly through static to learn its source. But talk about "narrowcasting." The station is apparently beamed specifically at on-the-road truckers, calling itself "The Interstate Network." Are there any long-haul readers out there who tune it regularly and can clue us in?

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