Modern prophecy: Kiss will draw crowds


Stir up a controversy, set up a "duel" between one side and another, and watch the ratings pour in when the results of the overhyped showdown finally are televised. Olympics redux? Well, I was thinking of tonight's "Roseanne," in which the "lesbian kiss" episode supposedly "censored" by ABC, leading to a brief brouhaha just as Roseanne Arnold's autobiography was released, comes to TV intact. Will we never learn? Apparently not.

* "Ancient Prophecies" (8 p.m.-10 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- I, too, am eagerly awaiting the millennium. When it gets here, and nothing cataclysmic happens, maybe TV will crank out fewer of these types of specials. But with my Karnak hat on for a moment, the answer is: "Full House" and the Grammys. The question, of course, is: Which shows tonight will be watched by more viewers than "Ancient Prophecies?" NBC.

* "The 36th Annual Grammy Awards" (8 p.m.-conclusion, WBAL, Channel 11) -- Garry Shandling is host. Frank Sinatra gets a Lifetime Achievement Award. Aerosmith, Whitney Houston, Billy Joel, Neil Young, Sting, Wynonna, Garth Brooks and others will perform. Placido Domingo will present an award; Michael Jackson will not. CBS.

* "Roseanne" (9 p.m.-9:30 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- The last time Mariel Hemingway got a lot of attention in the press, it was for taking her clothes off on an episode of "Civil Wars," in what served as a sort of precursor to the seminude policy on "NYPD Blue." This time it's for playing a character at a gay bar who surprises Roseanne with a kiss. Judge for yourself whether, in show-biz terms, this counts as progress. ABC.

* "NYPD Blue" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13)

-- One reason to stop watching the Grammys at 10: There's a fresh episode of "NYPD Blue," in which Dennis Franz, as Sipowicz, takes center stage. ABC.


"Duel" (10:05 p.m.-midnight, TBS) -- Another reason to stop watching the Grammys at 10: This 1971 movie by Steven Spielberg is being shown in its entirety, and it's always worth watching. When you're counting Mr. Spielberg's major achievements, this low-budget, made-for-TV movie belongs on the list. Dennis Weaver stars.

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