CBS recaps Murrow's show on McCarthy


The best show on TV tonight is a special devoted to a show originally broadcast 40 years earlier: a "CBS Reports" recap of Edward R. Murrow's landmark "See It Now" documentary about ZTC reputation-smearing Sen. Joseph McCarthy. Don't miss it.

* "The Lion King: A Musical Journey With Elton John" (8:30-9 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Who would have thought, back when Elton John sang about "Crocodile Rock," that he was only an animal or two off from predicting his own future career path. John wrote the music to this eagerly anticipated Disney film, working with "Jesus Christ Superstar" lyricist Tim Rice. Tonight's special focuses on the process and results of that collaboration, with five "Lion King" songs unveiled -- which, I guess, is the mane reason to watch. ABC.

* "Good Advice" (8:30-9 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Ben Stiller's parents, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, have made their show-biz marriage work for a long, long time, but this is their biggest stress test yet. Jerry Stiller has gotten a great role, and rave reviews, as George Costanza's father on "Seinfeld," but Meara has to settle for playing the mother of Jack (Treat Williams) on "Good Advice." Meara, Meara, off the wall, which show's better, after all? CBS.

* "NBA Finals" (9 p.m.-conclusion, WMAR, Channel 2) -- What happened yesterday to the New York Rangers may be echoed tonight by the New York Knicks, who are down two games to one against the Houston Rockets. But maybe not. NBC.

* "Melrose Place" (9-10 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- This is the wedding-dress-in-the-pool episode -- otherwise known, at least to me, as "The Bride Wore Wet." Fox.

* "Turning Point" (10-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- There's a new report on the Exxon Valdez case tonight, after which time Exxon may Exxoff "Turning Point" from its sponsorship list. ABC.

* "CBS Reports: 'When America Trembled: Murrow/McCarthy' " (10-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Producer Joel Bernstein and anchor Dan Rather co-wrote this fine tribute to one of the very finest hours in the history of CBS News, and thus in all of TV journalism. This new "CBS Reports" looks back on the daring "See It Now" broadcast in which Murrow and producer Fred Friendly exposed McCarthy by assembling a program examining McCarthy's Communist witch-hunt tactics. Those interviewed for this retrospective include Friendly, Dr. Frank Stanton, Walter Cronkite and many, many others. My only complaint is that this "CBS Reports" was not paired with, and followed by, a complete showing of that 40-year-old "See It Now" -- but in 1994, having "CBS Reports" on the air at all is a minor miracle. It's a special that will make you think about the cowardly America of yesterday and, just as somberly, about the state of TV news operations today. CBS.

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