Murder and mayhem in and on the air


September is over after tonight -- which means that all but a few of the fall premieres are behind us, and a fresh roster of new movie premieres on cable, including "The Fugitive," is just ahead of us.

* "Diagnosis Murder" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., Channel 9) -- All those cast members who quit "Saturday Night Live" over the summer should be required to watch tonight's "Diagnosis Murder," to catch the woman playing the mistress of the murder victim. She's Victoria Jackson, who left "SNL" a few seasons ago seeking bigger and better opportunities -- and found this. Not on Channel 11. CBS.

* "M.A.N.T.I.S." (8 p.m.-9 p.m., Channel 45) -- Tonight, our heroes learn of a top-secret club in which rich society deviants bet on, or against, warriors who battle to the death. Fox.

* "Under Suspicion" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., Channel 11) -- Continuing the investigation begun last week, Phil (Karen Sillas) gets closer to identifying her prime suspect -- and yes, any similarity between this program's structure, and that of the "Prime Suspect" miniseries, is far from coincidental. CBS.

* "The X-Files" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., Channel 45) -- People in a small town begin acting violently for no apparent reason -- and the guest stars tonight include William Sanderson (Larry on "Newhart") and Ashlyn Gere, an actress who, like Traci Lords and Ginger Lynn Allen, is a porn star using a TV guest spot as a way to achieve a credit in a more mainstream aspect of show business (less show, more business). Tonight's appearance, though, is a particularly inspired segue: from "X" to "X-Files." Fox.

* "Picket Fences" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., Channel 11) -- "Under Suspicion" isn't the only CBS show with an ongoing murder-mystery plot line. Tonight's "Picket Fences" picks up where last week's show left off, with defense attorney Wambaugh (Fyvush Finkel) and assistant district attorney Littleton (Don Cheadle) squaring off over accused murderer Brian (guest Gregory Vignolle). CBS.


E9 * "Skin Deep" (9 p.m.-11 p.m., USA) -- Movie shallow.

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