For Seymour, take bad with the good

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Last year, and for several years before that, "It's a Wonderful Life" was all over the tube -- not only because it was the Christmas season and a charming holiday classic, but because its broadcast rights had slipped into the public domain, and local stations and cable networks could show it without paying a single penny of retransmission fees. (Ho ho ho.) But in making a newly restored and uncut print of the 1946 Frank Capra classic, the rights were restored as well, so only NBC has the rights to show the film this year.

* "It's a Wonderful Life." (8-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Because it's in glorious black-and-white, uncut and in newly restored form, only a Scrooge would steer you away from "It's a Wonderful Life" this year. Beware, though, for NBC's audience-insulting packaging, which showcases NBC stars as they talk about the film. Just roll it, folks. James Stewart, Donna Reed and Henry Travers star -- but you already knew that. NBC.

* "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman." (8-9 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Just like "Northern Exposure" last month, "Dr. Quinn" presents a holiday story line that makes room for Jewish as well as Christian traditions. In this story, a Jewish immigrant family arrives in town in time for the holidays. Jane Seymour, who can be seen later tonight in a much more revealing role, stars. CBS.

CABLE

* "Witch Hunt." (8-9:40 p.m., HBO) -- Dennis Hopper stars in this fanciful comedy-mystery about a gumshoe in a '50s Los Angeles overrun by magic. The special effects are fun, but the plot fails to conjure up any sort of effective spell.

* "Untamed Heart." (6-7:30 p.m., SHO) -- "My Cousin Vinny" Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei and Christian Slater are teamed in director Tony Bill's affecting 1993 romantic tale, about restaurant co-workers whose love manages to overcome numerous complications . . . including the young man's belief that he has the heart of a baboon, literally.

* "Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders." (12:05-2:05 a.m., TBS) -- What could be worse than this pandering, meandering 1979 telemovie starring Jane Seymour?

* "Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders II." (2:05-4:05 a.m., TBS) -- This 1980 sequel starring Laraine Stephens, that's what.

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