NBC, ABC take up Susan Smith case


A Baltimore-born literary light is among the subjects of Bill Moyers' thoughtful series on poetry, while both NBC and ABC news magazines plumb the agony of the Susan Smith case in Union, S.C.

* "TV Nation" (8 p.m.-9 pm., WBFF, Channel 45) -- You need only stand in the lobby of any Baltimore theater or concert hall at intermission to learn the urgency of one of tonight's stories. In "The John of Justice," correspondent Karen Duffy explores why there is always a long line for the women's room. Fox.

* "Black Fox" (9 p.m.-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Sadly, actor Christopher Reeve's serious spinal injury in a riding accident in late May will raise interest in this western film, completed earlier. It's the first of a trilogy (continuing over the next two weeks) in which he stars as a former plantation owner who, with a "blood brother" freed slave (Tony Todd), travels to Texas to start a new life. CBS.

* "Dateline NBC" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- The network says correspondent Katie Couric got the first interview last year with David Smith, after his former wife confessed to drowning their two children in Union, S.C. The program re-screens the interview and includes footage not seen before. NBC.

* "20/20" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- David Smith sits down for a new interview with Barbara Walters, in which he reiterates his statement on the witness stand this week that he hopes his former wife gets the death penalty. ABC.

* "The Language of Life With Bill Moyers" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., MPT, Channels 22, 67)-- Adrienne Rich wrote her first poems and essays in her native Baltimore, as a student at Roland Park Country School. Now 66, the California resident is among the writers profiled in this installment of the series about poetry. Her "Diving Into the Wreck" collection won the National Book Award in 1974. PBS.


* "Intimate Portrait: Jackie Onassis" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., Lifetime) -- If you wrote her life as a novel, people would find it difficult to believe. This profile of perhaps the world's most famous woman, who died in May 1994, includes interview clips with the former fashion photographer who became a first lady, a millionaire's widow and a successful book editor.

* "Night of the Lepus" (10:05 p.m.-midnight, TNT) -- Is it a monster movie spoof or were they serious? You're never quite sure with this 1972 film, in which giant bunnies rampage across the screen, nibbling away at stars Janet Leigh, Start Whitman and Rory Calhoun.

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