You could do far worse tonight than settle in for an evening of Errol Flynn on TCM. So do it already.
"Friends" (8 p.m.-8: 30 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Don't miss this repeat of a landmark in TV history, as Tom Selleck first appears as Courteney Cox's boyfriend (TV Guide says they're TV's sexiest couple). NBC.
"Essence Awards" (8 p.m.-10 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- Halle Berry and Sinbad are hosts for this salute to seven African-Americans chosen for their efforts to help young people of all races. Honorees include Whoopi Goldberg, with music by Cassandra Wilson, Toni Braxton, Aretha Franklin and Smokey Robinson. Fox.
"Before They Were Stars" (8: 30 p.m.-9 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- See Marilyn Monroe shill for gasoline. ABC.
"ER" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Valerie Perrine and Paul Dooley play Sherry Stringfield's parents in this repeat, as Dr. Lewis wrestles with whether to put little Suzy up for adoption. NBC.
"Late Show With David Letterman" (11: 35 p.m.-12: 35 a.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Julie Andrews was scheduled to appear tonight, but apparently has decided against showing up -- for the second time in a month. Maybe she's afraid Dave wants to give her a Tony. Instead of Julie, the scheduled guests are Gina Lee Nolin and Vince Gill. CBS.
"Gentleman Jim" (7 p.m.-9 p.m.), "San Antonio" (9 p.m.-11 p.m.), "Kim" (11 p.m.-1 a.m.), "That Forsythe Woman" (1 a.m.-3 a.m.) and "Captain Blood" (3 a.m.-5: 30 a.m., TCM) -- Few adventure stars of the 1930s and 1940s wore the mantle with more elan than Errol Flynn -- or lived the part more in real life (he drank to severe excess and lived a life of proud debauchery in the hills near Los Angeles). All that, plus he made some great films. Celebrate what would have been his 87th birthday with any or all of these. "Captain Blood" was one of his best, "Gentleman Jim," a film bio of boxer "Gentleman Jim" Corbett, his own favorite.
"Wild Discovery" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., repeats midnight-1 a.m., Discovery) -- Proving that big cats don't read Thomas Wolfe, a female leopard returned to the wild seems more than happy there -- until the monsoon rains come and she high-tails it back home, a litter of leopard kittens in tow.
"Schwarzkopf in Vietnam" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., repeats midnight-1 a.m., The Learning Channel) -- Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf and CBS anchorman Dan Rather journey back to Vietnam and chat about their experiences there as officer and reporter.
"True Grit" (10: 05 p.m.-12: 50 a.m.) and "Rooster Cogburn" (12: 50 a.m.-3: 05 a.m. tomorrow, TBS) -- Get all the Rooster Cogburn you could possibly want, with John Wayne as the one-eyed marshal who manages to do the right thing, but often in spite of himself. "True Grit" won him an Oscar, while its sequel paired him with Katharine Hepburn in a Western re-make of "The African Queen." Not a bad night at the movies.
Pub Date: 6/20/96