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Things are 'Helter Skelter' in the middle of the night

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Choices, choices. You can watch baseball on Fox, reruns on the networks (including "3rd Rock From the Sun," "The Drew Carey Show" and two episodes of "The Nanny") or take a nap in preparation for the evening's best offering, a late-night movie on TBS.

"Wings" (8 p.m.-8: 30 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Antonio (Tony Shalhoub) meets a beautiful woman (Tracy Scoggins) after she calls the suicide hot line he's manning. When you're Antonio, you take your dates where you can get them. NBC.

"NewsRadio" (9 p.m.-9: 30 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- The office gets a video arcade game, and everyone gets in on the act. Hey, great idea. Next time the boss asks if there's anything he or she can do NBC.

"PrimeTime Live" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Correspondent Jay Schadler looks at parenthood and concludes there's nothing easy about it. Correspondent John Quinones looks at automatic garage door openers and concludes they can be dangerous. Tonight's show also looks at two paparazzi whose lives are devoted to following Princess Diana all over the world and suggests this is a pretty odd existence. ABC.

"Law & Order" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Talk about your story ripped from today's headlines. Hear about the nickel that sold at auction for nearly $1.5 million? Tonight, the murder of a rare coin dealer is investigated and tried. Karen Allen, Indy's girlfriend in "Raiders of the Lost Ark," is among the guest stars. NBC.

"O.J. in Black and White" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Paula Zahn is the host for this latest look at the Trial of the Century and its effect on everyone involved not to mention society at large. O.J. himself, in an interview conducted before the judge in his civil case slapped a gag order on the principals, wonders why he's excoriated for abusing his murdered ex-wife, while no one seems concerned she apparently abused some people too (including their housekeeper, he claims). He insists it's because of race. CBS.

Cable

"Night Gallery" (2 p.m.-2: 30 p.m., Sci-Fi) -- Pretty much dismissed as a second-rate version of "The Twilight Zone" (both have Rod Serling as narrator, although he was far less involved with "Gallery" and generally unhappy with the results), this series deserves better. At its best, its much creepier than "Zone," and while often gets just plain silly (particularly when it tries to be funny), its best episodes are pretty chilling and stand up there with the best of TV sci-fi. Plus, the paintings are pretty cool.

"Helter Skelter" (12: 05 a,m,-4: 05 a.m., TBS) -- Excellent dramatization of the Charles Manson murder trial, as chronicled by prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi in his book. Steve Railsback almost makes a better Manson than Manson; his stare will haunt the deep recesses of your mind for days. Bonus: This is the full movie, not the two-hour condensed version sometimes available in video stores.

Pub Date: 10/23/96

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