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'Saints' and sitcoms make evening bright


For a reminder that the saints are more than just a football team from New Orleans, check out the Learning Channel tonight.

"Promised Land" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Here's a predicament you don't face every Christmas: Russell (Gerald McRaney) and the entire Greene clan return to his wife's hometown, where they find out that Claire's favorite high school teacher and her mother once had an affair. Could make for some fascinating holiday conversation. (Interesting guest star alert: Benson himself, Robert Guillaume, turns up as a homeless man, while Mary McDonough, who was Erin, the youngest Walton, plays Claire's mom in her younger days.) CBS.

"Life's Work" (8: 30 p.m.-9 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Doesn't look like much of a Christmas for Assistant Baltimore D.A. Lisa, who's fired for violating a judge's gag order. But not being one to take such an affront to the Christmas season lightly, she decides to take on the Grinch who's ruining her holidays: the D.A. himself, played by Regis Philbin. Regis is Baltimore's district attorney? Heaven help us all. ABC.

"Something So Right" (8: 30 p.m.-9 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Carly (Mel Harris) takes in an apparently homeless dog, which proceeds to wreak havoc on the family's apartment. So she gets rid of it, which is not a good thing, since the dog was actually a Christmas present from the kids. Oops. NBC.

"In the House" (8: 30 p.m.-9 p.m., WNUV, Channel 54) -- RuPaul shows up as a basketball player turned female impersonator whose decision to change professions leaves Marion (LL Cool J) more than a little confused. UPN.

"Spin City" (9: 30 p.m.-10 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Michael (Michael J. Fox) goes up against his reporter girlfriend on a political talk show (could be trouble) and Paul (Richard Kind) is stuck with Santa duty, even though he has the flu. CBS.


"Kiss Me Kate" (8 p.m.-10 p.m., TCM) -- Adapting Shakespeare is hardly a recent Hollywood phenomenon, as this 1953 musical adaptation of "The Taming of the Shrew" attests. I think "Moonlighting" did a better job of adapting this ode to willful women, but "Kate" has its moments.

"Passion of the Saints" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., repeats midnight-1 a.m., the Learning Channel) -- The re-enactments, filmed in Spain, are kind of hokey, and they could have done a better job identifying the film clips culled from various movies; still, this four-part series, which began yesterday and concludes Thursday, tells the tales of some pretty fascinating people. Tonight focuses on the "Hermits, Monks and Madmen" whose behavior may have seemed odd at the time but whose actions led to the founding of some of Roman Catholicism's most popular and influential movements. Among the subjects: St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Francis of Assisi.

Pub Date: 12/17/96

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