Orson Welles and William Shakespeare made an unbeatable team, as can be seen on AMC tonight. As for seasonal fare, tune to Channel 13 at 8 p.m.
"High Incident" (8 p.m.-9 p.m. and 9 p.m.-10 p.m., WJLA, Channel 7; and 9 p.m.-10 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- ABC tries to bump up its anemic Thursday ratings by pre-empting "Murder One," a great show that earns consistently low ratings, and offering instead back-to-back reruns of "High Incident"? Whatever. In Episode 1, the cops discover an illegal immigrant smuggling ring while investigating a traffic accident, and Marsh (David Keith) is accused of roughing up one of the illegals. In Episode 2, a mad bomber is terrorizing El Camino, and the police station may be his next target. The show's pre-empted for the first hour in Baltimore by Billy Graham's "A Joyful Christmas in a Fragile World" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2). ABC.
"A Charlie Brown Christmas" (8 p.m.-8: 30 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- The greatest Christmas special of them all. Linus helps Charlie Brown find out what Christmas is really all about, and Charlie Brown, in turn, shows the rest of the gang. You'll never denigrate that bent little evergreen sapling in your front yard again. Immortal. CBS.
"Seinfeld" (9 p.m.-9: 30 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- George faces the daunting task of convincing the tenants' committee that he's more worthy of a better apartment than the other candidate, a survivor of the Andrea Doria. Which means, of course, that he has to lie, and lie big. Meanwhile, Jerry learns that arch-nemesis Newman has been storing bags of mail rather than delivering them. NBC.
"Mickey's Christmas Carol" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Mickey and his pals act out Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." If ever someone was born to play Ebenezer Scrooge, it's Scrooge McDuck. CBS.
"Suddenly Susan" (9: 30 p.m.-10 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Susan leads a holiday walkout when Jack (Judd Nelson) can't afford to give the staff Christmas bonuses -- leaving Jack to put out the magazine all by himself. NBC.
"ER" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- On the night before Christmas, the hospital tries to hammer out a policy on HIV-infected workers; Carter (Noah Wyle) invites a fellow doctor to spend the holidays with him, then tries to back out; Ross (George Clooney) has to treat a seriously ill baby; and a severely burned homeless man makes Greene (Anthony Edwards) promise to look after his dog. NBC.
"Macbeth" (8 p.m.-10 p.m., repeats 11: 35 p.m.-1: 30 a.m.) and "Othello" (10 p.m.-11: 35 p.m., repeats 1: 30 a.m.-3: 05 a.m., AMC) -- The great Orson Welles directed and stars in two of Hollywood's most intriguing Shakespeare adaptations. Interesting side-note: "Macbeth" was shot in three weeks, while "Othello" was shot intermittently over four years -- Welles would reassemble his cast whenever he had raised enough money to shoot a few more scenes.
Pub Date: 12/19/96