February 26, 1997

It’s A Good Time To Press Vcr Into Action

John Martin New York Times Syndicate

February’s ratings “sweeps” conclude with a night that has something for everyone. In fact, you’re apt to be frustrated that you can’t watch two or more shows at once. Which is why VCRs where invented.

“The Grammy Awards” (CBS at 8) fills prime time with music from the 39th annual ceremonies, held in New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

It should be a big night for Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, who leads the pack with 12 nominations, tying a Grammy record. Smashing Pumpkins received seven nominations, and Tracy Chapman and Vince Gill each received five Grammy nods.

Eighty-nine awards will be handed out in the marathon show.

Babyface and Eric Clapton are scheduled to perform “Change the World,” their song nominated for Record of the Year.

Also set to sing are Chapman, Gill, Celine Dion, The Fugees, Alison Krauss, Beck, Patty Loveless, No Doubt, Gil Shaham and Smashing Pumpkins.

Back as host this year is Ellen DeGeneres (“Ellen”), who will be competing against her own show on ABC at 9:30.

As you’ll see below, it’s a night of tough choices.


“Beverly Hills, 90210,” FOX at 8: Brandon and Steve’s reckless basketball buddy Dick (Dan Gauthier) experiments with heroin in this poorly executed cautionary tale. The message is clear, but the melodrama is thick.

“Grace Under Fire,” ABC at 8: ABC’s Wednesday comedies are set in Las Vegas, Nev., with each of the four episodes featuring crossover appearances by stars from other Wednesday shows. Grace (Brett Butler) meets Drew Carey of “The Drew Carey Show,” Jerry Van Dyke of “Coach” and Joely Fisher and Jeremy Piven of “Ellen” in the casino at Caesar’s Palace.

“National Geographic’s ‘Asteroids: Deadly Impact,”’ NBC at 8: The title is a bit misleading. This is an outstanding documentary on asteroid research.

In particular, it tells the story of geologist Eugene Shoemaker and his wife and collaborator, Carolyn, whose breakthrough discoveries informed the study of asteroids impacting Earth.

“Championship Ballroom Dancing,” KSPS at 8: The waltz, tango and rumba are featured in the flashy annual competition. Barbara Eden hosts the show, taking over for the late Juliet Prowse.

“Party of Five,” FOX at 9: After rebuffing efforts to face up to his alcoholism, Bailey (Scott Wolf) finally hits bottom.

This saga gets better week by week. This episode, however, is slowed by a subplot involving the return of Julia’s (Neve Campbell) wandering love interest, Griffin (Jeremy London).

“PrimeTime Live,” ABC at 10: The hour includes a report on Darlie Routier, the Texas woman convicted this month of killing one of her sons.

“Law & Order,” NBC at 10: The crime: the murder of an ex-police officer. The accused: a suburban housewife who moonlights as a high-class prostitute. She says she was raped.

Elaine Stritch reprises her Emmy-winning guest-starring role as a women’s rights lawyer.

Cable Calls

“Inside the Actors Studio,” BRV at 7 p.m. and 1 a.m.: Christopher Reeve receives an honorary lifetime membership to the legendary acting school. In the profile, Reeve says he once was told by actor John Houseman, “Mr. Reeve, it is terribly important that you become a serious classical actor … unless, of course, they offer you a load of money to be something else.”

“Obviously, I did something else,” Reeve quips.

Talk Time

“Tonight,” NBC at 11:35: Model Christie Brinkley and actor Robert Urich.

“Late Show With David Letterman,” CBS at 11:35: Radio personality Howard Stern, swimsuit model Valeria Mazza and music group Porno for Pyros.

“Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher,” ABC at 12:35 a.m.: Alan Alda, model Cindy Crawford, Arianna Huffington and comedy writer Kevin Rooney.

“Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” NBC at 12:35 a.m.: Actor Jack Gallagher and rapper Ice-T.

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