CBS (Sun., Feb. 24, 9 P.M. ET)
In the South Pacific, a pair of shiftless types (Hart Bochner and Rachel Ward) are found aboard the sailboat of a missing couple (James Brolin and Diedre Hall) and convicted of boat theft. When Hall’s remains are found six years later, the charge is changed to murder, and Ward hires Vincent Bugliosi (Richard Crenna) to defend her.
Bugliosi, best known as the prosecutor of Charles Manson, cowrote the book on which this routine true-life miniseries is based. The story of the crime is told in flashbacks as he prepares his defense.
Bochner makes a volatile villain, and Ward is solid as the conflicted woman: Crenna really doesn’t have much to do. John Kapelos. Clyde Kusatsu and Susan Blakely costar.
Other than a few scenes of dark hippie decadence in Hawaii and some macho tension between Brolin and Bochner, the mini (which concludes Tuesday) is a long buildup to a trial with curiously few fireworks.