CBS (Sun., March 3. 9 P.M. ET)
An unfathomable woman (Jaclyn Smith) discovers that months earlier her fabulously wealthy publisher husband (Ben Gazzara) had a fling with a beautiful young prostitute, a tryst that led to extortion and then murder.
Smith wants to determine just how involved her hubby is. Does she hire a private detective? No. Reasoning that he “is a public figure and we can’t take a chance on any of this getting out,” she asks a journalist (Stingrays Nick Mancuso) to investigate. Sure, that makes sense. You want to keep a secret, you tell the town crier. Further muddying matters is Smith’s vindictive stepson, I Greg (My Two Dads) Evigan.
The affluent trappings and the overheated plot make this seem like a knockoff of a Dominick Dunne novel. In this version of the beautiful life, no one is weighed down with any responsibilities—not Gazzara’s publisher, not Mancuso’s journalist and not Smith’s mother of two small children.
Implausibility aside, the story calls for a I lot of emotions—betrayal, abandonment, passion, remorse—that Smith and Gazzara are unable to put across. As a matter of fact, the whole cast seems to be walking through this—with their eyes closed.