By Mike Lipton
June 21, 1999 12:00 PM

TNT (Sun., June 20, 8 p.m. ET)

Show of the week

Picture Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, now the wealthiest man on earth, as a geeky Harvard dropout trying to pick up girls at a roller rink—and literally falling all over himself. Now imagine Steve Jobs, Gates’s contemporary, blithely tripping out on LSD in front of startled colleagues at Jobs’s then-fledgling Apple Computer in the mid-’70s. That’s how this engagingly irreverent TV movie, based on the 1984 book Fire in the Valley, seeks to humanize these icons of the Information Age—fierce business rivals with larger-than-life egos and quixotic personalities. Of the two, Jobs (moodily portrayed by ER’s Noah Wyle) comes off the worse as he bullies his employees, denies paternity of his longtime girlfriend’s baby and unwisely flaunts his breakthrough Macintosh software in front of a cagey Gates (former Brat Packer Anthony Michael Hall), who will later trump Jobs with his bestselling Windows programs. “We’re one big family,” coos Gates, who must have been thinking of the Corleones. But this real-life Revenge of the Nerds stands cheekily on its own.

Bottom Line: Biodrama with byte that’s fun to download