March 18, 1985 12:00 PM

Showtime (Sunday, March 17, 8 p.m. ET)

Like Absence of Malice—but with an absence of substance and a surplus of naïveté—Reckless Disregard tries to dramatize a case of libel. Leslie Nielsen is the Mike Wallace-like anchor of a muckraking news show that wrongly does in a doctor for writing illegal prescriptions. The doc goes to a storefront lawyer, Tess (Tender Mercies) Harper, and they valiantly fight the big, bad network. In the wake of Westmoreland vs. CBS, there’s a compelling movie to be made about how TV news works, how the producers do all the work and the anchors get all the credit, how interviews are edited, how news and entertainment merge on TV. But this isn’t that movie.

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