What's on TV
SHOWS FOR JAN. 26-31
Super Bowl (ABC, 6 p.m.): The matchup in San Diego between the Oakland Raiders and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should be intense. Tampa Bay has the NFL's top-ranked defense, and the Raiders have a solid offensive line. Shania Twain and No Doubt entertain at the half.
Veritas (ABC, 8-9 p.m.): Apparently, an ancient culture knew the truth about the origin of the species - and it wasn't Charles Darwin's version. An archaeologist goes looking for "the truth" and takes her young son with her. When she disappears, father and son pursue the truth about the universe together. From "Indiana Jones" to the "X-Files" it's been done before - usually with more wit.
Miracles (ABC, 10-11 p.m.): Some wags are describing this new series as a "Catholic X-Files" - we're talking about a huge "ick" factor. But those who like religious thrillers will find plenty to keep them glued to the set. Skeet Ulrich stars as a clergyman whose job it is to investigate so-called "miracles." The filmmakers are out to be as strange as "X-Files," but aren't equipped with the theology they need to deliver a "religious" work of art.
Crime and Punishment (Bravo, 8-10 p.m.; Part 2 continues Jan. 29, 8-10 p.m.): A new four-hour miniseries of Dostoevsky's masterly meditation on the nature of conscience grasps the novel's grandeur. Stunning performances by John Simm as the arrogant murderer, Rodya Raskolnikov, and Ian McDiarmid as the perceptive policeman, Porfiry, breathe life into the 19th-century story. The camerawork (jarring angles, hand-held races in the streets) is as anguished as the protagonist fighting himself.
State of the Union Address (major broadcast and cable networks, 9 p.m.): President Bush speaks to the nation about possible war with Iraq and the sluggish economy.
Columbo Likes the Nightlife (ABC, 8-10 p.m.): It's always good to see the rumpled raincoat-clad detective (Peter Falk) out to find whodunit again. This time, the murder is committed in the seedy environs of tabloid journalism. Since we all know who Columbo is, the fun lies in the police process itself. "Just one more thing..." has become his tag line as the graying detective gently closes in on the perpetrator.