The first documentary ever produced by Fox Entertainment News, Marilyn: Something's Got to Give (8
p.m., Ch. 13), is more of a tribute to the late Marilyn Monroe than a documentary.Produced, written and narrated by Fox's Henry Schipper, this isn't something you'd see on CBS or CNN. It looks more like something you'd see on Fox's "A Current Affair."
Back in 1962, Monroe was fired from the film "Something's Got to Give," reportedly because of rampant absenteeism from the set. The film was never completed, and the completed scenes were never shown - until now. Discovered in the Fox vaults in 1982, the washed-out prints have been restored and provide a fascinating glimpse for Monroe fans.
This hour isn't all bad by any means. The film clips show a seemingly happy, gorgeous and well-rehearsed Monroe - not the drug-ridden loser she has been portrayed as in the last months of her life.
There's the famous nude-swimming scene, which is extremely tame by 1990 standards.
And there's some interesting background - Schipper blames Monroe's firing on mismanagement at the studio and the huge cost overruns on "Cleopatra," which was the only other Fox film in production at the time. And he reveals that Monroe was rehired to complete the film just before her death.
But, unfortunately, interviews with the production staff are interspersed with interviews with people like Monroe's psychiatrist's daughter, who is used as an expert witness on Marilyn's state of mind.
And stating that Monroe was "said to be having an affair" with President John F. Kennedy isn't exactly the way they do things over at MacNeil-Lehrer.
Schipper also seems to be far too much a Monroe fan to do the job justice. He readily accepts her excuses for missing work, which any impartial source would find highly questionable.
But the magical appeal of Marilyn remains. Flawed as it is, this hour is a must-see for anyone caught up in the mystique.
- ELSEWHERE ON THE TUBE: The Flash (7:30 p.m., Ch. 5) battles a villain from the past; there's NBA actions from the Salt Palace - Jazz vs. Nuggets (7:30 p.m., PSN); Woody's girlfriend returns from Europe with a French boyfriend on Cheers (8 p.m., Ch. 2); Rosalind Shayes returns to McKenzie-Brackman as a client on L.A. Law (9 p.m., Ch. 2); and Greg undergoes a liver transplant on Knots Landing (9 p.m., Ch. 5).
- LOOKING TOWARD FRIDAY: There are Christmas episodes of Quantum Leap (7 p.m., Ch. 2) and Wings (8:30 p.m., Ch. 2); New Kids on the Block (8 p.m., Ch. 4) mix live action and animation for a holiday special; Great Performances (8 p.m., Ch. 7) presents "The Marriage of Figaro"; and Dallas fans, the show will be seen at 10:35 p.m. on Ch. 5 this week.