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In Brief

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Wolf Girl (October 16; 9 to 11 p.m.; USA) opposes two freak shows: One is Tim Curry's traveling circus, with Victoria Sanchez as his hypertrichositic star attraction, Grace Jones as a hermaphrodite, and the usual singing and dancing midgets. The other, where this circus stops, is a semirural, Stephen King sort of town with its beastly teens, its Blair Witch woods, and its Rocky Horror scientist (Lesley Ann Warren), who's just batched up a super-depilatory for a cosmetics company. Alas, the same serum that removes hair from poor Victoria's body seems also to grow it on her soul. A corpse or two later, it's as if Carrie had gone to a Weimar cabaret. Vulgar fun.

Robin Cook's "Acceptable Risk" (October 21; 8 to 10 p.m.; TBS) plunks down research scientist Chad Lowe and his grad-student wife Kelly Rutherford in a New England house that may or may not be haunted by the ghost of a Salem woman lynched for witchcraft but that is certainly full of a strange mold whose spores might constitute a miracle cure for degenerative brain disease if they didn't also turn Chad, Sean Patrick Flanery, and their lab team into oversexed paranoid homicidal maniacs. Lots of corporate greed and handheld bad behavior, plus fire and pentagrams.

Jenifer (October 21; 9 to 11 p.m.; CBS) resuscitates the true-life disease-of-the-week inspirational docudrama by throwing lots of talent at it. When downtown theater-group director Laura San Giacomo is diagnosed with amyotropic lateral sclerosis (ALS), not only do her sisters (Jane Kaczmarek and Annabella Sciorra) and her mother (Jane Alexander) rally round and raise money for medical research, but Rob Morrow plays her doctor, Julianna Margulies is her shrink, Camryn Manheim is her nurse, Edie Falco sells her a wheelchair, and I haven't even mentioned Marisa Tomei or Scott Wolf. Too many of these people talk directly to the camera, but all of them are so persuasive that it's actually thrilling to learn that the real Jenifer Estess is still hanging on.


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