I was halfway hoping the much anticipated “Liz & Dick” (8 p.m. Sunday, Lifetime) might pave a comeback for Lindsay Lohan. After all, she was good, even charming, as a teenager playing other teenagers. Why shouldn’t a tabloid train wreck excel at playing Elizabeth Taylor, a name all but synonymous with excess?
Apparently, nobody informed Lohan that she actually had to act in this movie. She appears in a parade of costume changes, but never attempts to capture the fragile yet strident, brittle audacity that was Elizabeth Taylor, both onscreen and off. Lohan performs like a Hollywood brat at a costume party. It’s not so much a bad performance as a nonperformance.
‘‘Liz” is a botched, unsubtle affair from the very start. We see an older Burton scribbling an elegiac love note to Taylor. We’re told, in big bold letters that run at the bottom of the screen, this is “THE LAST DAY OF RICHARD BURTON’S LIFE.” Then Burton and Taylor appear together, as if on stage, cueing flashbacks with their reminiscences. It looks like an odd variation on James Lipton’s “Inside the Actors Studio” broadcast “live” from heaven. Or somewhere.
Five minutes into the film, you can tell it’s terrible. And after 10 minutes, you’re bored. Sadly, “Liz & Dick” isn’t quite dreadful enough to be fun.
• Angela Lansbury hosts “Downton Abbey Revisited” (7 p.m. Sunday, PBS), a behind-the-scenes glance at PBS’ most popular miniseries — with a look at season three. And a few chances for pledge drives, too.
Sunday’s other highlights
• Scheduled on “60 Minutes” (6 p.m., CBS): charitable children; the New York City Ballet; filming jungle cats.
• The New York Giants host the Green Bay Packers on “Sunday Night Football” (7:20 p.m., NBC).
• Malcolm McDowell, Debi Mazar and Ed Asner star in “Home Alone: The Holiday Heist” (7 p.m., ABC Family), a 2012 sequel to a well-worn franchise.
• “Enemies Within: Joe McCarthy” (8 p.m., Smithsonian) profiles a politician who defined a fearful era.
• Henry frets after Jane disappears on “666 Park Avenue” (9 p.m., ABC). Like ABC’s “Last Resort,” this show has been canceled and will wither away after completed episodes have aired.