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Archive for Saturday, October 6, 2012

Lifetime offers kidnap drama

October 6, 2012

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Sherri Shepherd gets serious in the original TV movie “Abducted: The Carlina White Story” (7 p.m. Saturday, Lifetime). Based on a real story, “Abducted” recalls the remarkable and unprecedented 1987 kidnapping of an infant girl from a New York hospital by a distraught woman, Ann Pettway (Aunjanue Ellis), who had only recently suffered the latest in a series of miscarriages.

Determined to have a child of her own, Pettway dressed as a medical orderly and snatched the 19-day-old daughter of new parents Joy White (Heather-Claire Nortey) and Carl Tyson (Roger Cross).

After a desperate search, the story fast-forwards 23 years, when the young woman begins to suspect that Pettway may not be her real birth mother. Shepherd plays the older Joy White, a loving matriarch of a wounded family.

“Abducted” is not without sympathy for the disturbed Pettway, and in this way it departs from the usual tabloid “out for justice” tone of most TV movies of this sort. For all its dramatic potential and decades of ground to cover, “Abducted” moves at a rather languid pace. The nonscripted “Beyond the Headlines: The Carlina White Story” (10 p.m.) follows.

• A testament to the ability of people to spend time watching mundane activities, “Parking Wars” (8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Saturday, A&E) returns. The reptile-wrangling drama “Billy the Exterminator” (9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.) is also back with more bayou shenanigans. Both are now in their sixth seasons.

l On a familiar note, “Pit Bulls and Parolees” (9 p.m. Saturday, Animal Planet) returns for another season, with “star” Tia Torres and her rescue operation moving from California to New Orleans.

Saturday’s other highlights

• College football action includes Miami at Notre Dame (6:30 p.m., NBC), Nebraska at Ohio State (7 p.m., ABC) and West Virginia at Texas (6 p.m., Fox).

• Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, Rashida Jones and Alan Arkin star in the 2011 puppet comedy “The Muppets” (8 p.m., Starz).

• A woman sees dead people, among other things, as a new season of “Bedlam” (8 p.m., BBC America) begins.

• After a man’s death, suspicions fall on his wife and her best friend on “48 Hours” (9 p.m., CBS).

• Daniel Craig hosts “Saturday Night Live” (10:30 p.m., NBC), featuring musical guest Muse.

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