×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Abc Sunday Movie Empty Cradle

Empty Cradle," a quintessential title among the diapered dramas in the hamper this season, pushes baby snatching to the clinical max.

With:
Cast: Kate Jackson, Lori Loughlin, Don Yello, David Lansbury, Jona Blechman, Eriq LaSalle, Penny Johnson, Karmin Murcelo, Peter Cook, Michelle Joyner, Ricardo Gutierrez.

Empty Cradle,” a quintessential title among the diapered dramas in the hamper this season, pushes baby snatching to the clinical max.

But the fear Rebecca Soladay’s script really touches is to cast a dark net over the given safety a pregnant woman feels when she enters a delivery room. Talk about untapping basic anxieties and worst-case scenarios.

In a sharp and effective departure, Kate Jackson plays a demented obstetrics nurse with a pregnancy fetish (based on the true-life case of convicted nurse Norma Armistead).

In a desperate effort to hold onto her lover (a callow Don Yello), Jackson’s nurse pads her tummy with pillows and fakes giving birth by drugging a woman in the throes of real labor in the hospital where the crazed nurse works. She replaces the healthy newborn with a dead, premature fetus and waltzes home to show off her new baby girl.

But there’s a double catch. Her unknowing lover wants a boy, not a daughter! And the distraught real mom (Lori Loughlin, by now freaking out) starts an investigation that ultimately nails the twisted nurse only because she was reckless enough to murder another pregnant woman for her male fetus.

Jackson, with a bravura role, turns in a multidimensional and textured performance — complete with wiry demeanor, feverish eyes and jolts of scary temper.

By contrast, Loughlin lends the show, directed by Paul Schneider, its requisite soft, matronly balance and all-purpose sympathy factor. Supporting player Jona Blechman, as Jackson’s squirrelly accomplice of a teenage son, embroiders the edges of one of the more dysfunctional families imaginable.

Abc Sunday Movie Empty Cradle

(Sun. (3), 9-11 p.m., ABC)

Production: A Bein-Mills production filmed in Southern California in association with Papazian-Hirsch Ent. Executive producers, Robert Papazian, James Hirsch, Nancy Bein, Beth Rickman; producer, Steve Mills; director, Paul Schneider; writer, Rebecca Soladay.

Crew: Camera, Geoff Schaaf; production designer, Mimi Gramatky; editor, Andrew Cohen; sound, Mark Ulano; music, Jan Kaczmarek.

Cast: Cast: Kate Jackson, Lori Loughlin, Don Yello, David Lansbury, Jona Blechman, Eriq LaSalle, Penny Johnson, Karmin Murcelo, Peter Cook, Michelle Joyner, Ricardo Gutierrez.

More TV

  • Point Horror Books

    HBO Max to Develop Anthology Series Based on 'Point Horror' Books (EXCLUSIVE)

    HBO Max is developing a series based on Scholastic’s “Point Horror” books, Variety has learned exclusively. The project hails from Picturestart and Lionsgate Television, with Picturestart under an overall deal at the studio. The show, which is currently titled “Point Fear,” is described as an anthology series that exposes the horrors of being a teenager. Each [...]

  • The Mandalorian

    TV Review: 'The Mandalorian' on Disney Plus

    SPOILER ALERT: This review discusses some spoilers for the first episode of Disney Plus’ “The Mandalorian.” A vicious killer with a tragic past and the faint glimmers of a beating heart is no stranger to television, a medium particularly suited to telling winding stories about rises, falls and redemptions. And yet it’s still something of [...]

  • Roger and Cowan Promotions

    Rogers & Cowan/ PMK Promotes Executives in Entertainment Division

    Rogers & Cowan/PMK has promoted Lindsay Galin, Jeff Raymond, Dennis Dembia, Michael Donkis, and Marian Koltai-Levine to executive positions in its entertainment division. Galin and Raymond have been named co-presidents of talent. Dembia and Donkis have been promoted to co-presidents of entertainment and business strategy, and Koltai-Levine will serve as president of film, content and [...]

  • Laura Dern Actors on Actors

    Laura Dern's Mother, Diane Ladd, Didn't Want Her to Act

    Laura Dern has wanted to act since she was seven years old, and, coming from acting parents including father Bruce Dern and mother Diane Ladd, one may think her parents encouraged the propensity. But according to Dern, that wasn’t the case. “They didn’t want me to,” the “Marriage Story” actress told Sterling K. Brown during [...]

  • DANCING WITH THE STARS - "2019

    TV Ratings: 'Dancing With the Stars' Boosted by Sean Spicer Exit

    Sean Spicer waved goodbye to “Dancing With the Stars” last night, but ABC waved hello to a pretty big bump in the show’s rating and total viewership. Monday night’s episode scored a 1.0 rating and 7.2 million total viewers, up roughly 25% from last week’s 0.8 and 6.2 million. The former White House press secretary’s [...]

  • Studio Lambert Inks Development Deal With

    Studio Lambert Strikes Deal With ‘The Masked Singer’ Showrunner Izzie Pick Ibarra

    Studio Lambert is linking up with Izzie Pick Ibarra, the showrunner and exec producer of Fox’s “The Masked Singer.” The development deal will see All3Media-backed Studio Lambert and Pick Ibarra work together on new projects and others already in the works at Stephen Lambert’s shingle. Having relocated from the U.K. to the U.S. 15 years [...]

  • WGA Strike Labor Talks

    How the Streaming Revolution Is Making Guild Negotiations Even More Complicated

    It may not be a perfect storm yet, but ominous clouds are gathering. As the winter holidays approach, there’s growing agita across the industry about the potential for substantial labor strife next year. The WGA, DGA and SAG-AFTRA are gearing up for master film and TV contract negotiations with the major studios at a time [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content