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The Babysitter’s Seduction

Filmed in Jacksonville, Fla., by Richard Maynard Prods. in association with Hearst Entertainment. Executive producer, Richard Maynard; producer, Gideon Amir; director, David Burton Morris; writers, Shirley Tallman, Nancy Hersage; camera, John Demps; editor, Corky Ehlers; production designer, Peter Wooley; sound, Jacob Goldstein; music, Jan Hammer. TX:Cast: Stephen Collins, Keri Russell, Phylicia Rashad, Tobin Bell, John D'Aquino, Linda Kelsey, Dawn Lambing, Roger Floyd, Adam Crosby, Kristie Horton, Travis Roberston, Arian Waring Ash, Bob Roitblat, Kristian Truelsen, Kimberly Kashani, Sheri Cook, Hersha Parady, Joyce Newman, Jessica Peterson. Lurid and somewhat misleading title seems calculated to attract an larger-than-normal crowd of drooling, middle-aged fathers. What they find is clumsy attempt to frame 18-year-old baby-sitter Michelle Winston (Keri Russell) for the murder of one of her steady customers. Bartrand ("'Mr. Bartrand' is my father, call me 'Bill,' " he tells Michelle, soon after his wife's demise) is soon object of Jacobs and Winston's suspicion. Richards, too, suspects, and is trying to prove Bill as the murderer. Before long, a second killing occurs.

Filmed in Jacksonville, Fla., by Richard Maynard Prods. in association with Hearst Entertainment. Executive producer, Richard Maynard; producer, Gideon Amir; director, David Burton Morris; writers, Shirley Tallman, Nancy Hersage; camera, John Demps; editor, Corky Ehlers; production designer, Peter Wooley; sound, Jacob Goldstein; music, Jan Hammer. TX:Cast: Stephen Collins, Keri Russell, Phylicia Rashad, Tobin Bell, John D’Aquino, Linda Kelsey, Dawn Lambing, Roger Floyd, Adam Crosby, Kristie Horton, Travis Roberston, Arian Waring Ash, Bob Roitblat, Kristian Truelsen, Kimberly Kashani, Sheri Cook, Hersha Parady, Joyce Newman, Jessica Peterson. Lurid and somewhat misleading title seems calculated to attract an larger-than-normal crowd of drooling, middle-aged fathers. What they find is clumsy attempt to frame 18-year-old baby-sitter Michelle Winston (Keri Russell) for the murder of one of her steady customers. Bartrand (“‘Mr. Bartrand’ is my father, call me ‘Bill,’ ” he tells Michelle, soon after his wife’s demise) is soon object of Jacobs and Winston’s suspicion. Richards, too, suspects, and is trying to prove Bill as the murderer. Before long, a second killing occurs.

Michelle is headed for college on a swimming scholarship, reason enough for her to sport itsy-bitsy bikinis as the story progresses. And eventually, she is seduced by “Bill.” Script includes occasional bits of dialogue indicating writers Shirley Tallman and Nancy Hersage don’t take this all too seriously, particularly after Bill reveals himself as murderer. Leering at photos of his wife and her lover doing the nasty, he comments with remarkable composure, “When I saw these I was — understandably, I think — enraged.” Later, he tells Det. O’Keefe, “I’ve got two words for you, Frank: Amy Fisher.”

Acting is O.K.; Bell’s is a refreshingly new face in what is (billing notwithstanding) a leading role, and it’s good to see Linda Kelsey back on the scene, as Michelle’s mother. Director David Burton Morris makes only occasional use of Jacksonville waterfront locations but town has a fresh-to-the-camera look in any event.

Jan Hammer supplies an uncharacteristically low-key score, and tech credits are generally fine.

The Babysitter's Seduction

(Mon. (22), 9-11 p.m., NBC)

Production: Phylicia Rashad and Tobin Bell play police detectives Kate Jacobs and Frank O'Keefe, investigating what at first seems to be the suicide of wealthy Sally Bartrand (Dawn Lambing). Real culprit becomes evident to audience early on and to detectives only slightly later: Sally was having an affair with Paul Richards (John D'Aquino), and Sally's grieving widower, Bill (Stephen Collins), was well aware of the situation.

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