Picks and Pans Review: Deadly Relations

updated 05/24/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/24/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

ABC (Sat., May 22, 9 p.m. ET)


Remember Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom? In this dramatization, Robert Urich plays the type of animal that would appall Wild Kingdom's phlegmatic host, Marlin Perkins. As Louisianan Leonard Fagot, not only is Urich a blot on nature—he's a drain on the insurance industry.

An ex-Marine, Fagot is a stern disciplinarian, conducting white-glove inspections of his four daughters' bedrooms. When the girls marry against his wishes, he lakes out big insurance policies—with himself as beneficiary—on their husbands, who suddenly become far too prone to fatal accidents. When his wife (Shelley Fabares) confronts Fagot with her suspicions, he reminds her he holds a hefty policy on her as well. As he pursues the Elvis Presley Health Regimen—pills and more pills—he's even willing to mutilate himself if it means collecting on some insurance.

His schemes grow ever more brazen even after he's convicted of killing one of his sons-in-law. This shocking story, which costars Matthew Perry, Roxana Zal and Gwyneth Paltrow, is based on the nonfiction book of the same name written by two of Fagot's daughters.

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