Plotting TV's baby boom

Kevin Cowherd

September 25, 1991|By Kevin Cowherd

LET'S SEE NOW, ultra-excitable anchorwoman Murphy Brown is pregnant on the CBS show of the same name. Ultra-horny Sam Malone talks about having a baby with Rebecca Howe on "Cheers." And recovering airhead Peg Bundy of "Married with Children..." is expecting, no doubt triggering a weeklong Prozac binge by dirtball husband Al.

Anybody see a common theme here? Given the networks' penchant for beating an idea to death, can the following prime-time offerings be far behind?

"MacGyver" (ABC) -- Mac makes plans to have a baby, until Kelly quietly takes him aside and explains that men are biologically incapable of childbirth. Distraught, he blows up a building reportedly used by an Arab terrorist cell, only to discover it's the March of Dimes headquarters.

"Fresh Prince of Bel Air" (CBS) -- Will convinces uptight Carlton he'd make a terrific father -- until a Gypsy predicts baby would look like Leon Spinks.

"Designing Women" (CBS) -- Mary Jo decides to have a baby. Carlene decides to have a baby. Allison decides to have a baby. Julia decides to have a baby.

"Full House" (ABC) -- Longing for a sibling, Michelle convinces Danny that she's lonely; he buys her a snarling 150-pound Rottweiler.

"Rescue 911" (CBS) -- A baby is snatched from his playpen by a myopic bald eagle; volunteer firemen reluctantly interrupt gin rummy game to assist woman in labor; 10-month-old in Indiana crawls through thick smoke to lead occupants of burning building to safety.

"Home Improvement" (ABC) -- Ignoring the possibilities of a lawsuit, Tim tags along with his obstetrician friend Herb and uses a heavy-duty Sears 30-gallon air compressor, bar clamps and diagonal pliers to help deliver a baby.

"Roseanne" (ABC) -- During a routine checkup, Roseanne reacts to the news that she's pregnant by shrieking through an off-key rendition of the national anthem and grabbing her crotch.

"Coach" (ABC) -- Hayden's star running back fathers 11 children out of wedlock in one boozy weekend -- and now the paternity suits are rolling in!

"Doogie Howser, M.D." (ABC) -- Nine months after a night of passion with Wanda, Doogie delivers his own baby and enrolls the child in medical school -- despite Wanda's protestations that baby should at least finish breast-feeding.

"The Wonder Years" (ABC) -- Kevin finds a baby in the sand during the Arnolds' seaside vacation and secretly raises the child on Cherry Cokes until someone tips off the police.

"Night Court" (NBC) -- Culling through the law books, Christine discovers an obscure ruling (Wisconsin vs. Alonzo) that convinces Harry to impregnate her or risk a 90-day jail sentence.

"Jake and the Fatman" (CBS) -- Alarmed at the genetic possibilities, Jake makes the Fatman promise to never have children. Pact is signed on the back of a Dairy Queen napkin.

"Seinfeld" (NBC) -- Jerry wants kids, but without the hassles and commitments. Eventually, he settles for a gerbil.

"The Simpsons" (Fox) -- Giddy from champagne after a rare evening out, Homer is amorous and Marge forgets to wear her diaphragm. Luckily, radiation levels at the plant have played havoc with his sperm count.

"The Cosby Show" (NBC) -- Theo isn't practicing safe sex -- until Cliff has him sit in on a Lamaze class where a life-sized replica of a uterus is passed around and color movies of actual births are shown.

"Rosie O'Neill" (CBS) -- Rosie calms a Times Square prostitute in the throes of labor by reading selected passages from the "Iliad" and "Odyssey" and discussing leveraged buyouts, until the hooker's wailing begins upsetting nearby pimps.

"Knots Landing" (CBS) -- Anne is pregnant and the father is narrowed down to Mac, Greg, Carlo, the board of Tidal Energy Inc., and the linebacking corps of the L.A. Raiders. Karen is jealous.

"Dear John" (NBC) -- After admitting that he hopes to have kids someday, Kirk is overpowered by the group, strapped to a table and given an impromptu vasectomy.

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