Fox always ready with a new voice

MEDIA MONITOR

November 21, 1991|By Steve McKerrow

On The Weekend Watch:

THE VOICE OF FOX -- If you find yourself thinking repeatedly of roadside motels while watching Fox network shows tonight, there is a subliminal reason: Radio humorist Tom Bodett, best known for the phrase "we'll leave a light on" in a series of commercials for a certain discount motel chain, is hosting "Tom Night on Fox." He'll introduce episodes of "The Simpsons," "Drexell's Class" and "Beverly Hills, 90210" (beginning at 8 p.m., Channel 45). And speaking of Fox, last week's premiere airing of Michael Jackson's new "Black or White" video just after "The Simpsons" earned the network its highest ratings ever, as the most-watched show in the time period. Can the hard rocking group Aerosmith repeat the phenomenon? The band is scheduled to be on "The Simpsons" tonight.

BOBBING FOR VIEWERS -- Actor Bob Newhart, whose sitcom series "Newhart" went out a ratings winner a couple seasons ago, is back on CBS twice in the coming days. Tonight (at 8, Channel 11), he stars as a comic with a chimp partner in the movie "The Entertainers." And on Saturday, he's back with the cast of his earlier hit series in "The Bob Newhart Show Anniversary Special" (at 8 p.m., Channel 11).

COME AGAIN? -- Yes, you're right: You did see "Back to the Future Part III" already this week on NBC. It aired Sunday night. But in an apparent effort to duplicate the conventions of cable, it's back already again Friday (at 8:30 p.m., Channel 2). Popular movies, of course, are screened repeatedly when they make their way to the cable services. It will be interesting to see how the repeat of the 1990 box-office hit with Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd draws viewers again. Its first airing tied with NBC's "The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw" (seen the previous week) was the season's highest rated movie for adults 18-49.

THE CABLE CONNECTION -- The Twain-isms fall like autumn leaves, beginning with this one about cigars: "I make it a practice never to smoke when I'm asleep and never to refrain when I'm awake." And Jason Robard's portrayal of Hannibal humorist Samuel L. Clemens is at times a bit broad. But "Mark Twain and Me" is nonetheless a delightful historical movie premiering Friday on The Disney Channel (at 8 p.m.). Note that it is part of a free Disney preview weekend on participating cable systems. It is based on author Dorothy Quick's factual, insightful reminiscence of how the famous author befriended her on board a trans-Atlantic ocean liner.

THE SPORTS SCENE -- Is America's dented dominance of international basketball on the rise again? NBC's "Olympic Showcase" on Saturday (at 4 p.m., Channel 2) offers a semi-preview of next summer's hoop action in Barcelona. The Duke Blue Devils, national champions in the NCAA last spring, meet the national team of the Soviet Union in Durham, N.C.

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