The new lineup and the old standbys FALL TV PREVIEW

September 12, 1993


New shows

"Townsend Television" (Fox, 7 p.m.): Robert Townsend has a ton of talent. But resurrecting the variety show and running it against "60 Minutes" on CBS could take superhuman powers. And Superman is already busy with his own new show on ABC on Sundays nights, "Lois & Clark: the New Adventures of Superman."

But don't write "Townsend Television" off. The skits are funny, and the musical segments in the pilot are knockouts. Premieres

tonight. 1/2

"SeaQuest DSV" (NBC, 8 p.m.): How many TV bombs has Steven Spielberg had anyway? This one's a futuristic adventure starring Roy Scheider as the chief of a high-tech sub. Glub, glub, glub. Up periscope.

Did I mention the talking dolphin? Yes, there's a talking dolphin named Darwin in "SeaQuest DSV."

Can Darwin say "Family Dog"? Good boy, Darwin. Now fetch the nuclear submarine and don't chew the core. And remember, Darwin, it's survival of the fittest in prime time. Premieres tonight. (Only for Darwin.)

"Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" (ABC, 8 p.m.): The producers say they're "updating the Superman myth for the '90s." I worry about Hollywood types who think they can update myths to suit the fashion of a decade. And what is the fashion of the '90s anyway?

In this romantic telling, Superman (Dean Cain) is a big hunk of a innocent farm boy come to Metropolis and just plumb bowled over by the chic, sophisticated star reporter of the Daily Planet, Lois Lane (Teri Hatcher).

The series will live or die on whether 12-year-old boys dream of Hatcher. I think she's kind of twerpy myself. But I'm not 12. Phyllis Coates, the original Lois now there's a woman. Premieres tonight.

"Living Single" (Fox, 8:30 p.m.): A sitcom about four twentysomething, African-American women living in Brooklyn. Queen Latifah, who plays the publisher of fledgling magazine, could be the next "Roseanne" a blunt, no-nonsense TV persona the audience can identify with. Kim Coles is terrific as her ditsy cousin.

It's been compared to "Designing Women," but there's a lot more edge here. Fox premiered the series early, and the ratings have been strong. Premiered Aug. 22. 1/2 (With a bullet.)

"Daddy Dearest" (Fox, 9:30 p.m.): Richard Lewis is a recently divorced, baby-boomer, single-parent psychiatrist (a what?) whose father moves in with him. The father is played by Don


Think of it as "All in the Family," with Rickles as Archie and Lewis as Meathead only in the '90s, Meathead is paying the rent and is very, very neurotic.

I love Lewis. I hate Rickles. It's got a great time period, married to "Married ... With Children." Premiered Sept. 5. (But only if I never have to interview Rickles again and hear what a "dear, dear friend and great human being" Frank Sinatra is.)

Returning shows

"The New America's Funniest People" (ABC, 7:30 p.m.): New name and new co-hosts, with Dave Coulier, of "Full House." Each week, Coulier is joined by a different child star. As if this isn't the Year of the Kid already on TV. Season premiere Sept. 19.

"Married ... With Children" (Fox, 9 p.m.): Bud (David Faustino) Bundy goes to college. What a frightening thought. Talk about lowering academic standards.

I'm still adjusting to Shannen Doherty and the rest of the loveable "Beverly Hills 90210" crew going to college after four years of majoring in sex at Beverly Hills High. Season premiere aired Sept. 5.


New shows

"Dave's World" (CBS, 8:30 p.m.): The baby-boomer signature series of the TV year, with Harry Anderson, of "Night Court," as humor columnist Dave Barry, whining about having to be an adult. The pilot is wall-to-wall male fortysomething angst:

"If you saw me walking down the street, would you think I'm a hip, good-looking guy or a pathetic middle-aged fool?" Dave's boss asks him plaintively.

"I'm just a fossilized old fud," Dave says even more plaintively to his wife, played by DeLane Matthews.

The wisdom in "Dave's World" goes like this: "Adulthood is a big, sleek, snake . . . that swallows you." Being cool and staying hip is knowing all the words to "Louie, Louie" and buying a big amplifier for your guitar.

I think the show defines self-absorbed, yuppie whining, but give it credit for psyching out the mainstream male boomer in all his

baby-ness. Premieres Sept. 20. 1/2

Returning shows

"Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" (NBC, 8 p.m.): The No. 1 show with African-American viewers ("Roc" is second) gets even better this year with Daphne Reid, once of "Frank's Place," taking over the role of Aunt Vivian. Meanwhile, Will (Will Smith) and Carlton (Alfonso Ribeiro) go to college.

Just think if the networks had gotten hip to college as a way of continuing series years ago. "Leave It to Beaver: The College Years." "Opie: From Mayberry to Chapel Hill." Season premiere Sept. 20.

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