Some days, timing counts TV PREVIEWS

September 18, 1993|By David Zurawik

CBS Entertainment President Jeff Sagansky is a brilliant programmer. But he has no idea how to reach kids at 8 o'clock on weeknights. Remember "Uncle Buck"? You know you remember.

Sagansky's latest bad idea is putting Faye Dunaway in a sitcom with three kids and placing the series head-to-head against Steve Urkel and "Family Matters" at 8 on TGIF night.

The sitcom is called "It Had to Be You," and it gets a sneak preview at 8 tomorrow night after "60 Minutes" on WBAL (Channel 11).

Dunaway plays an upper-crust publisher who falls for a blue-collar type played by Robert Urich. (Yes, that Robert Urich, the one who has been in a failed pilot every year for the last 10 years or so.) Urich's character has three kids in this year of the three-kid-sitcom.

The pilot has some funny moments, especially when Dunaway meets the kids. But unless this series gets a new time period, it won't see Thanksgiving.

Eight-year-old kids rule the dial at 8 on TGIF night. And as sexy and glamorous as Dunaway might look to fortysomething network programmers, to an 8-year-old, she's Mommie Dearest.

This ain't "Chinatown," Jeff.

* 1/2

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