'Oz' adds to typically magical Thursday

TODAY'S TV

November 11, 1993|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Contributing Writer

It's another Thursday as usual, which is good rather than bad news: fresh "Simpsons" on Fox, fresh "Seinfeld" and "Frasier" on NBC, and so on. Plus, a family event that remains a big event year after year: the annual CBS telecast of "The Wizard of Oz."

* "The Wizard of Oz." (8-10:05 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Despite the popularity of VCRs and this 1939 movie's wide availability on home video and videodisc, "The Wizard of Oz" perennially wraps up big ratings for CBS -- bigger than all but a dozen or so first-run television movies and theatrical premieres. Why? I think it's because Baby Boomers have passed it on to their kids as the same type of full-family treat it was for them. This is the 36th time down TV's Yellow Brick Road for Judy Garland and company. The Munchkins remain the same; only the commercials change from year to year. CBS.

* "The Simpsons" (8-8:30 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- Say it loud: He's a cartoon and he's proud! James Brown is one of the "guest voices" on tonight's "Simpsons," in an installment also listing in the credits a mysterious "A. Brooks." Could it be Albert, the writer-star of "Lost in America" and "Defending Your Life"? Listen to the voice of Dr. Brad Goodman, and judge for yourself. Fox.

* "Seinfeld" (9-9:30 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- This is the episode whose production was profiled in the current issue of Entertainment Weekly: the "switching barbers" episode. Watch for Wayne Knight, in one of his three recurring current series roles (the others being "Against the Grain" and "The Second Half"), as loudmouthed Newman. NBC.

* "Frasier" (9:30-10 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Tonight's "guest voices" on "Frasier" include Carl Reiner, with a plot line that makes room for a three-dimensional guest cameo by Dr. Joyce Brothers. The episode's title: "Selling Out." NBC.

* "L. A. Law" (10-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Fresh from her co-starring role on the miniseries "A Matter of Justice," Alexandra Powers returns to fundamentals -- and her fundamentalist Christian character -- in a key plot line on this week's "L. A. Law." NBC.

Cable

* "Kennedy" (8-11 p.m., USA) -- Part 1 of 2. This 1983 miniseries, starring Martin Sheen and Blair Brown, is one of the better, more responsible JFK docudramas. But for some reason, this two-night USA telecast chops a full hour off the original drama's running time. Does Oliver Stone know about this?

* "Real Sex 7" (11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m., HBO) -- In one segment, people run around Manhattan acting unusual. Stop the presses.

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