Larry's back, but don't look for Angie


November 26, 1993|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Contributing Writer

This was supposed to be premiere night for NBC's "This Is Your Life" with intended honoree Angie Dickinson, until she delayed the process by screaming "Not on your life!" -- or less polite words to that effect. With a replacement victim the show goes on -- but the TV shouldn't. However, there is one blast from the past who's returning on schedule: Larry Hagman is back on Friday nights, but in a show and role that's a far cry from J. R. Ewing and "Dallas."

* "18th Annual Circus of the Stars" (8-10 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- As long as some show-biz careers are on the way down, and other, newer ones are on the way up, this annual CBS special will always have volunteers. What puzzles me is: Why does it always have an audience? Is the thought of watching Alfonso Ribeiro walking the "Space Wheel" really that big a thrill? This year's ringmasters are Diedre Hall, Jay Thomas and Holly Robinson, who are just about the most famous people in the entire show. CBS.

* "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze" (8-10 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- Sigh. A Friday without "The Adventures of Brisco County Jr." and "The X-Files" is a day with very little to do until "Picket Fences" comes on. I should note, I guess, that Fox is showing the broadcast premiere of this "Ninja Turtles" sequel, but I'm not about to give this 1991 live-action fantasy the hard shell. And if you have trouble telling the four turtles apart -- or distinguishing who's "Ooze" -- ask your kids. Fox.

* "Boy Meets World" (8:30-9 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- And viewers tonight get to meet Yankees pitcher Jim Abbott, guest starring as himself. ABC.

* "Staying Afloat" (9-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- If this two-hour comedy-drama pilot had been trimmed to one hour, it would automatically be twice as good. Larry Hagman is such a charismatic performer that, as a formerly pampered rich man cast off to make his own way in the world, he succeeds at playing both crafty and clueless. He also gets to do some of the physical comedy from his "I Dream of Jeannie" days. But it takes forever for this pilot to establish what is clear to viewers from the first scene: That Hagman's character will end up as a sort of a "It Takes a Thief" special agent, reporting to a disapproving government liaison (Gregg Henry, in this case) and pulling cons to turn bad guys into cons. NBC.

* "Picket Fences" (10-11 p.m., Ch. 10) -- Megan Gallagher guest stars in this episode, playing a dairy spokesmodel and milking every scene for all it's worth. CBS.


* "The Great International Toon-In" (6 a.m.-8 p.m., TBS, TNT, CAR) -- It's too long and strange to explain, but whichever of these networks you watch today, you'll be watching a "real-time" cartoon named Moxy as the host.

* "janet. world tour. special." (8-9 p.m., MTV) -- Who wrote the title of this show? e.e. cummings?

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