'Laugh-In' special has new material

TODAY'S TV

December 02, 1993|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Contributing Writer

Is NBC presenting another repackaged "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" special tonight? You bet your sweet bippy. And CBS is presenting the premiere of what may prove to be the last new weekly series premiered by a major network in 1993: a new serial drama called "Second Chances."

* "Seinfeld" (9-9:30 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- In this very funny repeat episode, George (Jason Alexander) proves himself quite handy at a new career -- as a "hand model." This also is the episode that introduced a new catch phrase to the "Seinfeld" vernacular: the "puffy shirt." NBC.

* "Matlock" (8-9 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- "Matlock" has beestraining mightily this season to keep Andy Griffith, and viewers, amused, and this week offers another such obvious effort. It's an episode-long nightmare sequence, propelling Griffith's Matlock and company back to the 1930s, where they solve a murder case involving guest stars Jeff Conaway and Melissa McBride. ABC.

* "Second Chances" (9-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Thitwo-hour pilot launches TV's latest serial drama -- and one that, like "Twin Peaks" and "Picket Fences," is set in a smallish town and opens with a dead body. The surprising news is that `D "Second Chances," from the creators of "Homefront," is an affable and unexpectedly witty affair, presenting engaging lead characters and a watchable, though hardly surprising, plot. Connie Sellecca, finally getting a decent TV role, stars, along with Megan Follows -- all grown up since her brilliant "Anne of Green Gables" days -- and Jennifer Lopez, going the dramatic route after two seasons on "In Living Color." Among the men, the standouts are good guy Matt Salinger and bad guy Ray Wise. CBS.

* "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In Past Christmas Present" (10-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- This series was on for enough years to produce many holiday-themed shows and skits, and intercutting them into a single special is obviously a clever idea. Even more clever: presenting formerly unseen outtakes of exchanges either blown in the delivery or thought too risque to deliver during the series' original 1968-73 run. NBC.

Cable

* "All Aboard: Riding the Rails of American Film" (9-10 p.m., AMC) -- Film-buff VCR Alert: From start to finish, this clip-laden special -- narrated by Jason Robards, with great behind-the-scenes stories from Eli Wallach, Michael Crichton, Eva Marie Saint and others -- is on the right track.

* "Dying to Remember" (9-11 p.m., USA) -- I watched this entirnew USA Network telemovie, and now am dying to forget. Melissa Gilbert stars as a woman with mysterious memories of falling down an elevator shaft. I was hoping she was possessed by the spirit of Rosalind Shays from "L.A. Law," but no such luck.

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