Repeats, and a real tale of the homeless

TODAY'S TV

December 21, 1993|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Contributing Writer

Good rule of thumb: When the most exciting thing on TV is a repeat, it's a slow night. Tonight's best bet: a second showing of the premiere episode of "NYPD Blue."

* "Bakersfield P.D." (8:30-9 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- Fans of this series -- and they are not legion, but they ARE loyal -- will want to catch this first-run epi- sode. Fox is preparing to run "Bakersfield" off the air, at least for a while, so taping is recommended to get you through the lean months. On tonight's show, Denny (Chris Mulkey) is suspended from the force and sinks so low he starts selling underwear -- briefly. Fox.

* "The John Larroquette Show" (9-10 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- (( NBC is using this slow week to try and build a larger audience for Larroquette's sitcom. It begins with a first-run episode against // ABC's "Roseanne" repeat, and follows that with a repeat episode of "The John Larroquette Show," against a repeat of ABC's "Coach." Its best opportunity for drawing new viewers, however, comes this Thursday, when another "Larroquette" repeat is televised, this time pre-empting "Frasier" in the coveted time slot right after "Seinfeld." NBC.

* "Christmas on Division Street" (9-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- This 1991 television movie, starring Fred Savage and Hume Cronyn, is about a young Philadelphia boy who befriends an elderly homeless man and becomes an advocate for improving conditions of street people. Savage's character is named Trevor Atwood, but is based on the real-life Trevor Ferrell, whose similar exploits began in 1983, when he was 11 years old. CBS.

* "NYPD Blue" (10-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Came in late to the "NYPD Blue" party? Or have yet to arrive at all? Then by all means, take this opportunity to visit the initial episode, which introduced the characters that since have become the most compelling people on a prime-time serial drama. And if you've been a faithful viewer of "NYPD Blue," it's worth watching for the pleasures of hindsight -- the knowledge that comes from knowing what will happen in later episodes between Sipowicz (Dennis Franz) and the district attorney (Shannon Cochran), and Kelly (David Caruso) and the patrol woman (Amy Brenneman). ABC.

Cable

* "PT 109" (8:05-11:05 p.m., TBS) -- It seems like only a month ago that ABC presented its "JFK: Reckless Youth" miniseries, one of the highlights of which was a lengthy recounting of young John Kennedy's exploits aboard the ill-fated PT boat 109. Actually, it WAS only a month ago, to this very day. And that dramatization was a lot less reverent than this 1963 film starring Cliff Robertson, made the year JFK was assassinated. Robert Culp co-stars.

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