Vanna White visits 'F-U-L-L H-O-U-S-E'

January 11, 1994|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Contributing Writer

Henry Winkler returns to series TV tonight, as both executive producer and star of Fox's "Monty," a situation comedy that, at least in the pilot, offers a lot more situation than comedy. Also making a prime-time appearance tonight, on a different sitcom: Vanna White.

* "Full House" (8-8:30 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- And here she is, Miss "Wheel of Fortune" herself, making an appearance as herself in an episode about D. J.'s study preparations for the SAT -- or, as Vanna White herself might spell it, the S T. ABC.

* "Monty" (8-8:30 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- It was only last month that Mr. Winkler, starring in a television movie with John Ritter, turned in a very capable and atypical performance as a psychopath. Now he tackles another un-Fonzie-ish role, this time as a Rush Limbaugh-style TV personality. At home, he's more of an Archie Bunker, perpetually exasperated by his vegetarian, liberal son -- played by David Schwimmer. There are two astounding things about the premiere of "Monty." One is that Mr. Schwimmer is the same guy who played apartment dweller "4-B" in "NYPD Blue." The other is that there isn't one mildly funny line in the entire show, although the laugh-at-anything Fox audience would suggest otherwise. Fox.

* "The Good Life" (8:30-9 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- This series gets some well-deserved laughs tonight by underplaying the obvious irony of the main plot, which has John's son Paul accidentally allowing his dad's security-system warehouse to be robbed. The best laughs of all, though, come from the misplaced yet smug confidence of supporting player Drew Carey. NBC.

* "The John Larroquette Show" (9-9:30 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- What has Patti D'Arbanville been doing since her last series, "South Beach," was canceled? Well, one thing's obvious: In her guest appearance tonight on "The John Larroquette Show," she's billed, for the first time, as Patti D'Arbanville-Quinn. NBC.

* "Roseanne" (9-9:30 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- One of the lesser-known of the late Frank Zappa's children, Ahmet, guest stars as Roy on tonight's episode. ABC.

* "Terror in the Night" (9-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Network TV continues to court trouble by making violent, fact-based movies, at a time when legislators are asking them to show some restraint. Instead, they fund and present movies such as this one, which stars Joe Penny as a killer who rapes and kidnaps a young woman (Justine Bateman) in the Arizona mountains. CBS.

* "NYPD Blue" (10-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Donna Abandando (Gail O'Grady) accepts another date with the quiet Medavoy -- and this time it's not to go ice skating. ABC.

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