Animated night: Charlie and Edith Ann

TODAY'S TV

January 18, 1994|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Contributing Writer

It's a busy, busy night, and the programs on tap include an animated special based on Lily Tomlin's "Laugh-In" character Edith Ann and a new episode of "NYPD Blue."

* "You're in the Super Bowl, Charlie Brown" (8-8:30 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Actually, he's in a place-kicking competition -- and it doesn't take lifelong readers of Charles Schulz's comic strip to deduce a) who will be Charlie Brown's holder and b) what Lucy is likely to do as Charlie Brown approaches the ball. NBC.

* "Edith Ann: A Few Pieces of the Puzzle" (8:30-9 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- The creative risk here is that Edith Ann is taken out of her rocking chair and given a family (a mostly dysfunctional one) and a therapist (ditto). The rewards, though, are lines like the one where Edith's mother responds to her daughter's sudden fit of anger at the breakfast table by grabbing her coffee cup and saying, "No more caffeine for you, Miss Rumpelstiltskin." ABC.

* "In the Best of Families: Marriage, Pride and Madness" (9-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Part 2 of 2. On the best of networks: Murder, Predictability and Mayhem. CBS.

* "Nova: 'The Codebreakers' " (8-9 p.m., WMPT, channels 22 and 67, WETA, Channel 26) -- This special, which looks at how the cracking of key codes has shaped major events in this century, is yrev, yrev doog. PBS.

* "NYPD Blue" (10-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Last week's episode introduced a new character to the squad, and promptly killed her husband. This week's episode also introduces a new recurring character: a tough-guy cop played by John Wesley Shipp, who portrayed TV's "The Flash." ABC.

* "Frontline: 'A Place for Madness' " (9-10 p.m., WMPT, Channels 22 and 67, WETA, Channel 26) -- "As long as you're not hurting anybody, you should be allowed to be as eccentric as you want to be," says one of the homeless people shown in this documentary, which travels to Northampton, Mass., to look at its accelerated program of putting mentally ill people back on the streets -- a controversial program given the nine-syllable term "deinstitutionalization." PBS.

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