Slate of oldies heads toward your cave


June 01, 1994|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Special to The Sun

The Memorial Day weekend opening of "The Flintstones" was a major box-office success, which partly justifies tonight's TV schedule, which anticipated that favorable reaction by scheduling several positively prehistoric entertainment options. ABC begins presenting new episodes of its "Dinosaurs" sitcom, TBS has "Weird Al" Yankovic presenting old "Flintstones" cartoons in a format called Mastodon Theatre, and MTV presents an episode of "Unplugged" starring Tony Bennett.

* "Dinosaurs." (8-8:30 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Lots of little kids are afraid that monsters are lurking under their beds, but when you're living in the equivalent of a Jurassic trailer park you have something to fear besides fear itself. ABC.

* "The Critic." (8:30-9 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Midway through next season, "The Critic" will be back, in a retooled format with new episodes on Fox. Meanwhile, ABC is using the summer months to play the last of the unretooled original episodes in its possession. ABC.

* "America Tonight." (9-10 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- How original can this new CBS newsmagazine be, when it's recycling a title that's been used twice before? In 1978, Martin Mull starred as Barth Gimble in "America 2Night," a talk-show parody that anticipated today's "The Larry Sanders Show" but lasted only four months. Then in 1990, CBS launched a half-hour late-night news program called "America Tonight," competing directly with ABC's "Nightline," with Charles Kuralt and Lesley Stahl as hosts most days. It lasted five months. Now comes a prime-time "America Tonight," with Deborah Norville and Dana King as hosts, in a newsmagazine with a viewer call-in segment. Give this "America Tonight" six months. CBS.

* "Turning Point." (9:30-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- After so many D-Day specials televised over the last seven days, what's left to say? Tune in tonight, on Wednes-Day, and see. Peter Jennings hosts. ABC


* "Mastodon Theatre." (7:05-7:35 p.m., TBS) -- A month of classic "Flintstones" episodes? This puzzles me, because there WEREN'T any.

* "Unplugged." (10-11 p.m., MTV) -- This concert teams Mr. Bennett with k. d. lang on "Moon Glow," Elvis Costello on "They Can't Take That Away From Me," and lets him croon solo on a hefty helping of standards, including "I Left My Heart in San Francisco."

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