Prime time develops a British accent

TODAY'S TV

September 29, 1994|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Special to The Sun

Outside of some guest-star stunt casting, there's nothing unusual being offered tonight in prime time by the broadcast networks. However, when the "usual" includes a lot of quality shows, that's no cause for concern.

* "Mad About You" (8-8:30 p.m., Channel 2) -- It's been 27 years since Judy Geeson starred opposite Sidney Poitier in "To Sir, With Love" -- and here she is, causing trouble again, as one of the abrasive British neighbors of the Buckmans (Paul Reiser, Helen Hunt). NBC.

* "My So-Called Life" (8-9 p.m., Channel 13) -- For some reason, it's a big night for British guest stars. The substitute English teacher on tonight's "My So-Called Life" is played by Roger Rees, formerly of "Cheers" and "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby," and currently of, sigh, "M.A.N.T.I.S." ABC.

* "Due South" (8-9 p.m., Channel 11) -- Madolyn Smith-Obsborne is the guest here. She isn't a British actor, though; she just sounds like one. CBS.

* "Friends" (8:30-9 p.m., Channel 2) -- A pleasant surprise here: The plot threads tossed out in last week's premiere of "Friends" are followed up here, rather than forgotten. Consequently, we get to meet the now-lesbian ex-wife of Ross (he's played by David Schwimmer, she's played by Anita Barone), and also to get acquainted with Ross' parents -- played by Elliott Gould and former "St. Elsewhere" nurse Christina Pickles. Funnier than the pilot, and worth sampling. NBC.

* "Seinfeld" (9-9:30 p.m., Channel 2) -- The shifting universe of "Seinfeld," which now has George (Jason Alexander) winning instead of losing, tilts a little farther when Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld) begins dating a woman previously rejected by, of all people, Newman (Wayne Knight). NBC.

* "E.R." (10-11 p.m., Channel 2) -- It's a shame these two medical shows are going head to head . . . NBC.

* "Chicago Hope" (10-11 p.m., Channel 11) -- . . . Because I like them both. Welcome to the VCR Hour. CBS.

Cable

* "AFI Salute to Jack Nicholson" (9-11 p.m., A&E) -- It's common practice, these days, for Hollywood to release many motion pictures in two versions: rated for theaters, and "unrated," with added footage, for the home-video market. Here's a new TV twist on the same concept. Tonight A&E offers an expanded, two-hour version of this American Film Institute tribute to Mr. Nicholson, taped and telecast by CBS in March -- but presented then in a skimpy, one-hour version.

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