Forgettable comedy in a so-so season

TODAY'S TV

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

Either the seasons are getting longer, or the patience of network executives is getting shorter. A new fall series will premiere tonight, but others already have been yanked from the schedule. Tonight's new addition: NBC's "Something Wilder," starring Gene Wilder.

* "Something Wilder" (8-8:30 p.m., Channel 2) -- Gene Wilder and Hillary B. Smith play husband and wife, with typical TV-adorable twins, in this new sitcom that has gotten pasted by advance reviews. It's not actually that horrible -- like most of the new series this fall, it's relentlessly average -- but the laugh track on this particular series, turned up about 30 notches too high, makes "Something Wilder" virtually unbearable. NBC.

* "The Commish" (10-11 p.m., Channel 13) -- Part 2 of 2. Two series this fall, ABC's "The Commish" and USA Network's "Silk Stalkings," are going against the TV grain, in a laudable way, by stressing the long-term effects of being shot ("NYPD Blue" started last year by pulling Dennis Franz's Sipowicz though a noteworthy, though overly quick, recovery process). Rob Estes' character in the latter series is in physical rehabilitation and suffering post-traumatic stress disorder, while Michael Chiklis' character on tonight's "Commish" is facing the rest of his life in a wheelchair. ABC.

* "Saturday Night Live" (11:30 p.m.-1 a.m., Channel 2) -- It's ladies' night at "SNL." Not only did Ellen Cleghorne and new addition Janeane Garofalo get a lots of screen time in last week's season premiere, but tonight's guest host is Marisa Tomei, and the musical guest is Bonnie Raitt. NBC.

Cable

* "The Fugitive" (8-10:10 p.m., HBO) -- The train

wreck is great, Tommy Lee Jones, who won an Academy Award for his role, matches Harrison Ford scene for scene, and while the TV "Fugitive" is more brooding, this one is more . . . disarming.

* "The UFO Cover-Up? Live From Area 51-A" (8-10 p.m., TNT) -- Larry King does a two-hour live story about alleged UFO cover-ups. If he gets callers from CTA-102, we'll know he's on to something.

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