To add to local confusion, some series change nights

TODAY'S TV

January 04, 1995|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Special to The Sun

Busy, busy day. Two new sitcoms premiere on CBS, and a lot of other shows, on CBS and elsewhere, shift to new nights and time slots.

* "Women of the House" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Delta Burke, in her familiar and most successful guise as Suzanne Sugarbaker, returns in a new sitcom written by "Designing Women" creator Linda Bloodworth-Thomason. This one, too, places her in a room with three other women -- but this time she's a first-time member of Congress, and her female compatriots are members of her support staff: Teri Garr, Valerie Mahaffey and Patricia Heaton. The premise is a good one, and Ms. Burke and Ms. Mahaffey are quite strong, but the first two episodes of this series aren't as sharp or satiric as they could be. CBS.

* "Double Rush" (9 p.m.-9:30 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- This is the other sitcom premiere tonight -- and this one is co-created by Stephen Nathan and "Murphy Brown" creator Diane English. Robert Pastorelli, who played Eldin on that series, stars as the head of a New York messenger service in this one. It borrows equally from "Taxi" and "Cheers" (the co-workers are like cabbies with packages, while Corinne Bohrer, like Diane on "Cheers," pops in from uptown and never leaves). This show's bonuses: a lot of energy, a youthful and eclectic cast, and an affable sense of goofiness missing from many CBS sitcoms. Also, Mr. Pastorelli's character has some real depth -- another CBS sitcom rarity. CBS.

* "Mystery! 'A Dark Adapted Eye' " (9 p.m.-10:30 p.m., Channels 22, 67) -- Helena Bonham Carter stars in this two-part "Mystery!" import, which starts out moody and ends up creepy. It's about a family warped enough to make the Addams Family look normal, with Sophie Ward and Celia Imrie playing memorably macabre sisters. PBS.

* "Party of Five" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., Channel 45) -- This series serves up its first new episode on a new night. Fox.

* "Love & War" (9:30 p.m.-10 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- So does this series. CBS.

* "Law & Order" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- This series taps into a lot of New York stage talent, and this week's show taps a big one: Rob Leibman. NBC.

* "PrimeTime Live" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- This series, too, is on a new night. ABC.

* "Northern Exposure" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Beginning tonight, "Northern Exposure" gets some midweek exposure. CBS.

Cable

* "Larry King Live" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., CNN) -- Oprah Winfrey is Mr. King's scheduled guest. In a non-election year, that's about as important a guest as he can land.

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