'Someone's at the door': 'American Gothic' returns

Today's TV

January 03, 1996|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF

Outside of the return of what is, without a doubt, the weirdest hour on TV (thanks, CBS), sitcom repeats are the highlight of today's programming, with four encores that are near-perfect examples of TV comedy writing at its best. Check 'em out.

* "The Simpsons" (6 p.m.-6:30 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- Maggie speaks for the first time, sounding suspiciously like Elizabeth Taylor Hilton Wilding Todd Fisher Burton Burton Warner Fortensky.

* "Seinfeld" (7:30 p.m.-8 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- Possibly the best "Seinfeld" yet, as a reporter interviewing Jerry for her college paper believes he and George are a gay couple. "Not that there's anything wrong with that," as Jerry kept telling her.

* "Ellen" (8 p.m.-8:30 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Ellen gets invited to a surprise party for John Travolta. And who else should pop in but Arnold Horshack. OOOOOHH! OOOOHH! ABC.

* "TV Censored Bloopers" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Host Dick Clark is joined by David Hasselhoff, who shows that hilarious blooper, the "Baywatch" where they forgot to have anyone show up in a swimsuit. Now that was a blooper. NBC.

* "American Gothic" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- The oddest hour of network TV since "Twin Peaks" returns, and you know that can't be bad. Not a lot of people watched this show the last time around; let's see if we can do better this time, OK? CBS.

Cable

* "American Justice" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., A&E) -- Are you fascinated by the seamier side of human nature, that little person inside so many who loves putting one over on other people? Then you should love "The Quiz Show Scandals and Other Frauds," as host Bill Kurtis narrates a look not only at the quiz show scandals of the 1950s -- the same network-TV sham Robert Redford examined in "Quiz Show" -- but also Clifford Irving's "biography" of Howard Hughes and the brutal "rape" of Tawana Brawley.

* "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (10 p.m.-10:30 p.m., Nickelodeon) -- Ted opens his own trade school, so Minneapolis TV can be awash with anchormen just like him. Problem is, not a lot of customers share his vision. Hard to believe. (You'll love the school song.)

* "The Dick Van Dyke Show" (11:30 p.m.-midnight, Nickelodeon) -- Rob falls asleep and dreams that he, Laura, Buddy, Sally, Mel, Jerry and Millie have been transported to the Wild West, where he's the town sheriff forced into a showdown with Big Bad Brady. "The Gunslinger" was the last episode of DVD aired during its original run, and it features hordes of the show's writers, technicians and other crew members in bit parts.

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