A reruns roll on, PBS says we watch too much

Today's TV

July 11, 1996|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF

It's time to say goodbye to Sheriff Buck and the folks of Trinity -- provided you can pick up D.C.'s Channel 9. Otherwise, you'll have to wait until WJZ, Channel 13, airs the series finale from 2: 35 a.m.-3: 35 a.m. Sunday morning.

"3rd Rock From the Sun" (9: 30 p.m.-10 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- In this repeat of the series opener, a gaggle of aliens descend on Earth to study us silly humans. Hey, at least they get our fondness for sex jokes and slapstick humor right. John Lithgow is a lot of fun to watch, but is this really where he wants to be? NBC.

"Friends" (8 p.m.-8: 30 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) stars in a music video for her smash hit, "Smelly Cat." Can such a song's true essence be captured on film? Doubtful. NBC.

"American Gothic" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., WUSA, Channel 9) -- Sheriff Buck's a goner -- at least that's how it looks as the folks in Trinity prepare for his funeral. But can such pure evil really die? The show may disappear from CBS forever after tonight, but don't count Buck out. CBS.

"Signal to Noise: Life With Television" (11 p.m.-midnight, MPT, Channels 22 and 67) -- A look at the effect of television on our society, this series premiere falls prey to the very fault it slaps on television: It's more style than substance. Over the course of an hour, it makes two points: We uncritically watch too much TV, and the medium has become the dominant force in our culture. The show could use more people who really know what they're talking about -- and how to convey their knowledge to the rest of us. PBS.

Cable

"American Flyers" (8 p.m.-10: 40 p.m., repeats 1: 05 a.m.-3: 45 a.m., TNT) -- Olympic superstar Florence Griffith-Joyner and her husband, Al Joyner, present this as their favorite movie: a 1985 tale of a bike race across the Rockies, directed by John Badham ("Saturday Night Fever"), written by Steve Tesich ("Breaking Away") and starring Kevin Costner.

"Baseballapalooza" (8: 30 p.m.-9 p.m., Comedy Central) -- This comedic take on Tuesday's All-Star game in Philadelphia and all the events leading up to it can't be any more ludicrous than the real thing. Where were all those big bashers the American League is supposedly stocked with?

"Target: Mafia" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., repeats 2 a.m.-3 a.m., A&E) -- For an organization that didn't even officially exist (as far as most law enforcement officials were concerned) until the 1950s, the Mafia has roots that go way back. Tonight's series debut looks at the group's Italian roots and its heydays during Prohibition.

"Time Traveler" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., repeats 2 a.m.-3 a.m., Discovery) -- If paleontology has ever had a superstar, it was Roy Chapman Andrews, a man who lived the life for real that Indiana Jones lived on-screen. His trips to China's Gobi Desert, chronicled here, passed quickly into legend (his books have been required reading for young dinosaur fans), and also produced the first fossilized dinosaur eggs. Quite a character.

Pub Date: 7/11/96

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