'Friends,' 'Seinfeld' return

Today's TV

September 19, 1996|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF

Tonight's big question: Are any of the shows on ABC or CBS really strong enough to take on NBC's Thursday night lineup?

"Friends" (8 p.m.-8: 30 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Tom Selleck gone! Chandler's girlfriend, Janice (the irritating one) back! Ross apparently has a fantasy about Princess Leia! Hey, the Friends are back, and they'll be there for you (just at a slightly higher cost per episode). NBC.

"Diagnosis Murder" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Dick Van Dyke gets a new time slot and the privilege of being CBS' latest sacrificial lamb to "Friends." Pretty lucky guy. CBS.

"Behind Closed Doors with Joan Lunden" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Joan gets to ride on the airplane that would carry the president and his staff in the event of a nuclear attack. On the lighter side, she also chats with Celine Dion. ABC.

"Seinfeld" (9 p.m.-9: 30 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- OK, Susan, George's fiancee, is still dead. Jerry's still engaged (to Janeane Garofalo), though maybe not for long apparently Jerry's thinking fondly again of the woman whose name he couldn't recall (it rhymes with a body part). NBC.

"Maloney" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- As in baloney. Peter Strauss debuts as the hippest, glibbest police psychiatrist who ever tried to convince a cop to turn himself in for murder. Just a few problems with this show: He's too perfect, the dialogue is too clever, his friends are too cool, his daughter is too precocious, the situation is too contrived, and there are too many reasons to watch something else. CBS.

"Turning Point" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Season three opens with a look at the 1996 Mount Everest expedition that left eight people dead. Some of the survivors are interviewed. ABC.

"The Pretender" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Michael T. Weiss is the title character, Jarod Russell, a malleable sort of guy who's been trained to be able to "pretend" he's someone else (kind of like a TV version of Woody Allen's "Zelig"). Unfortunately, he's been trained by a mysterious, nefarious organization that uses his abilities for ill (causing the stock market to crash, for instance). But Jarod's had enough and decides to use his abilities to help the little guy -- much to the organization's chagrin. Tonight, he pretends to be a doctor. The show's kind of clever, and Weiss has a lot of fun with the role. Give it a try.

"48 Hours" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- CBS' continuing look at the Class of 2000 continues with a visit to South Carolina's The Citadel, where the incoming freshman class includes women for the first time. CBS.

Cable

"Raising Arizona" (9 p.m.-11 p.m., USA) -- A very cool movie from the Coen Brothers, with Nicolas Cage (a one-time robber) and Holly Hunter (a one-time police officer) struggling to raise their young son. Only trouble is, they don't really have one. Watch for a great effort from John Goodman as an escaped con.

Pub Date: 9/19/96

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