Carol and Carroll add to fun of 'Mad About You'

Today's TV

November 12, 1996|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

On the nonfiction side, the show to watch is tonight's continuing saga of "The Great War," which contains the most potent images and segments of the entire series. On the fiction side, the show not to miss is "Mad About You," where Jamie's parents arrive for the first time -- and are played by Carroll O'Connor and Carol Burnett.

"Roseanne" (8 p.m.-8: 30 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2)-- Wouldn't it be funny if Ralph and Alice Kramden hit the lottery and got to rub elbows with the upper class? I don't think it would -- at least not based on "Roseanne," which this season, ever since allowing the Conners to strike it rich, has been poor. ABC.

"Mad About You" (8 p.m.-8: 30 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Carol Burnett walks through the door and gets a huge round of applause and an obviously warm welcome. Then Carroll O'Connor walks through and gets just as great a reaction. Previously, "Mad About You" has made room, in separate episodes, for Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks; adding Carol and Carroll to the list is another clever coup, and these two TV pros absolutely have to be asked back. When Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt, as Paul and Jamie, are sharing a cramped dinner table with O'Connor and Burnett, anyone you look at is funny. Even later, when things turn more serious, everyone is up to the task. Not to be missed. NBC.

"Alien Nation: The Enemy Within" (8 p.m.-10 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- This is the fourth movie sequel to the cult Fox series, and it's about time to pull the plug on this particular franchise. Since the hit movie "Independence Day" has failed to spark any long-range heightened interest in other alien-invasion projects, "Alien Nation" won't even get the benefit of riding on that movie's coattails -- and with another Fox series, "Space: Above and Beyond," going belly-up last season, the long-range prospects for these "Alien Nation" films get weaker all the time. Just like its story lines. Joe Lando, of "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman," guest stars this time, with Gary Graham and Eric Pierpoint reprising their respective roles as earthling and alien cops. Fox.

"The Great War" (9 p.m.-11 p.m., MPT, Channels 22, 67) -- In tonight's second hour, this series shows unforgettably powerful silent footage of shell-shocked and mutilated war veterans -- men who twitch uncontrollably and painfully, or who sit stoically as sympathetic specialists fashion lifelike metal masks to hide their disfigured faces. PBS.

"Spin City" (9: 30 p.m.-10 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- George Wendt from "Cheers" guest stars. ABC.

"NYPD Blue" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- The network is flagging tonight's episode as another powerhouse showcase for Dennis Franz as Sipiwicz. Given the quality of previous such efforts, "NYPD Blue" fans know to make plans to watch. ABC.

Pub Date: 11/12/96

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