'Oops!' and 'Archives' lend twists to lineup

Today's TV

December 02, 1996|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Why so many repeats tonight? Because the November ratings sweeps, the competitive period in which audience levels are used to set advertising rates for the next few months, just ended. The stakes are lower now; accordingly, so is the level of programming.

"Melrose Place" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45 ) -- Here's one show offering a first-run episode tonight, though -- one that continues the story line about Amanda's quest to reclaim something she's lost recently: her backbone. Fox.

"Oops! The World's Funniest Outtakes 4" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- I used to make fun of these thrown-together blooper shows. However, considering the grisly fare Fox has been televising lately in the same time slot, I now find myself welcoming and applauding them. Outtakes from "The Nutty Professor" and "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch?" Bring 'em on! Just as long as they don't show people's heads or legs catching on fire, or limbs being crushed or broken, or outtakes from the filming of the movie "The Twilight Zone." Fox.

Cable

"VH1 Archives" (7 p.m.-8 p.m., 12 a.m.-1: 30 a.m., VH1) -- Nightly bTC at these times, VH1 is repeating five talk shows from 1972 in one-hour increments. Why bother? Because this particular week of "The Mike Douglas Show," nearly a quarter-century ago, had John Lennon and Yoko Ono as co-hosts. "Imagine" that. For true Lennon fans, the real treat comes later: an unedited version of each day's installment, in the original 90-minute format, will air each weeknight at midnight. Among the guests personally invited by Lennon and Ono: Chuck Berry, George Carlin and Bobby Seale.

"Legends" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., VH1) -- Another weeklong treat from VH1, but this one is original rather than repeat programming. "Legends" is a new series of one-hour biographical profiles of rock legends, kicking off with tonight's inaugural installment devoted to Janis Joplin. In the same time period Tuesday through Thursday, "Legends" looks at Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield and the Grateful Dead, respectively -- and respectfully.

"Las Vegas: House of Cards" (9 p.m.-11 p.m., A&E) -- Part 2 of 2. Tonight's concluding portion of this documentary includes a look at a previous generation of legends: Frank Sinatra and the rest of the Brat Pack.

"Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., CNBC) -- If you missed this show's wildly funny and inventive third-anniversary special on NBC, here's a chance to catch a sister-network rerun.

Pub Date: 12/02/96

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