Fall TV preview Your guide to the '97-'98 season, including TV critic David Zurawik's look at the new shows.

September 14, 1997|By DAVID ZURAWIK

Because of an editing error in the Sunday Arts section, the new television series "Good News" on UPN was designated as being recommended by Sun Television Critic David Zurawik. It is not recommended.

The Sun regrets the error.



"The Wonderful World of Disney." 7 p.m., ABC. The not-so-wonderful world of corporate synergy, with Disney using its television network to show Disney-owned films, like 'em or not. And to make matters worse, we have to put up with Disney Chairman Michael Eisner as host. (New show, premiere date Sept. 28)


"Jenny." 8:30 p.m., NBC. Jenny McCarthy and Heather Paige Kent leave Utica, N.Y., for the bright lights of Los Angeles, where they are supposed to be a Laverne and Shirley for the '90s. McCarthy and Kent make Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall look like the Redgrave sisters. (New show, premiere date Sept. 28)

"The Tom Show." 9 p.m., WB. Tom Arnold as the ex-husband of a famous network anchorwoman who must come crawling back to a little television station in St. Paul where he once worked after she dumps him. He's a single dad. There's not a single laugh in the pilot. (New show, premiere date Sept. 7)

"Alright Already." 9:30 p.m., WB. Carol Leifer, who wrote for "Seinfeld," tries to create a female version of "Seinfeld" with herself in the lead. Some amusing moments, but Leifer's no Seinfeld, and the parent-bashing gets old real, real fast. (New show, premiere date Sept. 7)


"Timecop." 8 p.m., ABC. Time cops are cops who police the time continuum, mostly for criminals who are trying to change the course of history. T.W. King plays the timecop in this drama based on the feature film of the same title. Not available for preview. (New show, premiere date Sept. 30)

* "Ally McBeal." 9 p.m., Fox. David E. Kelley, of "Picket Fences" fame, created this drama that takes us literally inside the head of a young female lawyer (Calista Flockhart). The pilot's uneven, but it has flashes of brilliance and a knockout soundtrack (Vonda Shepard). Maybe the most important thing to know is that Courtney Thorne-Smith co-stars in this series that follows "Melrose Place," Thorne-Smith's former home in TV Land. (New show, premiere date Sept. 8)

* "Good News." 9 p.m., UPN. A sitcom about a young preacher taking over a new congregation in the inner city. In terms of ethnic images, it's back to the days of "Sanford & Son" with this one. (New show, premiere date Aug. 25)

* "George and Leo." 9:30 p.m., CBS. Bob Newhart and Judd Hirsch as an odd couple of father-in-laws. The pilot is a wobbly one without much chemistry between the two, but who wants to sell these two short? Worth at least one tune-in. (New show, premiere date Sept. 15)

* "Brooklyn South." 10 p.m., CBS. This is the one not to miss. "Hill Street Blues" plus "NYPD Blue" equals "Brooklyn South." Great writing, superb direction and socially relevant subject matter from Steven Bochco, the undisputed king of cop drama. It's Brooklyn as the American frontier, with cops as the cavalry. (New show, premiere date Sept. 15)


"Dawson's Creek." 8 p.m., WB. Drama with 15-year-olds thinking about sex, talking about sex and having sex. (New show, premiere date TBA, December)

* "Over The Top." 8:30 p.m., ABC. Annie Potts and Tim Curry star in this sitcom about a couple of exes who find themselves back together when he loses his job and turns up at the small Manhattan hotel she owns. Not available for preview. (New show, premiere date Oct. 21)

* "Michael Hayes." 9 p.m., CBS. If you loved David Caruso as an angst-ridden detective in "NYPD Blue" (and who didn't?), you will at least like him here as an angst-ridden prosecuting attorney in New York. Along with "Brooklyn South," the hottest new pilot in the pack. But what a vicious time period opposite "Home Improvement" and "Frasier." (New show, premiere date Sept. 15)

"Three." 9 p.m., WB. Drama about a jewel thief, a martial arts master and an electronics wizard. Not available for preview. (New show, premiere date TBA, December)

"Hitz." 9 p.m., UPN. Andrew (Dice) Clay returns in this sitcom as a sleazy record company executive. A new low for UPN. (New show, premiere date Aug. 26)

"Head Over Heels." 9:30 p.m., UPN. One brother's a "ladies' man," while the other's a nerd. They run a dating service in Miami that's owned by their mother. Mom likes to talk about the great sex she's having with her trainer. The only thing that makes this sitcom less repulsive and idiotic than "Hitz" is Clay's misogyny. (New show, premiere date Aug. 26)

"Hiller and Diller." 9:30 p.m., ABC. Kevin Nealon and Richard Lewis play a comedy writing team in this sitcom from the famous comedy writing team of Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel ("City Slickers"). Some very funny moments. Promising, but no sure thing. (New show, premiere date Sept. 23)

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