NBC's new 'House Rules' may not be around long

Today's TV

March 09, 1998|By Chris Kaltenbach At a glance

A series about three friends and two dogs sharing one house debuts on NBC tonight. Here's betting it won't be around much longer.

"House Rules" (8: 30 p.m.-9 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) introduces us to three lifelong friends -- two guys (David Newsom and Bradley White) and one gal (Maria Pitillo). It's a good thing they like each other, since hardly anyone else could tolerate them; it's hard to think of another sitcom with less appealing characters. The two guys make the dudes on "Friends" seem like rocket scientists, while the gal only exists so her buds can dump on her and she can lovingly forgive them.

What's worse, not one thing they do is funny. Not one. The only thing close to comic relief tonight is provided by guest star Lisa Rinna as a sex-saturated potential new roommate; the same's true next week, when Patrick Warburton drops in to play a cop with a flair for the drastic. "Ally McBeal" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- Tracey Ullman shows up as the Biscuit's therapist, who's being called upon to help Ally. Plus, the return of the dancing baby. Fox.

"The Practice" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- A former client who got away with killing one lover wants the firm to represent him again -- apparently, he's killed another. Meanwhile, Lindsay sues her sanctimonious former professor (Edward Herrmann) and his law firm. ABC.

"Brooklyn South" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Donovan is forced to confront the circumstances surrounding his involvement with Internal Affairs when his father, a retired cop, visits. CBS.


"Bewitched" (8: 30 p.m.-12: 30 a.m., Nickelodeon) -- "Darrin vs. Darrin: A Bewitched Marathon" features five nightly episodes all week of the '60s sitcom with nose-twitching Elizabeth Montgomery and the two actors (Dick York and Dick Sargent) who played her mortal, ad-exec husband over eight seasons on ABC. Nick at Nite has recently acquired the rights to color episodes of "Bewitched" and now offers us a rare opportunity to see such curiosities as two cases where black and white episodes were remade in color -- with a different Darrin.

"The Great Depression" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., repeats 1 a.m.-2 a.m., History) -- It was the time that tried men's souls. This four-part documentary with former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo as host recounts the 1929 crash on Wall Street (a.k.a. Black Thursday) and the financial calamity that swept across the country. Continues through Thursday.

"The Secret World of Circuses and Sideshows" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., repeats midnight-1 a.m., The Learning Channel) -- This three-part series checks out circuses, magicians and daredevils through Wednesday. The first hour enters the big top for a look at high-wire walkers, trapeze artists and Zamora, the Torture King.

"New Attitudes" (11 p.m.-11: 30 p.m., Lifetime) -- Leanza Cornett and Suzanne Whang cover tips and trends in fitness, fashion, health and beauty on this nightly half-hour show aimed at women. Ellen DeGeneres turns up on the debut.

Pub Date: 3/09/98

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