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By David Bianculli and David Bianculli,Special to The Sun | December 7, 1994
The odds against it happening are very high, but tonight TV provides a sort of holiday miracle: two watchable Christmas specials on the same night. One is from 1965 -- and that's the newer one. The other, seen for the first time since it was performed live on the DuMont network, is from 1951.* "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (8-8:30 p.m., Channel 11) -- Vince Guaraldi's jazz score is terrific. Linus' lecture about the true meaning of Christmas is right on the money -- and right about the money, too. Then there's the Snoopy dance, seen in animated form for the first time -- and that scrawny Christmas tree, which Charlie Brown identifies with for all the right reasons.
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By David Bianculli and David Bianculli,Special to The Sun | June 22, 1994
Tonight's easy best bet: the seventh and deciding game of the NBA Finals.* "NBA Finals" (9 p.m.-conclusion, WMAR, Channel 2) -- The Houston Rockets have the home-court advantage for Game 7 against the New York Knicks, and the one advantage viewers have is that, unlike Friday's Game 6, this final game is not likely to be pre-empted by coverage of a low-speed chase. NBC.* "NYPD Blue" (10-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- John Wesley Shipp guest stars as Roy Larsen, the physical-fitness overenthusiast who takes an almost instant dislike to Kelly (David Caruso)
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By David Bianculli and David Bianculli,Special to The Sun | July 6, 1994
Leaving aside O. J. Simpson preliminary hearing coverage (I'm bypassing O. J., OK?), there's still an above-average selection of watchable offerings on TV tonight.* "Live From Lincoln Center" (8 p.m.-10 p.m., WMPT, Channels 22 and 67) -- This marks the 28th season of the Mostly Mozart Festival, a welcome summer breeze of concerts devoted to -- well, mostly to Mozart, but tonight to Tchaikovsky, Gluck and Haydn also. Headliners are pianist Shura Cherkassky, soprano Korliss Uecker and baritone Thomas Hampson.
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By David Bianculli and David Bianculli,Special to The Sun | August 10, 1994
CBS has some "Good Advice" on tap tonight, and so do I. Mine is to skip "Good Advice" and watch HBO's comedies instead -- especially "The Larry Sanders Show," on which Sharon Stone is a guest star.* "Good Advice" (8:30-9 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- This show ought to be called "Lethargy Inc." Who cares? CBS.* "Models Inc." (9-10 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- William Katt, as Paul, begins to get even more involved in the murder case, and with some of the suspects, in tonight's episode. The writers have yet to ignite any sparks on this show, but at least they're beginning to make the effort to create some entertaining friction.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | April 27, 2001
Once again, the giant Hollywood star machine has labored mightily and coughed up a mouse - or at best, Warren Beatty in a polar bear suit. He's cute in the suit, like a baggy-pants version of the polar bears in the yuletide Coca-Cola commercials. He should have played the whole picture that way. For Beatty doesn't have a naturally engaging comic spirit. He didn't in those duds everyone has forgotten, like "The Fortune," or in the one no one will forget, "Ishtar," or even in his fading-from-memory hit, "Heaven Can Wait."
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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | September 10, 2000
Think of it as a giant pep rally on the eve of the big game. Only this year, there's no big game. Traditionally, the Emmy Awards telecast announced the start of network premiere week and the new fall season. The television industry understood synergy before synergy was cool. But this year, for the first time in network history, there is no premiere week, and the new fall series won't start arriving until October after the summer Olympics have run their course on NBC. The fall season is still flying well below most viewers' radar despite the networks' endless on-air promotion.
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March 3, 2000
A breezy yet diamond-hard humor runs through "What Planet Are You From?," a bawdy, brainy sex comedy geared toward smart people with a sophomoric streak. At its goofiest and gaggiest, this fish-out-of-water yarn, about a space alien who finds true love while trying to take over the world, will remind viewers of Mel Brooks. At its crudest, it recalls "There's Something About Mary." But at its wisest -- and it is surprisingly wise, in the end -- "What Planet Are You From?" evokes fond memories of director Mike Nichols and his former partner, Elaine May, who together shed a wry, cleansing light on the human condition by way of gently lethal satire.
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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic | July 19, 1995
If this really is the so-called summer doldrums, how come the smartest and funniest sitcom on television starts a new season tonight?Because that sitcom, "The Larry Sanders Show," is on HBO, and the premium cable channel does not march to the networks' beat of starting new seasons in the fall. As long as HBO has products like tonight's episode of "The Larry Sanders Show" -- titled "Roseanne's Return" -- it can start its season any time it wants. The viewers will come.For those not familiar with the celebrated sitcom, which starts its fourth season, it stars Garry Shandling as late-night talk-show host Larry Sanders in a perfectly wicked spoof of talk shows, celebrity, television, show business and a culture that has become mesmerized by the visual images manufactured for our small screens.
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By Steve McKerrow | August 13, 1992
On The Weekend Watch:ROCKY RELATIONSHIPS -- Possibilities of matrimony provided the tantalizing theme of several series over the last season, as recapitulated in two repeats tonight. On NBC's "A Different World" (at 8, Channel 2), setting up the eventual two-part season finale, Whitley and Dwayne (Jasmine Guy and Kadeem Hardeston) seem headed for splitsville as she gets serious about Byron (Joe Morton). And also at 8 (Channel 13) on ABC's "Who's the Boss," Tony and Angela (Tony Danza and Judith Light)
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By Steve McKerrow and Steve McKerrow,Staff Writer | June 13, 1992
You don't have to be French to laugh at Jerry Lewis -- at least as he is seen with Dean Martin in a fascinating cable documentary this weekend that offers a time trip to one of the less-remembered lodes of the golden age of live television."
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