A few laughs, but more that's laughable


Whether you're on the road and bound for a Thanksgiving destination, preparing food for tomorrow or just sitting around, don't feel any guilt about ignoring TV. For its part, TV will be ignoring quality tonight.

* "Beverly Hills, 90210" (8-9 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- Now that this show's spinoff series, "Melrose Place," has demonstrated just how much mileage can be gotten from showcasing a bad girl or two, "Beverly Hills, 90210" is quick to follow suit. (Actually, it was a little quicker, but most of Shannen Doherty's antics took place off-screen, so they don't really count.) That's why Christine Elise returns to "Beverly Hills, 90210" tonight, reprising her bad-influence, bad-behavior character of Emily Valentine. If she catches on this time, every day on "90210" could be Valentine's Day. Fox.

* "Comedy Hall of Fame" (9-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Creator George Schlatter threatens to make this a yearly event, calling it the "first annual" telecast of TV's latest, but hardly greatest, awards show. But buried within this special is a truly wonderful musical-comedy production number by Jason Alexander. Ordinarily, a performance this good would stop the show; this time it more or less starts the show. In fact, it jump-starts it. Honorees include Carol Burnett, George Burns, Walter Matthau, Jonathan Winters, Red Skelton and Milton Berle. NBC.

* "A Gala for the President at Ford's Theater" (10-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- This event is less of a look-who's-here than a look-who's-not: Taped recently, this tribute features as host Whoopi Goldberg, who arrives without her famous friend. Michael Bolton, Jay Leno and Natalie Cole are among the performers for this event, which might be described as all-comedy, all-singing, but no Ted Danson. ABC.

* "48 Hours" (10-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- If you've seen "Hero," the 1992 movie currently being presented on cable, you've seen one treatment of how fame and the media embrace some heroic individuals while evading others. Here's a real-life counterpart to that angle, focusing, in part, on two men who received significantly different treatment after heroically aiding victims of the same train wreck. CBS.


* "Charlie's Angels Marathon" (12:30-5:30 a.m., TNT) -- Five episodes of "Charlie's Angels," back to back, are televised shortly after the midnight hour. At first I wondered why, then realized the method to TNT's madness: What better way to start Thanksgiving Day than with a bunch of turkeys?

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