A season of cheer and, yes, Bob Hope


Tonight's TV schedule is as slow as molasses in . . . well, in December, anyway.

* "Bob Hope's Bag Full of Christmas Memories" (8-10 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Bob Hope, at 90, is a living legend, but one whose increasing frailty is making it trickier for him and NBC to mount his annual TV specials. This one solves the problem in two ways: by having Hope work from his San Fernando Valley home (no travel) and by having him present a lot of flashbacks (less demanding). Still, viewers will get the chance to see Bob and Dolores Hope singing together -- and, in what is a slightly more newsworthy duet, Naomi Judd singing again with her daughter Wynonna. Also scheduled: Loni Anderson and Barbara Eden. NBC.

* "Beverly Hills, 90210" (8-9 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- What is Howard Stern doing on "Beverly Hills, 90210" tonight? As it turns out, nothing. But actor Don Calfa, playing a guy who calls himself Howard Stern, is on the guest roster in this dream-filled episode. Fox.

* "Melrose Place" (9-10 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- Romantic entanglements are variously untangled and knotted in tonight's show: Characters say goodbye, a few say hello, and one going to that reliable staple of youth dramas, the video dating service. Fox.

* "Christmas in Washington" (10-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Why would Kirstie Alley, of all people, be chosen as host of this year's presidential concert, with Bill and Hillary Clinton in attendance? The only thing I can think of is that the holiday season is a time of good "Cheers." Performers include Patti LaBelle, Aaron Neville and Wynton Marsalis. NBC.

* "48 Hours: See You in Court" (10-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- A very good episode about lawyers: jail house lawyers, lawyers who sue lawyers, lawyers who aren't quiet lawyers, and so on. My favorite is the jail house lawyer who, among hundreds of other suits filed, claimed "cruel and unusual punishment" after the prison canteen gave him creamy peanut butter instead of chunky. CBS.

* "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" (12:35-1:35 a.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- This should be interesting: Tonight's guest is Brandon Tartikoff, the man who championed David Letterman all those years ago at NBC and gave him the "Late Night" slot. NBC.


* "What's Up, Tiger Lily?" (8-10 p.m., COM) -- This 1966 Woody Allen "film" overdubbed an existing low-budget Japanese spy film and inserted his own silly dialogue. It may not be as politically correct three decades later, but it's still very funny.

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