Fox has the mob cable has the laughs

CBS has some quality reruns, and Fox has a new documentary miniseries on organized crime -- but if you want TV that's absolutely fabulous, your one-stop shopping location tonight is Comedy Central.

* "Understanding Whitewater" (7:30-8 p.m., WMPT, Channels 22 and 67) -- With congressional hearings on Whitewater scheduled to begin tomorrow, this program will take a look at the history of the story. Ken Bode of "Washington Week in Review" is moderator. PBS.


* "The Nanny" (8-8:30 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Guest star Lesley-Anne Down plays a former fashion model who wedges herself between Fran (Fran Drescher) and her young charge, Maggie (Nicholle Tom). Think of it as "Nanny Inc." CBS repeat.

* "Loyalty and Betrayal: The Story of the American Mob" (8-10 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- First of two parts. This documentary takes a garish look at the history of organized crime. Newsreel footage and vintage photos and interviews add interest and verisimilitude; re-enactments do not. Ron Silver narrates; concludes tomorrow night. Fox.


* "Murphy Brown" (9-9:30 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Emmy note No. 1: Among the major nominees recently announced, the ones representing Monday night TV series all came from CBS, and from shows in this two-hour time block. On this show, supporting actress Faith Ford got the only nod. CBS repeat.

* "Love & War" (9:30-10 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Emmy note No. 2: On this series, Annie Potts earned one of the five slots in the best comedy actress category -- which is quite impressive, since she replaced Susan Dey in the same role. CBS repeat.

"Northern Exposure" (10-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Emmy note No. 3: This series, a previous winner for best drama series, was nominated in that category again, even though the producers consider it a comedy. No matter. Either way, it's likely to lose to freshmen series: In drama, "NYPD Blue" should win, and the comedy category should be taken by "Frasier." Also, Barry Corbin, who plays Maurice, got a well-deserved nomination for supporting actor, but he's facing strong competition from his counterparts at "Picket Fences" and "NYPD Blue." CBS repeat.


* "Faerie Tale Theatre: Pinocchio" (7-8 p.m., Disney) -- Paul Reubens, aka Pee-wee Herman, stars as the boy who wooden always behave.

* "Absolutely Fabulous" (8-10 p.m., Comedy Central) -- If you missed yesterday's 12-episode marathon, you can start watching "Absolutely Fabulous" two shows at a time, which is how Comedy Central is rolling them out tonight. Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley are the most abrasive, and amusing, TV characters since Dabney Coleman's Buffalo Bill and John Cleese's Basil Fawlty.