'NYPD Blue' premiere worth the wait


Had ABC not switched "Home Improvement" and "Roseanne," we might have witnessed a truly bizarre piece of competitive scheduling tonight: ABC's real "Roseanne" opposite Fox's ersatz Roseanne: An Unauthorized Biography." But we have only the fake Roseanne to consider tonight, and don't consider watching it. Instead, wait for the season premiere of "NYPD Blue."

* "Roseanne: An Unauthorized Biography" (8-10 p.m., Channel 45) -- I thought this might be bad. Then I saw the promos and thought it would be bad. Then I saw the preview tape, and bad doesn't begin to describe it. "Puerile" begins to describe it. Festering, repugnant, astoundingly amateurish -- take your pick. Treasure the scenes in which Dawn Zeek portrays young Roseanne, because once Denny Dillon takes over, this becomes hopelessly laughable for all the wrong reasons. Fox.

* "Nova: 'The Great Wildlife Heist' " (8-9 p.m., Channel 22) -- "Nova" returns for its 21st season with a story about the illegal trade in parrots -- though not the infamous "ex-parrot" scam from "Monty Python's Flying Circus." PBS.

* "Frasier" (9-10 p.m., Channel 2) -- Fans of David Hyde Pierce's Niles will get a rise out of tonight's first episode, which has him carrying around a sack of flour as a baby-bonding experiment. The episode's best scene, however, features not Niles, but Eddie the dog. You'll know it when you see it. NBC.

* "NYPD Blue" (10-11 p.m., Channel 13) -- Last year, this series got all the buzz because of its "adult" language and nudity. This season, it got all the buzz because of David Caruso's departure. In both cases, the series itself justifies all the fuss. The nudity count doesn't increase in tonight's episode, but a few surprises do pop up, and guest star Peter Boyle fits in so seamlessly, he ought to be added as a semi-regular. ABC.


* "Play Nice" (10:30 p.m.-midnight, MAX) -- Maybe the play was nice, but the movie's bad. Robey, star of TV's "Friday the 13th . . . The Series," plays a woman with a multiple-personality disorder, the unofficial "plot of the week."

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