Broadcast TV votes early and often


It's election night -- which, on television, means there usually isn't much to vote for in terms of viewing once you've gone out and voted for real. That's pretty much the case tonight, too, but almost anywhere you turn on broadcast TV will be updates of the hottest local races. And as the night wears on, all three major networks are clearing the final hour of prime time for election coverage. Fox, the minor network, is devoting its night not to politics, but to Pesci: Joe Pesci, star of "My Cousin Vinny."

* "My Cousin Vinny" (8-10 p.m., Channel 45) -- Marisa Tomei somehow turned her funny but lightweight role as the flashy Mona Lisa into a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. (Stranger things have happened, but not lately.) It is a very funny comedy, with Pesci in fine form, aided by strong support work from the late Fred Gwynne as a short-tempered judge -- and, of course, also aided by Tomei's accent, wardrobe and comic timing. In that order. Fox.

* "Frasier" (9-9:30 p.m., Channel 2) -- Good news for "Frasier" fans: Tonight's episode is an original, and even has an election-night theme, so you don't have to feel guilty watching it for entertainment purposes. Better news for "Frasier" fans: This Thursday, NBC will broadcast another episode of "Frasier," a repeat, in the time slot after "Seinfeld," the show's home last season. Let's all hope the ratings are good enough for NBC to make the move a permanent one, and stop giving that coveted spot to "Madman of the People." NBC.


* " 'Taxi' marathon" (8 p.m.-5:30 a.m., NIK) -- The third straight night of marathon "Taxi" episodes is the best alternative for those who seek alternatives on this election night. Just think of the Rev. Jim Ignatowski as the comedic equivalent of an independent candidate.

* "Cosmic Slop" (10-11:30 p.m., HBO) -- Something new and oddball to watch: A trilogy of tales in which sci-fi, fantasy and other genres meet. They do not, however, always get along.

* "Emmanuelle: The Series" (11:40 p.m.-12:40 a.m., MAX) -- I've seen the first two episodes of this new international "erotic TV series" (this is episode two), in which Sylvia Kristel plays a shape-shifting, body-possessing Emmanuelle who can either become a younger woman or inhabit the bodies of others, depending upon the plot requirements. The stories are so stupid, the supposed eroticism so lame, this incarnation of "Emmanuelle" ought to be called "Emmanusick."

* "T Bone N Weasel" (1:05-3:05 a.m., TBS) -- C It N Weep.

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