Frasier's got the Christmas Day blues


Color it another slow night, the highlight of which is a rerun of a "Frasier" Christmas episode that already has earned "classic" status.

* "Prelude to a Kiss" (8-10 p.m., Channel 45) -- The funniest thing about Fox's on-air promos regarding its "world TV premiere" of this 1992 drama -- and there were tons of promos during Fox's football games over the weekend -- is that it makes no mention at all of the seminal supernatural event behind this particular "Kiss." Instead, Fox has promoted it to its audience as your everyday Meg Ryan-Alec Baldwin romance movie -- which it certainly is not. Fox.

* "Something Wilder" (8:30-9 p.m., Channel 2) -- Last week, "Frasier" delivered a very funny episode, most of which was set in the bathroom and concerned a toilet repair. This week, "Something Wilder" tries to plumb a similar vein, with Gene (Gene Wilder) attempting to plug a plumbing leak. NBC.

* "Frasier" (9-9:30 p.m., Channel 2) -- "Miracle on Third or Fourth Street" is the name of this episode, and it's the first-season episode about Frasier, who despondently agrees to work on Christmas Day. Most of the terrific "Frasier" episodes to date have depended on Frasier's interaction with Niles (David Hyde Pierce). This one, though, relies chiefly on Kelsey Grammer as Frasier, and works superbly. NBC.

* "Home Improvement" (9-9:30 p.m., Channel 13) -- Here's another Christmas-episode repeat -- this one starring Tim Allen, who, with "The Santa Clause," seems almost to own the holiday this year. ABC.

* "Janek: A Silent Betrayal" (9-11 p.m., Channel 11) -- "A Silent Betrayal" isn't a bad description of what CBS is doing to Richard Crenna and his "Janek" franchise -- putting it opposite "Frasier" and "Home Improvement" during a lethargic holiday week. CBS.

* "NYPD Blue" (10-11 p.m., Channel 13) -- Five weeks ago, Jimmy Smits made his first appearance as David Caruso's replacement on "NYPD Blue." Tonight, for the first time since then, ABC repeats one of the pre-Smits Caruso episodes. Compare and contrast. ABC.


* "Murder in Black and White" (9-11 p.m., LIF) -- Another "Janek" betrayal: This 1990 telemovie, also starring Crenna as Det. Janek, is scheduled by Lifetime directly opposite CBS' new "Janek" telemovie.

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