Pee-wee meets Murphy


Fox has a new medical series premiering tonight, but in the long view of things, tonight's most memorable event probably is an appearance by Paul Reubens on "Murphy Brown."

* "Melrose Place" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., Channel 45) -- Just for the record: On a recent episode of "Homicide: Life on the Street," Ned Beatty's Bolander, recuperating after surgery on his bullet-pierced skull, removed his hat at the end of one show to reveal a shockingly graphic scar -- the best, and perhaps only, one similarly revealed since Marcia Cross, as Kimberly, flipped her wig last season on "Melrose Place." Tonight's first-run episode may not be so literally hair-raising, but expect lots of fireworks, because momentum on this show is building again. Fox.

* "A Whole New Ballgame" (8:30 p.m.-9 p.m., Channel 2) -- Why does this series remain on the air, and especially right after jTC "Coach"? Because it comes from the producers of "Coach," that's why -- which is made clear tonight. as Shelley Fabares, who plays Christine on "Coach," guest-stars to interview Brett (Corbin Bernsen). As if anyone else would be interested. ABC.

* "Murphy Brown" (9 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Channel 13) -- Since his infamous arrest at an adult movie house in Florida, Paul Reubens, once hidden behind the persona of Pee-wee Herman, has made two major media appearances: once as Pee-wee on MTV, and once as a disarming (and eventually disarmed) vampire in the film "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Tonight he shows up as the latest secretary for Murphy (Candice Bergen), in an episode also featuring Garry Marshall. CBS.

* "Medicine Ball" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., Channel 45) -- Watch this medical series, and then watch . . . Fox.

* "Chicago Hope" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., Channel 13) -- There is no substitute. And no real comparison. CBS.


* "Red Shoe Diaries" (10 p.m.-10:30 p.m., SHO) -- So far, this series' move to Paris, no doubt to share and amortize production costs with an international broadcasting partner, has been a disappointment. Tonight's episode, though, may reverse the trend, or at least be worth watching. It stars Denise Crosby, who appeared last season in one of the first, and steamiest, "Red Shoe Diaries" episodes in which she played a policewoman. In this one, she plays a psychiatrist on vacation in France.

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