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Strange things happen all over the TV dial


Three new CBS series and a syndicated show bring back stars from the past. Meanwhile, PBS delivers a show no parent should miss, "Listening to Children: A Moral Journey with Robert Coles." Season openers also air for "The X-Files," "Family Matters," "Step By Step," "Picket Fences" and "Hangin' With Mr. Cooper."

* "Strange Luck" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) Last week's premiere made this quirky show about a photographer worth watching to see how things develop. Tonight, Chance (D. B. Sweeney) processes film and finds images he doesn't remember. Fox.

* "Dweebs" (8 p.m.-8:30 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) This new comedy stars Peter Scolari, the nerdish TV producer of "Newhart," who now plays a software genius surrounded by technocrats. CBS.

* "Land's End" (8 p.m.-10 p.m., WNUV, Channel 54) Fred Dryer, the taciturn detective of "Hunter," returns in a new syndicated vehicle as a Los Angeles detective who resigns after his wife's murder to become a private eye in Mexico.

* "The Bonnie Hunt Show" (8:30 p.m.-9 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) The title star, veteran of "Grand" and "The Building", plays a TV reporter in Chicago. David Letterman's production company is behind the show. CBS.

* "Listening to Children: A Moral Journey with Robert Coles" (9 p.m.-10:30 p.m., MPT, Channels 22 and 67, and WETA, Channel 26) Seeing the world through the eyes of a child can be a miraculous thing. It can also be scary. It's more scary than wondrous tonight when psychiatrist and author Robert Coles shows us the world according to kids in a program no parent should miss. Dr. Coles, a Harvard professor and acclaimed researcher on the inner life of kids, introduces us to eight children and adolescents. He talks to them in their homes, without parents, and shows us their worlds. PBS.

* "The X-Files" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) When last we left this series, Mulder (David Duchovny) seemed to have been burned up in a boxcar full of alien corpses. We learn what really happened tonight. Fox.

* "Picket Fences" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) In the season premiere (note new time), Amy Aquino joins the cast as a new doctor in town. Dr. Joey Diamond is Jill's (Kathy Baker) partner, who has a TV talk show. CBS.

* "American Gothic" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) Gary Cole, who played the brooding late-night radio host of "Midnight Caller," stars in this new series as a small-town, Southern sheriff who's no Andy Taylor. Gail Emory plays his adversary, a newspaper reporter. CBS.


* "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (8 p.m.-11 p.m., TNT) The direct antecedent for the new popularity of science fiction on TV is Steven Spielberg's 1977 story of alien encounters. Starring Richard Dreyfuss and Teri Garr, it optimisticly views how we might respond to others in the universe.

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