While the other networks concentrate on repeats, Fox is using the summer to try out a few new series. Thank goodness; at least there's something on TV we haven't seen before.
"Backdraft" (8 p.m.-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Curious, isn't it, that NBC would decide to run director Ron Howard's film about really rip-roaring fires and brave firefighters on the same night Fox is debuting (at 9 p.m.) a series about firefighters? The cast here is impressive (Kurt Russell, William Baldwin, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Robert De Niro), and there are times you can almost feel the heat of the fires. Too bad the story isn't better. NBC.
"The Last Frontier" (8: 30 p.m.-9 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- Another new Fox series, this one's a comedy about an L.A. woman who moves to Anchorage and ends up living in the same house with three single guys. Fox.
"World Music Awards" (9 p.m.-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Will these award shows never end? Taped May 6, the show includes a 10-minute number from Michael Jackson, a lifetime achievement award for Diana Ross and a number from Hootie & the Blowfish. Renowned warbler Jean-Claude Van Damme and Natalie Cole are the hosts. ABC.
"L.A. Firefighters" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- Fox hopes this drama, here for a six-week tryout, will do for firefighters what "L.A. Law" and "ER" did for lawyers and doctors. Cast members, many of whom you'll recognize, include Jarrod Emick, Miguel Sandoval and Christine Elise. Fox.
"Chicago Hope" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- In a repeat from November, two series regulars take their leave of the show: Mandy Patinkin, who wanted to spend more time with his family and on other projects, and Peter MacNicol, whose character is shot and killed. CBS.
"The Odd Couple" marathon (9 p.m.-midnight, Nickelodeon) -- Oscar and Felix set up camp on Nick at Nite (replacing "Welcome Back, Kotter" -- talk about trading up!) with a marathon airing today, Wednesday and Friday. Beginning next Monday, the comedy will air weeknights at 11.
"America's Music: The Roots of Country" (10: 35 p.m.-12: 35 p.m. [or when the Braves-Mets game is over until one hour later], TBS) -- If you missed part one of this three-part documentary yesterday, don't make the same mistake again. Lots of fascinating folks, with a whole bunch of good music thrown in.
Pub Date: 6/03/96