Can't get enough of those wacky Windsors? Think the current brood, Andrew and Fergie, Charles and Diana, et al., have a monopoly on the dysfunctional-royals franchise? Then check out public television tonight and be entertained, enlightened and informed.
"Ellen" (8 p.m.-8: 30 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Ellen tries on her best friend's engagement ring, then can't get it off her finger. Hilarity ensues. ABC.
"Dateline NBC" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Correspondent Keith Morrison interviews Aaron Spelling, that paragon of television excellence responsible for "Charlie's Angels," "The Love Boat," "Melrose Place," "Beverly Hills, 90210," "Fantasy Island" and "Savannah." Not to mention Tori Spelling. That's right, they're all his fault. NBC.
"Misery" (9 p.m.-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Kathy Bates won a Best Actress Oscar in 1990 for playing one of the screen's least lovable loonies, an obsessive, whacked-out fan who saves her favorite writer's life, only to come to regard him (and his future books) as her property. And not property she treats particularly well. Bates is excellent (although it's a role she's replayed several times since), and James Caan makes a good victim. The scene with the knees still makes me shiver. CBS.
"Edward on Edward" (9 p.m.-11 p.m., MPT, Channels 22 and 67) -- England's Prince Edward looks back on his royal namesake, Edward VIII -- the king who abdicated his throne for the woman he loved, Baltimore's Wallis Warfield Simpson. The former king's reputation has taken quite a beating of late, with him being labeled everything from a just-plain-jerk to a Nazi sympathizer and possible collaborator. Advance word has it Edward does not try to sugarcoat his ancestor's faults. PBS.
"Champs" (9: 30 p.m.-10 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- In this first-run episode of a series destined for the sitcom scrap heap, Marty (Kevin Nealon) is one surprised guy when his ex-wife shows up. Seems she really misses him, but he may not be missing her as much as he claims. Oh, what tangled sitcom webs are weaved. ABC.
"Saturday Night Live" (noon-1 p.m., Comedy Central) -- Here's your chance to re-live ice queen Nancy Kerrigan's big moment in 1994, when she may very well have been the least-comfortable-looking host the show has had in its 20-plus years.
"The Palm Beach Story" (1 p.m.-2: 30 p.m., AMC) -- The wonderful Claudette Colbert, who died last week, shone brightest in light comedies, where she was able to play her apparent sophistication and dignity for laughs. This was one of her best films, with director Preston Sturges casting her as an engineer's wife trying to ensnare a Florida millionaire (Rudy Vallee) and cope with an assortment of oddballs for whom odd may be an understatement.
"The 20th Century with Mike Wallace" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., repeats 2 a.m.-3 a.m. tomorrow, A&E;) -- Mount St. Helens, a long-dormant volcano that 16 years ago turned a piece of Washington state into a modern-day Pompeii, has its story told in this anthology look at events of the past 100 years. Includes all sorts of newsreel footage and on-the-spot reporting that should make for a fascinating hour.
Pub Date: 8/07/96