Bringing back the good stuff


Prefer your skit comedy with a distinctly 1970s flavor? Then check out the Family Channel tonight, as it brings back a pair of vintage variety/talk shows.

"Pearl" (8: 30 p.m.-9 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Sounds like a tough day for poor Pearl (Rhea Pearlman). First, she sees Prof. Pynchon (Malcolm McDowell) naked, then she lies to her sister-in-law, Annie (Carol Kane). What's a middle-aged college student to do? CBS.

"Murphy Brown" (9 p.m.-9: 30 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Shelley Long returns as daytime talk show host Dottie Wilcox, a fellow new mom who has desperately wanted to be Murphy's friend -- until now, after "FYI" airs a piece about how her line of clothing is manufactured at a plant polluting rivers in Malaysia. Now she tells Murphy to take a walk. Problem is, Murphy's son, Avery, wants very much to attend Dottie's son's birthday party. Hilarity ensues. CBS.

"Cybill" (9: 30 p.m.-10 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Cybill gets to play Mary Todd Lincoln on stage and discovers it's a bad idea to carry a cellular phone when you're playing a 19th-century woman. CBS.

"Mr. Rhodes" (8: 30 p.m.-9 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Hip, long-haired, free-wheelin' Mr. Rhodes is so sure he'll get along with the students -- while at the same time earning their respect -- that he moves into their dorm. Maybe not such a good idea. NBC.

"Abduction of Innocence: A 'Moment of Truth' Movie" (9 p.m.-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Katie Wright plays a kidnap victim, the only child of a strict multimillionaire couple (Lucie Arnaz and Dirk Benedict). Only the FBI isn't so sure she was a victim at all. A film about a kidnapping? Wow, you never see these on TV anymore. NBC.

"Mr. Justice Brennan" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., MPT, Channels 22 and 67) -- Written by College Park professor Michael Olmert, this documentary looks at the career of Supreme Court associate DTC justice William Brennan, who was a liberal in the years before it became a dirty word.


"Carol Burnett and Friends" (6 p.m.-6: 30 p.m. and 6: 30 p.m.-7 p.m., Family Channel) -- Condensed versions of the old Burnett show begin airing here tonight. Watch for the episodes once Tim Conway came on board; they're the best.

"Carson's Comedy Classics" (midnight-12: 30 a.m. and 12: 30 a.m.-1 a.m., Family Channel) -- Carson's "Tonight Show" should benefit from being condensed from 60 to 30 minutes; you'll watch nothing but the cream. Required viewing for those who have forgotten how easy Johnny made it all seem.

Pub Date: 10/07/96

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