CBS and Nancy Travis are going to keep on doing it until they get it right, I suppose.
"Ellen" (8 p.m.-8: 30 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Ellen tries to get her parents back together by re-staging their 1958 Cuban honeymoon. She even gets singer Eddie Fisher to drop by (he probably just wanted to visit his daughter, Joely Fisher, who plays Paige). ABC.
"Wings" (8 p.m.-8: 30 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Joe and Helen (Tim Daly and Crystal Bernard) celebrate their first anniversary by getting stuck at a singles mixer. NBC.
"The Nanny" (8 p.m.-8: 30 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- The Woman with the Most Irritating Voice in the World gets herself a weekly child-care segment on "The Rosie O'Donnell Show." Does this mean she'll no longer have time for Maxwell (Charles Shaughnessy) and his clan? Donald Trump and Hugh Grant join the fun. CBS.
"The Sentinel" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WNUV, Channel 54) -- Jim (Richard Burgi), whose senses are so incredibly attuned he can do almost anything, lets a camera crew follow him as he goes about crime-solving. Shouldn't he have sensed this was a bad idea? UPN.
"Almost Perfect" (8: 30 p.m.-9 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Almost canceled last season, CBS opted to bring this Nancy Travis star vehicle back for a second try. First thing they did was have Nancy ditch the boyfriend (you'll see that tonight). Now, they need to work on a few other things, like coming up with some funny situations and some funny lines, and not telegraphing every joke way before it happens. Travis is an appealing presence, but how much longer can this show exist on goodwill alone? CBS.
"Grace Under Fire" (9 p.m.-9: 30 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Can Grace and Russell (Brett Butler and Dave Thomas) make it as a couple? Probably not ... ABC.
"In the Wild" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., MPT, Channels 22 and 67) -- Goldie Hawn goes to Africa to search for a one-eyed elephant she met on a previous trip. PBS.
"John Lennon: Live in New York" (7 p.m.-8 p.m., repeats 10 p.m.-11 p.m.) and "VH1 Archives" (8 p.m.-10 p.m., VH1) -- Celebrate what would have been Lennon's 56th birthday with this broadcast of his memorable New York concert from 1972, followed by hisSept. 12, 1971, appearance on "The Dick Cavett Show." Lennon is never less than intriguing, and he was rarely this publicly introspective.
"Biography" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., repeats midnight-1 a.m., A&E;) -- Margaretha Zelle was not only one of the most feared spies of World War I, but she's also served as the inspiration for countless movies, books and fantasies. You might know her better as Mata Hari.
"Support Your Local Sheriff" (10: 20 p.m.-12: 20 a.m.) and "Support Your Local Gunfighter" (12: 20 a.m.-2: 20 a.m., TBS) -- James Garner took his Brett Maverick role from TV, jazzed it up a bit and made him even droller, then parlayed it into a pair of very funny movies. "Sheriff" is better, maybe because it was first, with Garner as a reluctant sheriff who only wants to mine enough gold to get to Australia; Walter Brennan is a gem as his nemesis. "Gunfighter" has Garner as a con man trying to play rival mine owners against each other. Suzanne Pleshette is the love interest.
Pub Date: 10/09/96