Why do the season's two best new comedies, "Mr. Rhodes" and "Pearl," have to air opposite each other?
"Dangerous Minds" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Superwoman teacher Louanne Johnson (Annie Potts) works to prepare students for job interviews. ABC.
"7th Heaven" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WGN and WBDC, Channel 50) -- In a show that touches on the rash of arsons affecting black churches nationwide, the Rev. Camden (Stephen Collins) comes to the aid of a friend and fellow seminarian (Dorian Harewood) when his church burns to the ground. WB.
"Mr. Rhodes" (8: 30 p.m.-9 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Hip ZTC teacher Tom Rhodes (played by the actor of the same name) urges Nikki (Farrah Forke) to strike out on her own. So she does, dropping her shrink and her boyfriend and falling for Tom. Not exactly what Mr. Rhodes had in mind. NBC.
"Pearl" (8: 30 p.m.-9 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Prof. Pynchon (Malcolm McDowell) doesn't know how to act when, first, his old professor shows up during class, and second, it turns out his former mentor's new novel is actually Pynchon's Oxford graduate thesis. Note to film buffs: The visiting prof is played by Aubrey Morris, one of the authority figures bent on subjugating McDowell in "A Clockwork Orange."
"A Kiss So Deadly" (9 p.m.-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Dedee Pfeiffer (Michelle's sister and a co-star on "Cybill") plays a college student whose dad falls in lust with her roommate. Unfortunately, said roommate soon turns up dead. Any chance dad could be responsible? NBC.
"Murphy Brown" (9 p.m.-9: 30 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Cantankerous Old Man Swenson (Tom Poston) threatens to hold up Murphy's planned renovation of her townhouse. The cad. CBS.
"Cybill" (9: 30 p.m.-10 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- After she's attacked, Cybill takes steps to defend herself -- including self-defense classes taught by Vicki Lawrence, who unfortunately does not sing "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia." CBS.
"I Love Lucy" (9 p.m.-9: 30 p.m., Nickelodeon) -- Lucy winds up in a Hollywood fashion show, sharing the stage with Mrs. Forrest Tucker, Mrs. William Holden, Mrs. Dean Martin, Mrs. Gordon MacRae, Mrs. Richard Carlson and Mrs. Van Heflin.
Pub Date: 10/14/96