If you were among the millions who never saw "TV Nation" on NBC and Fox, shame on you: You missed some of TV's best hours. For the uninitiated, tonight's best-of compilation on Comedy Central is a good place to start.
"Grace Under Fire" (8 p.m.-8: 30 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Grace discovers that it's no fun being a disciplinarian at Christmastime, when she decides it's time to show her son the error of his ways. ABC.
"The Drew Carey Show" (9 p.m.-9: 30 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- See why this show is one of the few bright spots in ABC's lineup. Tonight, Drew finds himself (and his store) stuck with a Santa who drinks and smokes. Then, he gets his ex-girlfriend angry at him for almost convincing her fiance that marriage is a bad idea. ABC.
"My Cousin Vinny" (9 p.m.-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Marisa Tomei won an Oscar (she's good, but is she that good?) for this tale of a couple of New York teen-agers who find themselves arrested for murder in Alabama. Joe Pesci plays a rookie attorney who ends up defending the pair because he's the cousin of one of them. CBS.
"Christmas in Washington" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- The cast members of NBC's "3rd Rock From the Sun" (this is obviously a dignified occasion) are the hosts of this annual Christmas songfest, broadcast live from the other end of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. In addition to the First Family, look for all sorts of celebrities, either on stage or in the audience. NBC.
"TV Nation" (7: 30 p.m.-8 p.m., repeats 11: 30 p.m.-midnight, Comedy Central) -- Michael Moore's sardonic TV "newsmagazine" was one of the greatest TV experiments of the '90s, which explains why it was yanked off the air so quickly (it was canceled by both NBC and Fox, which between them aired a total of 17 shows). Tonight's "Best of" show (originally an hour long, it concludes tomorrow night) should include a healthy dose of corporate-crime-fighting chickens, picnics with Dr. Kevorkian, investigative reports on why the lines at women's bathrooms are always so long and all sorts of other examples of the sort of hypocrisy and vapidity Moore refused to kow-tow to. Great stuff, and very funny.
Pub Date: 12/18/96