"You Take the Kids" - please.
CBS' latest attempt at a sitcom premieres tonight (7 p.m., Ch. 5). And let me emphasize that it's an attempt at comedy.Nell Carter ("Gimme a Break") and Roger Mosley ("Magnum, P.I.") play a pair of lower-middle-class parents raising a brood of sitcom kids - cute, smart-mouthed and annoying.
Add a mother-in-law from hell and it's your typical TV family - big on one-liners, small on realism.
And that's the only real surprise here. "Kids" was created, written, produced and directed by Paul Haggis, a man who won a pair of Emmys writing and producing the excellent and realistic "thirtysomething."
"Kids" is neither.
The big jokes in tonight's pilot concern the 14-year-old daughter's desire for a big chest and the mother-in-law's belief that Idi Amin and Edie Gorme are related. Need we say more?
The comparisons to "Roseanne" are obvious - both in the working-class setting and the size of the stars. But, while "Roseanne" succeeds (despite its star's personal failings), "You Take the Kids" just doesn't have the spark.
About the best thing that can be said about the show is that it's not terrible. But it also isn't funny - a definite problem for a comedy.`LENNY' IS BACK: Returning to the CBS schedule after "You Take the Kids" is "Lenny" (7:30 p.m., Ch. 5), a sitcom that failed to attract an audience last fall on Wednesday nights.
Another "Roseanne" clone, Lenny Clarke plays a working-class guy in Boston. The cast is good, especially Lee Garlington as Lenny's wife, but the writing is not.
In tonight's episode, one of Lenny's daughters professes her atheism and the other is caught with a condom. The show's message is relatively wholesome - it's pro-religion and anti-teen sex - but the execution just isn't there.
I want to like this show. I really do. But it's mediocre at best.- ELSEWHERE ON THE TUBE: A couple of BYU football players will appear tonight on Bob Hope's 1990 Christmas Show from Bermuda (9 p.m., Ch. 2). Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer and teammate Chris Smith, along with the other members of AP's All-America team, join Bob for a bit of merriment, along with Loni Anderson, Dixie Carter and Joan Van Ark. (The gridders didn't get to go to Bermuda, though. They taped their parts in Florida.)
In sports, Big Sky champ Nevada faces Georgia Southern for college football's I-AA Championship (10 a.m., Ch. 5); the NFL comes to Saturdays with a pair of games - Bills at Giants (10:30 a.m., Ch. 2) and Redskins at Patriots (2 p.m., Ch. 5); and Maryland takes on Virginia Tech in the Independence Bowl (6 p.m., Ch. 30).
Also, Dorothy attends her brother's funeral on The Golden Girls (8 p.m., Ch. 2); China Beach (8 p.m., Ch. 4) gets one last Saturday airing before going on hiatus; Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy star in a rerun of the Hallmark Hall of Fame production Foxfire (8 p.m., Ch. 5) and Dennis Quaid hosts Saturday Night Live (11:35 p.m., Ch. 2).
- LOOKING TOWARD SUNDAY: Sinatra 75: The Best is Yet to Come (8 p.m., Ch. 5) is a "diamond jubilee" for Frank, complete with reminicences by Old Blue Eyes himself, tributes from other stars and concert footage; National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (10 a.m., 10 p.m., HBO) makes its cable debut; The Witches of Eastwick (8 p.m., Ch. 4) makes its broadcast premiere; Gil and Kevin try to build a deck on Parenthood (9:30 p.m., Ch. 2); and the Disney Channel revives the 1963 Judy Garland Christmas Show (10 p.m.).