In keeping with the attention span of your average network executive, here are some short takes:
BOO, HISS: How about a big round of boos to ABC for adding a laugh track to the second episode of "Dinosaurs?" (Episode 1 was mercifully free of the annoying device.)When are networks going to respect their audiences enough to realize we know when to laugh without phony sound effects?
TNT BLACKOUT, PART 2: Perhaps the dumbest part of TNT's blackout of home NBA games is that they're not blacking out the commercials. That's right, if you flick back and forth between Ch. 13 and TNT you can catch a bunch of ad spots.
Like we're dumb enough to watch fuzziness all night just to see commercials. Not to mention the fact that apparently some local advertisers have wasted their money on this.
Oh, and the blackout apparently doesn't apply to the whole state, just some nebulous (and perhaps changing) area close to Salt Lake City.
TRIGGER FINGER: After just two outings, ABC has yanked the wonderful new series "My Life and Times" from the schedule. Poor ratings mean there's no indication when the remaining five shows will run.
Nothing like giving a worthwhile show a chance to build an audience.
In its place, "Anything But Love" - which was unceremoniously yanked a few weeks ago - returns Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.
GOOD NEWS: There's no confirmation, but it appears CBS is going to renew the relatively low-rated but high-quality "The Trials of Rosie O'Neill" for next season. And another unconfirmed but probable rumor has Ed Asner joining the cast as a former cop who's now an investigator for the DA's office.
And speaking of good news, "Northern Exposure" - which has just been fully endorsed by the non-profit group Viewers for Quality Television - also looks like a good bet to make CBS' fall slate.
"COSBY," "DIFFERENT" RENEWED: In a continuing effort to bankrupt the network, NBC has shelled out the big bucks to keep "The Cosby Show" and "A Different World" on the air next season.
That's not exactly the way the Peacock made the announcement, and it didn't release any financial details, but you can bet the renewals didn't come cheaply. The onetime House of Hits has had so little success in creating new ones in the past few years it has to pay through the nose to keep its old ones on the air.
(But, once again, Mr. Cosby himself assures us this will be the last season for his show.)
OLD TIMER: Last week's finale of "Dallas" was a landmark - the show's 356th episode, making it the second longest-running in prime time history.
Big deal, say daytime TV folks. Today's episode of "As the World Turns" was that soap's 9,000th. "ATWT" turned 35 on April 2.
LETDOWN: The conclusion of "Dallas" was no conclusion at all. True, the series did end with a bang, but we don't know if J.R. shot himself or not. (Here's guessing that he shot the devil in the mirror.)
The producers of the nighttime soap found out they wouldn't be back for season No. 14 in the midst of shooting the two-hour episode that aired Friday. And from this vantage point, it doesn't appear any adjustments were made in the script.
Oh well. It'll give them somewhere to pick up when they do a reunion movie in a couple of years.- TONIGHT ON THE TUBE: Who's the Boss? (7 p.m., Ch. 4) wraps up a two-parter and the season; Frontline (7 p.m., Ch. 7) reports on a North Carolina town torn apart by allegations of child sexual abuse; Shelley Winters turns up as Roseanne's grandma (8 p.m., Ch. 4); Tim Matheson is a man who's life is threatened by three long-dead teenage punks in Stephen King's Sometimes They Come Back (8 p.m., Ch. 5); Midnight Caller (9 p.m., Ch. 2) begins a three-parter about homelessness (parts 2 and 3 air Friday); and Hope tries to help a homeless family on thirtysomething (9 p.m., Ch. 4).
- LOOKING TOWARD WEDNESDAY: There's a surprise in store as The Wonder Years (7 p.m., Ch. 4) ends the season; Garfield Gets a Life (7:30 p.m., Ch. 5); Night Court (8 p.m., Ch. 2) also takes a few twists as it wraps up the season.
- NBA PLAYOFFS: Being that it's an away game, Jazz at Blazers (8:30 p.m.) will be seen on both Ch. 13 and TNT. TNT will also air Pistons at Celtics (6 p.m.). Wednesday it's Warriors at Lakers (8:30 p.m., TNT).