Imagine a Saturday late-night comedy show with lame jokes, good ideas that fizzle, a liberal dash of tastelessness and vulgarity and a cast you've never heard of.
No, not NBC's still-struggling "Saturday Night Live." We're talking Fox's competitor, "MAD TV."It's not so much an alternative to "SNL" as it is an imitation.
Oh, there are definite differences. "MAD TV" is on earlier (10 p.m., Ch. 13), it's not live, and - mercifully - at 60 minutes, it's a half-hour shorter than "SNL."
But it's certainly as lame as "SNL." What passes for clever here is an alleged parody of "Star Trek" that has cast members running a Starfleet laundry ship.
There are also alcohol "jokes" and bigotry "jokes" and sex "jokes" - none of which really qualifies as a joke because none of it is funny.
It's impossible to say what they unknown cast would do with good material because there isn't any.
(The only part of tonight's episode that wasn't screened for critics were three segments featuring Kato Kaelin - whose 15 minutes of fame were up quite some time ago.)
"MAD TV" is loosely tied to MAD Magazine. And there are a few OK animated sequences featuring MAD's Spy vs. Spy and other material.
But this is a show that has blown a huge opportunity. "SNL" is a gasping, creaking, dreadful shadow of its former self, and something fresh and exciting could have made a big impact.
"MAD TV" is just more of the same.
NOT DAZZLING: CBS's "Judith Krantz's Dazzle" could have been a glitzy but entertaining soap opera.
But there's far too little dazzle in this two-part, four hour miniseries (Sunday and Tuesday, 8 p.m., Ch. 2).
Lisa Hartman stars as the improbably named Jazz, a famous photographer whose father (Cliff Robertson) owns the biggest ranch in California and whose mother (Linda Evans) is a famous movie star. While Jazz isn't having a steamy love life, she's trying to protect the family legacy from her father's first wife (Dixie Carter), her two semi-evil half-sisters and a couple of bad guys (James Farentino and B.D. Wong).
It's all fairly predictable ((except for the lesbian subplot) and not particularly interesting or involving.
And it sure doesn't live up to its title.