My picks for 1994’s top TV events:
1. O.J. from A to Z - It all started with a live, transfixing telecast of his flight in a Ford Bronco.
2. Fox in the henhouse - Fox blindsided CBS with a May raid on eight of its affiliate stations.
3. CBS sacked again - The National Football League premieres on Fox, leaving CBS all but barren of major sports events.
4. Dramatic gains - The instant ratings success of NBC’s new “ER” series triggers a resurgence in quality dramas. At the same time, competing newsmagazine shows suffer sharp losses in circulation.
5. Ice princesses - Blockbuster ratings for CBS’ Winter Olympics coverage are paced by the tabloidian tiff between figure skaters Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding.
6. Strikeout - Major League baseball games vanish from home screens while Ken Burns’ “Baseball” series warms up in the bullpen.
7. Swap meet - NBC boldly switches “Frasier” from Thursdays to Tuesdays, where it holds its own against ABC’s top-rated “Home Improvement.” Numerous other shifts of popular shows leave viewers perplexed or peeved.
8. Everything’s going down Rosie - Fox and NBC air quicky, trashy movies based on Roseanne’s upside-down life. Both bomb in the ratings.
9. Last tango in Beverly Hills - A barefooted Marlon Brando kisses Larry King and feeds him cookies on an especially odd edition of “Larry King Live.”
MEMO: This is a sidebar to the story with the headline: Crafty Fox takes bite of networks’ share