December 17, 1996 in Features

Deck The TV With Boughs Of Holly

John Martin New York Times Syndi
 

With about a week to go until Christmas, prime time is filled with the holiday spirit. Tonight you can choose between two Christmas movies - one that’s all fun and another that’s meant to tug at your heartstrings.

FOX has “The Munsters’ Scary Little Christmas” at 8, a comedy that celebrates the ghoultide season. The 1996 TV-movie was unavailable for review.

What I can tell you is that Sam McMurray stars as Herman Munster, and Ann Magnuson is the lovely Lily. Part of the plot involves efforts to snap Eddie (Bug Hall) out of a preholiday depression. Grandpa (Sandy Baron), in true form, tries to cast a spell that will guarantee a white Christmas but instead zaps Santa and a pair of elves into his laboratory. Can he return them safely to the North Pole in time for Christmas?

Another unavailable-for-review movie, CBS’ “Unlikely Angel” at 9, stars Dolly Parton as a freeliving country singer who dies in a car accident and who meets St. Peter (Roddy McDowall) at heaven’s gate.

As you might guess, she’s sent back to Earth to perform a good deed that will allow her to earn her wings. Her mission is to save a widower (Brian Kerwin) and his two emotionally neglected kids. She gets hired as a nanny and soon learns that the key to saving the family lies in getting the overworked dad to recognize a secret admirer who would make an excellent wife and mom.

Will she get them together before a Christmas deadline?

You’d have to be a real Grinch not to think both movies will have happy endings.

Highlights

“Mad About You,” NBC at 8: Bruno Kirby (“City Slickers”) guest stars as a temporarily homeless man Jamie (Helen Hunt) helps out by giving him a pass to get into Paul’s health club.

“Roseanne,” ABC at 8: Dan (John Goodman) returns home from a stay with his mother to celebrate the holiday. But Roseanne is taken aback when her husband keeps wanting little to do with his family. Hey, is this still a comedy?

“Promised Land,” CBS at 8: It’s Christmas for the Greenes, who travel to Claire’s (Wendy Phillips), where they learn a dirty little secret about her mother. Mary McDonough (Erin of “The Waltons”) plays Claire’s mother in flashbacks. Robert Guillaume guest stars as - here’s an original idea - the sick, homeless man the family finds begging outside a mall.

“Life’s Work,” ABC at 8:30: In a Christmas episode, Lisa (Lisa Ann Walter) is fired for violating a judge’s gag order. Regis Philbin guest-stars as the powerful district attorney.

“Caroline in the City,” NBC at 9:30: Caroline (Lea Thompson) is accidentally locked in a laundromat overnight with a homeless man (Harry Groener). Do we spot a trend here? Also, Richard (Malcolm Gets) weighs a job offer from Del (Eric Lutes), and Annie (Amy Pietz) thinks there’s evil in a $5 bill that bears a mysterious message.

“NYPD Blue,” ABC at 10: A homicide baffles Simon and Sipowicz (Jimmy Smits, Dennis Franz). Russell’s (Kim Delaney) undercover assignments takes her to a place she doesn’t expect: In bed with Liery (Christopher Meloni).

The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = John Martin New York Times Syndicate

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