Just in time for Mother’s Day weekend comes “All-Star Moms” (CBS at 8), a heartfelt and entertaining hour featuring interviews with a diverse assortment of celebrities and their moms.
This is one time when television’s obsession with stargazing serves a higher purpose as Robin Williams, Gloria Estefan, Shaquille O’Neal, Mandy Patinkin, Jane Seymour, Dwight Gooden and Chuck Norris sit down for informal chats with their mothers.
You can see the roots of Williams’ comedy when you meet his eccentric mom, Laurie. She easily holds her own in a freewheeling conversation.
Gooden and his mother, Ella Mae, are more touching. They discuss his battle with substance abuse and how she plays a role in his recovery.
Estefan and her mother, also named Gloria, share memories of years together while the singer’s father was imprisoned following the Bay of Pigs invasion, and they share a beautiful duet.
Patinkin’s mom, Doris, sings as well, and they discuss his formative years and a new cookbook they’ve collaborated on.
O’Neal gets a cooking lesson from his mother, Lucille, and Norris pals around with his mom, Wilma, on the set of “Walker, Texas Ranger.”
Seymour expresses admiration for her mother, Meike, who spent several years of World War II in a Japanese internment camp in Indonesia.
Carrie Fisher and her mom, Debbie Reynolds, host the hour, which is a pleasant way to get you thinking about how much you owe your mother.
“Unsolved Mysteries,” NBC at 8: Thanks to “Xena: Warrior Princess,” Amazon women are in. The series looks at the myths and realities surrounding these women of intimidating proportion and legendary courage.
Did you know that California is named for Calfa, an Amazon queen?
“Family Matters,” ABC at 8: The series ends the season on a silly note as Urkel and Carl (Jaleel White, Reginald VelJohnson) time-travel to an 18th-century pirate ship. “Step By Step” goes silly, too, at 8:30 with a dream sequence set in the Wild West.
“Sliders,” FOX at 8: Wade (Sabrina Lloyd) joins a rock band that the sliders eventually discover is composed of vampires. Tommy Chong guest-stars in an episode directed by series star Jerry O’Connell.
“Dateline NBC,” NBC at 9: An intimate report on compulsive-obsessive disorder focuses on a man who leads a normal, high-profile workaday life but spends countless hours at home making sure everything is perfectly straight and symmetrical, including the fringe on his nine rugs.
“Knots Landing: Back to the Cul-de-Sac,” CBS at 9: The two-part reunion concludes with Val (Joan Van Ark) facing murder charges, Abby (Donna Mills) linked to a murder, and just about everyone else’s personal life in crisis. It’s a sentimental return to the long-running series that, unfortunately, totally unravels in the end.
“20/20,” ABC at 10: O.J. Simpson prosecutor Marcia Clark sits down with Barbara Walters for her first interview since the trial. Clark’s book, “Without a Doubt,” hits bookstores today.
“‘Absolutely Fabulous’ Marathon,” COM at 9: The comedy channel gets more than a night’s worth of laughs as it airs 10 consecutive episodes of the ribald British gal-pal series.
“A Great Day in Harlem,” BRAVO at 8: This documentary takes off from a famous photograph of great and future-great jazz musicians printed in Esquire magazine in 1958. Dizzy Gillespie, Marion McPartland, Sonny Rollins and Gerry Mulligan are featured in what producers call “a jazzlike form of improvisation and collage.”
“Tonight,” NBC at 11:35: Actor-comedian Billy Crystal and gourmet Wolfgang Puck.
“Late Show With David Letterman,” CBS at 11:35: Actress-talk show host Ricki Lake, baseball great Kirby Puckett and music group Soul Asylum.
“Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher,” ABC at 12:35 a.m.: Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen.
“The Late Late Show With Tom Snyder,” CBS at 12:35 a.m.: ” Dennis Miller (“Dennis Miller Live”).
“Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” NBC at 12:35 a.m.: Actor-comedian Billy Crystal, Lisa Rinna (“Melrose Place”) and chef Wolfgang Puck.
Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter
Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter.