There’s a line from a Saul Bellow novel that someone shared with me the other day: “Funny feet need funny shoes.”
A writer friend was referring to a couple at a party: total opposites, odd ducks each in their own right, so right together.
That’s the theme of ABC’s “Dharma & Greg,” premiering at 8:30. Radiant Jenna Elfman (“Townies”) is a free spirit who meets and instantly marries Greg (Thomas Gibson), a straight-arrow U.S. attorney.
The unlikely romance, delightful and, oh heck, so downright cute, is complemented by Dharma’s ageless hippie parents (Mimi Kennedy, Alan Rachins) and Greg’s blue-blooded mom and dad (Susan Sullivan, Mitchell Ryan). Though they live in different worlds, they now have something in common, although Greg’s appalled parents would like to deep-six the marriage.
There’s great potential for laughs.
Sexy Elfman has an infectious wit that plays off Gibson crisply. It’s hard not to like every minute of the premiere.
“CMA Awards,” CBS at 8: The Country Music Association honors the best in the business in a sequin-studded night presented from Nashville, Tenn.
Vince Gill hosts the festivities. Alan Jackson, Shania Twain, Clint Black, Martina McBride, Trace Adkins, Lorrie Morgan, Pam Tillis, Travis Tritt and Sting - yes, Sting! - are among this year’s scheduled performers.
“The Tony Danza Show,” NBC at 8: Danza is back, this time as sportswriter Tony DiMeo, a single father raising two daughters (Majandra Delfino, Ashley Malinger). Dean Stockwell plays the sports scribe’s father.
It’s a very conventional comedy that even Danza fans may find dull as dirt. At least, it’s a rather tepid show to anchor NBC’s Wednesday lineup.
“Spin City,” ABC at 8: In the second-season premiere, Mike (Michael J. Fox) represents the mayor (Barry Bostwick) in his divorce.
“Built to Last,” NBC at 8:30: Royale Watkins stars in this new comedy loosely based on his own family experiences.
He’s a Georgetown University graduate ready to head off to California for a job as a computer-game designer. But an unexpected event keeps him home in Washington D.C., to join the family construction business.
“3rd Rock from the Sun,” NBC at 9: What did Dick do to deserve this? The Big Giant Head arranges for his niece Janet (guest-star Roseanne) to marry Dick.
The season premiere was unavailable for review.
“Ellen,” ABC at 9:30: In a sparkling season opener, Ellen (Ellen DeGeneres) runs into her ex-boyfriend (William Ragsdale), and romantic sparks fly. What’s a lesbian to do?
Once again, the series takes us unexpected places filled with laughs.
“Law & Order,” NBC at 10: McCoy and Ross (Sam Waterston, Carey Lowell) find what seem to be overwhelming obstacles when they try to convict two youths in a thrill-kill murder case. The eighth-season premiere is typically absorbing from start to finish.
“The Perfect Daughter” (1996), USA at 9: Tracey Gold stars as a young heroin addict who loses her memory after being hit by a car. She forgets she’s an addict.
Amazingly, she has lost her addictive personality and has become “normal.” She remembers her parents (Bess Armstrong, Mark Joy), whom she hasn’t seen in two years, but she has forgotten she was on the run from thugs after hiding $100,000 in stolen drug money.
It’s hard to take this one seriously.
“Tonight,” NBC at 11:35: Kirstie Alley (“Veronica’s Closet”) and musical group Boyz II Men.
“Late Show With David Letterman,” CBS at 11:35: Actress Jennifer Lopez and comedian Bill Engvall.
“Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher,” ABC at 12:05 a.m. : George Hamilton and Kevin Powell.
“The Late Late Show With Tom Snyder,” CBS at 12:35 a.m.: Actor Kirk Douglas and writer Harlan Ellison.
“Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” NBC at 12:35 a.m.: Tom Arnold (“The Tom Show”), actress Elizabeth Perkins and strongmen Mark Philipi and Magnus Ver Magnusson.