Archive for Saturday, December 30, 2000

Ring in the new year from the couch

December 30, 2000


Staying home for the big turn of the millennial odometer? There's no shortage of late Sunday night TV options.

The 29th annual "Dick Clark's Primetime New Year's Rockin' Eve" (9 p.m., ABC) will keep an eye on the festivities in New York's Times Square and feature performances by O-Town, KISS, N' Sync, Jessica Simpson and KC and the Sunshine Band.

Kathy Griffin hosts "Billboard's Rock 'n' Roll New Year's Eve" (10 p.m., Fox), which will also keep an eye on the unfolding festivities while recycling clips of performances from the Dec. 5 Billboard Music Awards.

Beginning at 9 p.m., the Cartoon Network kicks off a seven-hour marathon of episodes of "The Powerpuff Girls," "Dexter's Laboratory" and "Dragonball Z," all featuring their worst villains. The block is appropriately titled, "New Year's Eve-il."

Last year I called the TV film, "A Rather English Marriage" (8 p.m., Sunday, PBS), "a bittersweet tale of aging, class, loss and friendship" and "nothing short of a TV masterpiece." Albert Finney ("Tom Jones") is superb as the upper-class Reggie Conyngham-Jervis, a former RAF pilot and a blustering, pompous, womanizing snob, who befriends Roy Southgate (Tom Courtenay, "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner").

"Backstory: MASH" (4:30 p.m., Saturday, AMC) recalls the making of the unorthodox 1970 big-screen combat comedy that made stars of young performers including Elliott Gould, Donald Sutherland, Sally Kellerman and Tom Skeritt, and turned former TV-director Robert Altman into a major force during Hollywood's most creative period.

Having picked my best ("C.S.I") and worst ("The Street") new shows of the year, I realized that there were still more television moments from 2000 to look back on, and a few more honors to bestow, so here goes:

Best Drama: "The Sopranos" still.

Best Comedy: A three-way tie among the best block on television, "King of the Hill, "The Simpsons" and "Malcolm in the Middle."

Best Writing: "Frasier."

Best Directing: "The West Wing" and "E.R."

Most Memorable TV moment of the year? It's a tie between Niles and Daphne's rash decision on "Frasier", Richie Aprile's sudden demise on "The Sopranos" and finally, the scene of Tim Russert furiously scribbling on his grease-board on election night. Forget "Survivor." Election 2000, and its month-long aftermath, was the most amazing "reality" programming of all.

Happy New Year!

Saturday's highlights

Robin Williams plays a 10-year-old boy trapped in the body of a grownup in the 1996 drama, "Jack" (7 p.m., ABC).

On back-to-back episodes of "Whose Line is it Anyway" (ABC), Miss Fitness (10 p.m.), and songs in the key of produce (9:30 p.m.).

"Schizophrenia: Stolen Lives, Stolen Minds" (9 p.m., Saturday, Discovery) looks at the affliction that strikes one person in a hundred.

"Louise Mandrell & Friends Salute the Boy Scouts" (9 p.m., TNN). Mandrell, Tanya Tucker and the Osmonds sing at an annual skeet shoot in Nashville.

Sunday's highlights

The Sci-fi Channel kicks off a 42-hour marathon of "Twilight Zone" episodes beginning at 8 a.m.

Scheduled on a repeat of "60 Minutes" (6 p.m., CBS): J.K. Rowling, Tina Sinatra and deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie.

Dick Clark hosts a repeat of "All Star Bloopers" (6 p.m., ABC) featuring Melissa Joan Hart, D.L. Hughley and Richard Rucculo.

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