14 Wednesday The Larry Sanders Show (HBO, 10-10:30 p.m.) Trapped in a mud slide, producer Artie (Rip Torn) leaves the Sanders show in the shaky hands of its twentysomething booker, Paula (Janeane Garofalo). City Slicker Bruno Kirby and deadpan stand-up Steven Wright guest-star.
Dream On (HBO, 10:30-11 p.m.) Martin (Brian Benben), his ex-wife, Judith (Wendie Malick), and his best friend, Eddie (Dorien Wilson), attend a less- than-collegial college reunion in an episode directed by former Hill Street Blues patrolwoman Betty Thomas.
15 Thursday Our Favorite Movies: Three Godfathers (TNT, 8-10 p.m.) NBA giant Karl ”The Mailman” Malone sends out a love letter to his hero, John ”The Duke” Wayne, and introduces John Ford’s 1948 Western.
16 Friday Hollywood FX Masters (The Learning Channel, 9 p.m.-3 a.m.) Twelve back-to-back episodes of the behind-the-scenes series dissect stunts, makeup, and special effects employed in such films as Apocalypse Now, The Addams Family, Ghostbusters, and Die Hard. Trek-kie alert: At 2:30 a.m., you can learn the secrets of Spock’s ears.
17 Saturday The All My Children Shoppe (QVC, 11 a.m-noon ) Forget Wild Palms. This is the future of television: Soap operas and home shopping merge as Barry Diller’s cable channel unveils a line of products inspired by ABC’s long-running sudser, including sweatshirts from fictional Pine Valley University and a limited-edition Erica Kane family portrait/plaque, signed by Susan Lucci. We’ll take two of everything.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Comedy Central, 7-9 p.m.) The fifth season premiere of the spaced-out B-movie takeoff begins the countdown of Joel Hodgson’s final days as host. (He’ll step down in October and be replaced by MST3K writer Mike Nelson.) naked sports: four portraits (Showtime, 10-11 p.m.) Au natur-el photos of Cincinnati Reds’ owner Marge Schott? Nothing that lurid- the makers of 1991’s revealing BBC/A&E series Naked Hollywood chat with Third Reich enthusiast Schott, emotionally embalmed ex-footballer Tom Landry, feisty fight promoter Dan Duva, and superhoopster Michael Jordan.
18 Sunday Movie: The Sound and the Silence (TNT, 8-10 p.m.; concludes July 19, same time) miniseries: the thorn birds (ABC, 9-11 p.m., continues July 19-22, concludes July 24, 9-11 p.m.) A couple of multi-part costume dramas: New Zea- lander John Bach plays absent-minded inventor Alexander Graham Bell, and Oscar-winner Brenda Fricker (My Left Foot) portrays his mother in the U.S. premiere of a four-hour biotelepic. ABC gets 10 hours of cheap midsummer programming by trotting out 1983’s smash miniseries The Thorn Birds, starring Richard Chamberlain as a lusty Aussie priest.
National Geographic Explorer (TBS, 9-10 p.m.) Robert ”Bang-eroo” Urich narrates ”Sex on the Reef,” featuring steamy footage of sea cucumbers, giant clams, and nudibranchs (adult mollusks without shells or gills-hubba, hubba!), and ”Koalas: Trouble Down Under,” about the travails that Qantas’ spokesbears face due to Australia’s suburban sprawl.