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5 tips to better TV

5 tips to better TV — We’ve got the prescription to keep today’s show healthy, including ”Friends,” ”NYPD Blue,” and more

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MELROSE PLACE
1 Put Matt (Doug Savant) on trial for more than one episode. Or if Murder One’s a hit, take a cue and stretch out the courtroom drama all season.
2 Have Jo (Daphne Zuniga) give up on men, begin a lesbian love affair, and attempt to re-adopt her baby.
3 Now that she’s licked cancer, don’t turn Amanda (Heather Locklear) into a victim again. She’s much more fun when she’s a meanie.
4 Get Alison (Courtney Thorne-Smith) hooked on S&M.
5 Sign Billy up for a soccer team so that we can see Andrew Shue ”Do Something” he’s good at — as opposed to acting.

ROSEANNE
1 Keep Traci Lords around as the nanny for Roseanne’s new baby.
2 In addition to the possible Johnny Galecki spin-off, give Leon (Martin Mull) and his new husband (Fred Willard) their own series — TV’s first gay sitcom.
3 We know her pregnancy cut into her work schedule last year, but give us more Roseanne. This show’s not called The Conner Family.
4 In a Very Special Episode, kill off Shelley Winters’ doddering Nana Mary.
5 Last season’s Gilligan’s Island parody was brilliant — why not explore another show in the Sherwood Schwartz oeuvre, e.g., The Brady Bunch? Sara Gilbert would make a great Jan.

FRIENDS
1 In a special flashback episode, show us how the Friends met, complete with silly ’70s and ’80s wigs.
2 Speaking of ridiculous hairstyles, lose Monica’s shaggy new ‘do — Courteney Cox should not look like Joan Collins.
3 How about giving us a new theme song every season? Only not by the Rembrandts. And no clapping.
4 Let’s see the much-discussed Ugly Naked Guy. Wouldn’t this be the perfect opportunity for a crossover cameo from The Single Guy‘s Ernest Borgnine?
5 Stop being so damn friendly! People who spend that much time together couldn’t possibly get along this well.

STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE
1 Have Odo and Kira (Rene Auberjonois and Nana Visitor) consummate their long-buried passion, if for no other reason than to answer the question, How does a shape-shifter have sex? (We suspect: any way he wants.)
2 Earth to Captain Sisko: Lighten up. At least Kirk and Picard made it look fun.
3 Bring on the Borg!
4 Shut down Quark’s bar and reopen it as ”Quark’s Café.” The crew can relax by lounging on overstuffed couches and sucking down steaming mochaccinos served in oversize mugs.
5 Explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilizations, boldly go where…you know.

FRASIER
1 Isn’t it about time Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) got a visit from his son, Frederick? Macaulay Culkin needs work….
2 Put Niles in action — both as a shrink (we’ve never actually seen him with a patient) and as a physical comedian (David Hyde Pierce’s fencing scene last season was genius).
3 Have Daphne (Jane Leeves) bring home a cat, much to Eddie’s dismay.
4 Focus more on Frasier’s supercilious agent, Bebe (Harriet Harris), and less on KACL-AM’s obnoxious sportscaster, Bulldog (Dan Butler).
5 Fortify the two weakest characters on the show by cooking up a romance between widower Martin (John Mahoney) and the eternally eligible Roz (Peri Gilpin).

MURPHY BROWN
1 Make regulars out of Garry Marshall and Paul ”Pee-wee” Reubens (as the network prez and his nephew). They’re much funnier than Charles Kimbrough’s Jim Dial and Joe Regalbuto’s Frank Fontana.
2 Let Murphy (Candice Bergen) land an interview with Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley. And have her ask tougher questions than Diane Sawyer did.
3 Add an anchor to FYI: Connie Chung.
4 Allow cameos from real-life politicos only if they can tell a joke (are you listening, JFK Jr.?).
5 Since she’s newly married to Miles (Grant Shaud), have Corky (Faith Ford) convert to Judaism.

NYPD BLUE
1 Send Sipowicz (Dennis Franz) on a bender with fellow alcoholic Russell (Kim Delaney). He has been much too well behaved lately.
2 Strengthen the female characters. Lesniak (Justine Miceli), Abandando (Gail O’Grady), and Costas (Sharon Lawrence) should be defined by more than just their love lives.
3 Give Martinez (Nicholas Turturro) and Fancy (James McDaniel) something to do other than participating in police-league boxing tournaments.
4 Show us more of Jimmy Smits’ butt — and less of Dennis Franz’s.
5 Close cases by methods other than coaxing confessions out of suspects. You’re detectives — detect.

HOME IMPROVEMENT
1 Generate some real tension in the Taylor marriage — Tim (Tim Allen) loses his television show just as Jill (Patricia Richardson) gets one.
2 Give the Taylor boys new haircuts — but, please, don’t ask the Friends guy to do it!
3 Show us Wilson’s whole face. Just look at the huge boost that Seinfeld got from revealing Kramer’s first name — you could do the same if you brought Earl Hindman out from behind that fence.
4 Have Al (Richard Karn) launch his own Time Inc. magazine — Al Borland Living.
5 Find a new Tool Time Girl. Debbe Dunning can never hope to fill Pamela Anderson’s, um, shoes.

BEVERLY HILLS, 90210
1 Kill two birds with one stone: Before he leaves town, let Dylan (Luke Perry) bed the virginal Donna (Tori Spelling).
2 Tiffani-Amber Thiessen brought new life, so enlist more Saved by the Bell alums. Boy, would Brandon (Jason Priestley) be jealous if Kelly (Jennie Garth) dated Screech (Dustin Diamond)!
3 Get some real men — Ian Ziering and Brian Austin Green just don’t cut it. If Party of Five gets canceled, pick up Scott Wolf pronto.
4 Place a permanent ban on this plot: ”The gang puts on a big fund-raiser, with a special appearance by (fill in the name of some lame-ass band).” And have Ray (Jamie Walters) lose his singing voice in a construction accident.
5 Cast Aaron Spelling as California University’s gnomish new dean.

THE X-FILES
1 Let Agent Scully (Gillian Anderson) expose some weird phenomenon as a hoax. Mulder (David Duchovny) shouldn’t be right all the time.
2 Two words: more freaks.
3 Enforce a moratorium on shadowy government figures. Deep Throat, Cigarette Smoking Man/Cancer Man — who’s writing this stuff, C. Everett Koop?
4 Have Scully and Mulder examine the mysterious takeover of a media giant by a race of pod people all named Michael.
5 Bring in Unsolved Mysteries‘ Robert Stack to explain everything that’s gone on during the show’s first two seasons.

LOIS & CLARK
1 Hold off on the marriage. Bring in more superbabes like Raquel Welch to compete for the attention of Dean Cain’s Clark.
2 Make Lois (Teri Hatcher) a cyberpinup by having thousands of Daily Planet readers download her on-line photo.
3 Bring back the old, nerdy Jimmy Olsen (Michael Landes). Justin Whalin’s way too Tiger Beat-y to play the cub reporter. (Hey, Roseanne rehired Lecy Goranson, the old Becky…)
4 It’s a bird, it’s a plane…it’s a Superman who rarely flies! Get in the air, already.
5 Fight some real villains: Bronson Pinchot and David Leisure are no match for the Man of Steel. The Joker and the Riddler worked for Batman — how about Superman fan Jerry Seinfeld as the evil Stand-Up Guy?

MAD ABOUT YOU
1 We’re mad about Paul (Paul Reiser) and Jamie (Helen Hunt), but we couldn’t care less about Ira (John Pankow) and Fran (Leila Kenzle). Ax them.
2 Examine the sibling rivalry between Jamie and Lisa (Anne Ramsay) in greater depth. The surreal episode in which the two switched lives would’ve been better if we’d had a real sense of Lisa’s life.
3 Don’t let Jamie get pregnant too quickly. Sperm clinics are always good for a few chuckles.
4 If Lisa Kudrow’s too busy with her Friends, hire a new waitress for the restaurant. Traci Lords has experience.
5 If Jamie does go to work for the mayor, avoid Rudy Giuliani cameos. His hair’s funny; he isn’t.

ELLEN
1 Stop copying other shows. First it was Seinfeld, now Friends. Tailor the show to Ellen DeGeneres’ strength as a stand-up — a uniquely skewed perspective.
2 Prohibit any more appearances by the cast of American Gladiators.
3 Displacing Arye Gross as Ellen’s roommate with Larry Sanders vet Jeremy Piven was a smart move. Now recruit Janeane Garofalo to supplant Joely Fisher as Ellen’s surly new best pal.
4 Delve into the personal life of Ellen’s enigmatic employee Joe (David Anthony Higgins). What does he do when he’s not pushing cappuccino?
5 Cut down on the slapshtick. We loved Lucy. Lucy was a friend of ours. And Ellen, you’re no Lucy.

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