ABC, 8-8:30 P.M.
Rumors of Dan Conner’s death have been greatly exaggerated. In the ninth season, ”Dan is alive and well,” head writer Dan Palladino confirms of John Goodman’s character. His marriage to Roseanne is also healthy, despite last season’s finale. ”Dan and Roseanne make up, because, well, America wants them to,” says Palladino. Goodman and Johnny Galecki will appear sporadically, like Sara Gilbert, who’ll still figure prominently in plotlines: Darlene is pregnant. Sarah Chalke returns as Becky, replacing Lecy Goranson, who replaced Chalke, who replaced Goranson. (Any questions?) Is this Roseanne‘s final season? Says Palladino, ”It’s whatever Roseanne wants.” Hope she wants a good show again.
Mad About You
NBC, 8-8:30 P.M.
The sitcom gets yet another new night, and eventually another new character. That’s right — Jamie (Helen Hunt) is pregnant. But ”she’s going to keep the pregnancy a secret for the first trimester,” says executive producer Larry Charles. ”Which causes some tension — how do you not tell people you’re pregnant when you’re behaving so strangely?” She’ll search for a new gynecologist (Richard Kind, who played her old OB-GYN, has left to do Spin City) and experience morning sickness. ”But we’ll make it a component of a quintessential Mad About You plot,” promises Charles. ”It’s not simply going to be throwing up.” Adding to the stress: Paul (Paul Reiser), still unemployed after being fired, tries to make an independent film. Maybe he can pick up a few pointers from Mel Brooks, who’ll guest-star as his uncle.
NBC, 9-9:30 P.M.
With Ted Danson and Rhea Perlman tied up on Another Network, don’t anticipate the return of Sam or Carla. But Lilith (Bebe Neuwirth) will reappear in a Thanksgiving episode set in Boston. Niles (David Hyde Pierce) will continue to experience marital problems with Maris — and infatuation with Daphne (Jane Leeves), even as her former fiance (Scott Atkinson) tries to rekindle their relationship. Meanwhile, Kelsey Grammer’s character will be ”getting enthusiastic about things and getting slapped in the face for it,” says executive producer Christopher Lloyd. ”In other words, what’s worked for us in the first 80 episodes.”
ABC, 9-9:30 P.M.
Oh, that Tim! Having wreaked havoc on the Marines, Tim Allen’s Mr. Know-It-All now takes on the Navy, pushing all the wrong buttons on an aircraft carrier. Wife Jill (Patricia Richardson) gets a new sports car, the Taylor boys become men (including a voice change for Jonathan Taylor Thomas), and Tool Time girl Debbe Dunning (who’s pregnant in real life) gives birth for February sweeps. While Wilson (Earl Hindman) won’t come out from behind his fence, we will meet his brother. All this plus a Thanksgiving special with a five-minute Claymation sequence!
Caroline in the City
NBC, 9:30-10 P.M.
Lea Thompson insists she’s not nervous about her sitcom moving away from its cozy Thursday-night home for its second season: ”When you’re out shopping at the 99 Cents store, the public will pretty much tell you what they feel. And I’ve gotten a really warm feeling from people about how they like the show.” What do they like best? The romantic tension between Caroline (Thompson) and her crabby assistant, Richard (Malcolm Gets). According to executive producer Fred Barron, ”The Internet is crawling with that stuff.” Still, Gets says he isn’t ready for Richard to settle down. ”He’s got five or six more years on the couch before that can happen.”