October 29, 1993 at 04:00 AM EDT

Try to imagine a one-woman version of Mae West, Betty Boop, andJulie Andrews, and you’ll have some idea of what Fran Drescher ispulling off in the nanny (CBS, Nov. 3, 8:30-9 p.m.). Drescher, whosecomic sexiness was wasted a couple of seasons ago in the dud sitcomPrincesses, is coproducing this series and has now given herself aproper showcase (see box on page 56). As the Queens, N.Y.-born FranFine, she has just been hired to care for the three children ofBroadway producer Maxwell Sheffield, played by Charles Shaughnessy.It’s an old sitcom conceit-streetwise working-class person humanizingan upper-class twit-and it would work better if the character ofSheffield’s twit was a bit more developed.Right now, though, Drescher is giving one of the most enjoyable,all-stops-out performances on series television. Wiggling briskly intight dresses and heels, grinning wisely from ear to ear, the nannyimposes sarcastic discipline on the trio of spoiled brats (”Honey,”she tells a tyke who’s trying to pull a fast one on her, ”I am so farahead of you, I’m workin’ in a different time zone”). But if Drescherwants to keep knocking us dead, she’d better infuse the rest of theshow with as much snap and smarts as she is radiating. B

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