A guide to TV's notable programs the week of May 5th

By Bruce Fretts
May 05, 1995 at 04:00 AM EDT


Family problems force ABC’s Wednesday women into therapy. On ROSEANNE (ABC, May 3, 8-8:30 p.m.), squabbling newlyweds Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) and Fred (Michael O’Keefe) consult a nutty marriage counselor played by Ellen DeGeneres. Then on DeGeneres’ own show, ELLEN (ABC, May 3, 8:30-9 p.m.), Ellen feels bad about fibbing to her mother (Alice Hirson) and seeks the advice of a shrink (Paxton Whitehead). Finally, on GRACE UNDER FIRE (ABC, May 3, 9-9:30 p.m.), Dr. Joyce Brothers shows up for an episode in which Grace (Brett Butler) introduces the son she gave up for adoption (Tom Everett Scott) to his biological father (Barry Bostwick). All these people must have been watching a little too much Oprah.

We’ve already seen episodes of FRIENDS (NBC, May 4, 9:30-10 p.m.) directed by Peter Bonerz (The Bob Newhart Show‘s Dr. Jerry Robinson) and Michael Lembeck (Mackenzie Phillips’ One Day at a Time husband). This week ex-Tiger Beat cover boy Robby Benson takes his turn, helming an installment in which Monica (Courteney Cox) dates a young student (Stan Kirsch), Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) has sex dreams about all the guys but Ross (David Schwimmer), and Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) gets a job working for Chandler (Matthew Perry). Perry also turns up on the JOHN LARROQUETTE SHOW (NBC, May 9, 9:30-10 p.m.) as a jaywalker busted by Eggers (Elizabeth Berridge). Blossom‘s Mayim Bialik reprises her role as John’s bohemian daughter, and The Real World‘s David ”Puck” Rainey appears as her body-painter boyfriend. Now there’s an appetizing image.

Here’s the difference between NBC’s mid-season comedies HOPE & GLORIA (NBC, May 4, 8:30-9 p.m.) and NEWSRADIO (NBC, May 9, 8:30-9 p.m.): H&G‘s idea of stunt casting is to stage a Growing Pains reunion on The Dennis Dupree Show and have Dennis (Alan Thicke) trash Alan Thicke for ruining his career. Kind of a cute idea, but who really wants to see Joanna Kerns, Kirk Cameron, and Jeremy Miller together again? (Tracey Gold must have been too busy with her burgeoning TV-movie career to make this scene.) The supremely hip NewsRadio, on the other hand, offers the great Janeane Garofalo (The Larry Sanders Show) as a deluded ex-girlfriend from Wisconsin who visits Dave (Dave Foley) in New York City. Garofalo should get more laughs in a half hour here than she did during her entire six-month Saturday Night Live stint.

Achy-breaky heartthrob Billy Ray Cyrus plays — who else? — himself on Fran Drescher’s THE NANNY (CBS, May 3, 8-8:30 p.m.). A record store organizes a kissing contest, and the winner gets to be on the cover of Cyrus’ next album. Guess who takes the prize — Fran! Do you think CBS is burying this new Nanny in a deadly Wednesday slot out of sheer embarrassment? Another sex symbol, supermodel Vendela, tackles the role of herself on MURPHY BROWN (CBS, May 8, 9-9:30 p.m.). Nerdy Miles (Grant Shaud) squires around the Nordic pinup in an attempt to make Corky (Faith Ford) jealous. Meanwhile, Murphy (Candice Bergen) plans her wedding with Peter (Scott Bakula). Ah, who cares about all that? Bring back Pee-wee!