TV's winners and losers
MOST APPROPRIATELY TITLED FAILED SHOWS: Leaving L.A., Temporarily Yours, Crisis Center, Dark Skies
LEAST APPROPRIATELY TITLED FAILED SHOWS: Almost Perfect, Pearl, Vital Signs, EZ Streets, Big Deal
BEST BOYFRIEND: Swingers‘ writer-star Jon Favreau scored as Courteney Cox’s software-designing, Ultimate Fighting beau. What a step up from Tom Selleck.
MOST CLUELESS STAR: Failing to take a cue from Roseanne, Candice Bergen decided to return for a 10th season of Murphy Brown, a show that hasn’t been amusing since the Bush administration.
LAWYER WE’D MOST LIKE TO DEFEND US: Steve Harris (as Eugene Young), who nearly stole The Practice from star Dylan McDermott and guested on Chicago Hope as an attorney, bringing a degree of credibility to a typically overwrought episode.
WORST SHRINK: ER‘s Jami Gertz, whose irksome character seems transplanted by executive producer Michael Crichton from his Twister. And if she makes that ”In my professional opinion, he’s nuts!” joke once more…
BEST ACTING BY A WRITER: Ex-X-Files scribe Darin Morgan (”Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose”) as the slyly sardonic sperm-bank janitor who morphed into Mulder. And we thought he’d never top his work as Fluke Boy.
BEST WRITING BY AN ACTOR: Homicide cop Yaphet Kotto penned an impressively tense episode about a standoff with a Muslim leader. And — what a shocker — Kotto made his own Lieutenant Giardello the hero.
MOST UNFORTUNATE VICTIM OF BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: The ratings for The WB’s mid-season hit were so strong, they drove the final stake through the heart of Savannah, the underrated Aaron Spelling soap Buffy replaced.
MOST BAFFLING NYPD BLUE MYSTERY: Why lesbian police officer Abby (Paige Turco) wanted to be impregnated by the seed of runty geek Medavoy (Gordon Clapp) instead of strapping hunk Simone (Jimmy Smits).
MOST POPULAR COP-SHOW PLOTLINE: NYPD Blue‘s Russell (Kim Delaney) and Homicide‘s Bayliss (Kyle Secor) both revealed they’d been sexually abused as children. Cops who’ve been molested — on the next Montel!
MOST UNWELCOME GUEST STAR: Marsha Mason was sorta funny at first as Sherry, the tacky girlfriend of John Mahoney’s Martin on Frasier, but she soon grew grating. Say goodbye, girl.
MOST UNWELCOME SERIES STAR: Sharon Lawrence was sorta funny at first as over-the-top Gwen in Fired Up, but she soon grew grating. If we want to see acting this broad, we’ll go to the nearest dinner theater.
LEAST SUCCESSFUL RECYCLING JOBS: After being saved from other networks’ garbage heaps, NBC’s The Jeff Foxworthy Show and The WB’s Brotherly Love now have the distinction of having been canceled by two networks.
BIGGEST PROMOTIONAL BUST: ABC’s 3-D Week fell so flat that NBC’s ads for its 3-D 3rd Rock From the Sun screamed, ”You don’t need the glasses!” And 3rd Rock still lost to a 2-D Touched by an Angel.
WORST FINALE MOMENT: The last scene of Roseanne, in which it was revealed the final, awful season was a figment of Rosey’s imagination. If only it had been a figment of ours.