Homicide
In its sixth season, this gritty NBC series about Baltimore cops is better than ever, particularly when Andre Braugher's intense detective puts a suspect on the griddle.

Old Man
William Faulkner's story of a convict (Arliss Howard) and a pregnant woman (Jeanne Tripplehorn) thrown together on the flooded Mississippi became a superbly understated CBS movie.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
What's amazing about this WB series is the way Sarah Michelle Gellar's character balances typical teen concerns with her mission to battle bloodsuckers. We like a high schooler who knows how to manage her time.

In the Gloaming
Under Christopher Reeve's direction, Glenn Close gave a luminous performance in this HBO drama as a mother trying to understand a son (Robert Sean Leonard) dying of AIDS.

Emma
The big screen doesn't always do it better. This British adaptation of the Jane Austen novel, starring Kate Beckinsale and seen on A&E, was far superior to the Gwyneth Paltrow feature film.

BBC Coverage of Princess Diana's Funeral
Simulcast in the U.S. by A&E and C-SPAN, the British reports maintained just the right tone: hushed. Pictures largely told the story; anchors and reporters minimized chatter. American network news divisions, take note.

Nightline/Politically Incorrect
In Bill Maher's topical, tongue-in-cheek talk show, which had already proved its worth on Comedy Central, ABC finally found something complementary—and entertaining—to follow Ted Koppel's late-night institution. We need a smart alternative for the days when Jay and Dave are on autopilot.

Gun
A crime was committed against a firearm when ABC killed this remarkable drama series that followed a gun from owner to owner.

Miss Evers' Boys
Alfre Woodard was exceptional as a conflicted nurse in this HBO movie about a 40-year government study that had deliberately withheld treatment from hundreds of poor African-American men with syphilis.

Veronica's Closet
This Kirstie Alley sitcom gives NBC something to crow about: a new Thursday night show that would be a hit even if it weren't nestled between Seinfeld and ER.

Ally McBeal
Producer David E. Kelley's vibrant, imaginative Fox series takes us inside the head of a young lawyer (Calista Flockhart). Hey, a lot of sexy stuff is going on in there.

Vaudeville
This American Masters documentary on PBS was two hours of blissful nostalgia. You could also consider it the best variety special of the year.