Picks and Pans Review: The Bell Curve

updated 10/20/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/20/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

In case anybody's counting, here's the final grade-point average for the season's new shows: a solid, sadly average C. NBC came out a Don Johnson-whisker ahead with a C+, ABC followed with a C, and CBS lost with a C-. I'm disappointed, students. Those are grades I'd expect from 10-watt UHF stations in cornfields, not from big, rich networks. While nerdily making lists, I also counted up all the shows, new and old, I set my VCR for every week—the ones I watch for pleasure, not pay. Out of 66 hours of prime time (52, not counting movies and football), I love 7½ hours, and at least like a total of 16½—almost a third of prime-time series. That's not great, but it's still better odds than I see in the movies or on bookshelves. And some weeks are better than others. Take this one, for instance. It's a B+.

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