Central Park West
The CBS series promised high-fashion glamor and Darwinian nastiness in the inbred world of East Coast publishing, but viewers took one look at this ridiculous Melrose Place of Manhattan and tossed it onto a bonfire of vanities.
Once TV's blue-chip blue-collar comedy, this ABC series (now in its eighth and—let us pray—final season) is looking awfully frayed. Lay the blame on its self-indulgent producer-star.
No, it wasn't a shampoo but a state of virtual reality (the premise of this short-lived Fox sci-fi series) that enabled soulful cybertrekkie Lori Singer to meld her subconscious with that of anyone she was calling on the phone. Sorry, wrong number.
Saturday Night Live
Producer Lome Michaels replaced half the cast, but the new ensemble proved to be just as stinko and twice as forgettable on this NBC staple. There's no reason why live satire can't continue to thrive on Saturday night, but the trick is to innovate, not renovate.
David Letterman as Host of the Oscars
A cranky skeptic visits the high temple of show business, mocks the gold-plated statuary and displays insufficient reverence for the gods. (Tom Hanks assisting with a stupid pet trick?!) We know who the winner wasn't.
Diane Sawyer Interviewing Michael Jackson
"I didn't spend my life as a serious journalist to ask these kinds of questions," said Sawyer on air, stooping to having videotaped fans inquiring into the connubial habits of her guests on ABC's PrimeTime Live, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley. Serious journalist? Not with this promotional cotton candy.
We're all for free speech, but some of these shows are so bad they should pay us to listen. It's hard to pick the trashiest moment of the year but, if pressed, our candidate would be the day Richard Bey had women of a certain heft sit in melted chocolate and then smear their bottoms on a piece of paper. The intrepid host then measured the results.
Maybe This Time
Betty White and even Marie Osmond deserve better than this warmed-over ABC pastiche of every sitcom cliché: single mom; cute kid; batty, oversexed granny. But we liked the gingerbread kitchen.
It's Friends crossed with Wings crossed with Bay watch. Let's make it simple for Fox: The Crew should be grounded.
Mike Tyson vs. Peter Mc-Neeley
Hmmm. At the average pay-per-view fee of $50, fans of the sweet science paid 56 cents per second when McNeeley's manager threw in the towel only 89 seconds into the fight. Guess who got sucker punched?