Best of Tube

updated 12/26/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/26/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

BASEBALL
Yes, the inordinate length of Ken Burns's documentary (18½ hours!) suggested that it should be in a museum. But then, so did its quality. This history of our national pastime pinch-hit nobly for the real thing during the season when it was strike one, everybody's out. (PBS)

BOB DYLAN UNPLUGGED
A triumphant return for a preeminent songwriter and enigma. From a knee-walking "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" to a sinuous "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," this was an evening of pure magic. (MTV)

CHICAGO HOPE
In the head-to-head battle of Windy City hospital dramas, this show got trounced by NBC's ER in the ratings. But accept a second opinion: Chicago Hope is the more inventive and affecting. Stars Mandy Patinkin and Adam Arkin make up the most magnetic acting tandem in prime time. (CBS)

DENNIS MILLER LIVE
It was bound to happen when Miller had Robin Williams as a guest: total comedy meltdown. At one point, as Williams launched into another long, wild improv, Miller coaxed him: "Go play; go play. Just be home before the streetlights come on." (HBO)

ELLEN
Although the show's writing could be sharper, Ellen DeGeneres's ungainly Everywoman character, a hapless sweetheart who is always talking herself into trouble, may be the most irresistible sitcom creation since Lucy Ricardo. (ABC)

MY SO-CALLED LIFE
This drama is a poignant evocation of those tempest-tossed teen years. (ABC)

A PLACE FOR ANNIE
Sissy Spacek gave a touching performance as the foster mother to an HIV-positive foundling in this Hallmark Hall of Fame cheek-soaker. (ABC)

TO PLAY THE KING
Ian Richardson returned as Francis Urquhart, the smiling villain of Downing Street, in this cynical sequel that focused on politicking, British-style. (PBS)

PRIME SUSPECT 3
This suspenseful series of British police procedural keeps getting better. And so does Helen Mirren as tenacious Chief Inspector Tennison. (PBS)

STANLEY CUP HOCKEY SEMIFINALS
The seven-game series between the N.Y. Rangers and the N.J. Devils had suspense (three double overtime games), acrobatic goaltending, bitter rivalry and a "guaranteed" win predicted by Rangers captain Mark Messier. (ESPN)

HONORABLY MENTIONABLE

•OJ.'S FREEWAY FLIGHT (All channels)
•JOHNNY CASH, MANHATTAN CENTER (VH-1)
•THE JON STEWART SHOW (Syndicated)
•WORLD CUP SOCCER (Various)
•EMILY BRONTE'S WUTHERING HEIGHTS (TNT)

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