Picks and Pans Main: Tube

updated 06/04/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/04/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Drumroll, please. It's time to announce the Best Guest Star of the season. Both finalists were women. Getting serious consideration was Robin Strasser, so good as Craig T. Nelson's academic nemesis on ABC's Coach and as Michele Lee's bitchy TV producer on CBS's Knots landing (even though the latter role was much like the Dorian Lord character she played on the soap One Life to Live). The decisive factor was that Strasser missed a chance to burn up the tube as the spandex siren in the NBC mini Blind Faith. Rather than vamping it up, she followed Robert Urich's lead and played it as though they were in a production of Our Town instead of a murder thriller.

And the winner is...Olivia Brown. I never thought I'd be citing the acting of a Miami Vice graduate, but Brown was delicious as a sexy undercover officer in ABC's Family Matters and as a voodoo acolyte in the syndicated Monsters. The clincher was her recurring tour de farce as Meshach Taylor's crazed girlfriend on CBS's Designing Women. She gave the sitcom a needed jolt earlier this season when the usually fine writing was hitting a wall. Congratulations, Olivia.

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