ABC, 8-8:30 P.M.
The French worship Jerry Lewis, so it only makes sense they’d love Urkel, too (Matters is quite popular in France, where it’s called Une Vie de Famille). And they’ll get a close-up look at Jaleel White’s geek when he invents a device that transports the cast to Paris for an hour-long season premiere. The show translates all over the world, however, as star Reginald VelJohnson found out: ”This guy from Togo, Africa, ran down the streets of Paris to grab my coattails. He said I was like a king in his country.”
CBS, 8-8:30 P.M.
In its new Friday slot, Harry Anderson’s sitcom plans to battle ABC’s TGIF with a shot of kid power. ”We’re hooking up Dave’s 11-year-old son, Tommy [Zane Carney], with his first girlfriend,” says executive producer Tim O’Donnell. The role will be played by Michelle Trachtenberg, the star of Harriet the Spy, whom O’Donnell calls ”the hottest 11-year-old actress in the country, if that doesn’t sound too sick.”
FOX, 8-9 P.M.
”We’re going to be more of a fun action-adventure fantasy with Spielberg overtones,” says executive producer Alan Barnette. ”The last couple seasons, some of the shows had a darker tone.” In one ”fun” new episode, Jerry O’Connell and his dimension-hopping comrades land in a world of tornadoes. Any resemblances to Twister are strictly intentional.
Boy Meets World
ABC, 9:30-10 P.M.
”The kids grew up over the summer — they’re 16 and they look it,” reports executive producer Michael Jacobs. ”The stories are less youth oriented through biological necessity.” Does this mean Cory (Ben Savage) will be losing his virginity? ”We’ll definitely deal with that,” says Jacobs. ”But I don’t want to do it in a standard sitcom way.” Boy Meets World standard? Never.
CBS, 10-11 P.M.
To differentiate itself from its Friday cop-show competitor, Homicide, ”the emphasis this year is really going to be on comedy,” says executive producer Carlton Cuse. Cranking up the laugh quotient, Cheech Marin joins the cast full-time as Don Johnson’s compadre, and Major League’s James Gammon shows up as Nash’s crusty father, who moves in with him. Of course, Homicide isn’t Nash’s only rival. ”20/20 is formidable,” says Cuse. ”And if Hugh Downs has any more operations, we’ll be in trouble.”
Homicide: Life on the Street
NBC, 10-11 P.M.
The series starts its fifth season four months after it left off; Pembleton (Andre Braugher) is still recovering from his stroke and fears the ”Box,” the interrogation room where he was stricken. Kellerman (Reed Diamond) comes under investigation by federal prosecutors on suspicion of bribery, and Brodie (Max Perlich) will provide some comic relief when he is forced to crash at the pads of various detectives, including Bayliss (Kyle Secor) and Munch (Richard Belzer). How will the show explain the temporary absence of Russert (Isabella Hofmann, who’s on maternity leave)? ”We’ve established that Tim Russert from Meet the Press is her cousin,” says executive producer Tom Fontana, ”so he introduced her to a French diplomat and she flew off to Paris.” Now, that’s a network crossover.