TV Article

Take 5 and Call Us in the Morning

5 tips to better TV -- We've got the prescription to keep today's show healthy, including ''Friends,'' ''NYPD Blue,'' and more

MELROSE PLACE
1 Put Matt (Doug Savant) on trial for more than one episode. Or if Murder One's a hit, take a cue and stretch out the courtroom drama all season.
2 Have Jo (Daphne Zuniga) give up on men, begin a lesbian love affair, and attempt to re-adopt her baby.
3 Now that she's licked cancer, don't turn Amanda (Heather Locklear) into a victim again. She's much more fun when she's a meanie.
4 Get Alison (Courtney Thorne-Smith) hooked on S&M.
5 Sign Billy up for a soccer team so that we can see Andrew Shue ''Do Something'' he's good at — as opposed to acting.

ROSEANNE
1 Keep Traci Lords around as the nanny for Roseanne's new baby.
2 In addition to the possible Johnny Galecki spin-off, give Leon (Martin Mull) and his new husband (Fred Willard) their own series — TV's first gay sitcom.
3 We know her pregnancy cut into her work schedule last year, but give us more Roseanne. This show's not called The Conner Family.
4 In a Very Special Episode, kill off Shelley Winters' doddering Nana Mary.
5 Last season's Gilligan's Island parody was brilliant — why not explore another show in the Sherwood Schwartz oeuvre, e.g., The Brady Bunch? Sara Gilbert would make a great Jan.

FRIENDS
1 In a special flashback episode, show us how the Friends met, complete with silly '70s and '80s wigs.
2 Speaking of ridiculous hairstyles, lose Monica's shaggy new 'do — Courteney Cox should not look like Joan Collins.
3 How about giving us a new theme song every season? Only not by the Rembrandts. And no clapping.
4 Let's see the much-discussed Ugly Naked Guy. Wouldn't this be the perfect opportunity for a crossover cameo from The Single Guy's Ernest Borgnine?
5 Stop being so damn friendly! People who spend that much time together couldn't possibly get along this well.

STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE
1 Have Odo and Kira (Rene Auberjonois and Nana Visitor) consummate their long-buried passion, if for no other reason than to answer the question, How does a shape-shifter have sex? (We suspect: any way he wants.)
2 Earth to Captain Sisko: Lighten up. At least Kirk and Picard made it look fun.
3 Bring on the Borg!
4 Shut down Quark's bar and reopen it as ''Quark's Café.'' The crew can relax by lounging on overstuffed couches and sucking down steaming mochaccinos served in oversize mugs.
5 Explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilizations, boldly go where...you know.

FRASIER
1 Isn't it about time Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) got a visit from his son, Frederick? Macaulay Culkin needs work....
2 Put Niles in action — both as a shrink (we've never actually seen him with a patient) and as a physical comedian (David Hyde Pierce's fencing scene last season was genius).
3 Have Daphne (Jane Leeves) bring home a cat, much to Eddie's dismay.
4 Focus more on Frasier's supercilious agent, Bebe (Harriet Harris), and less on KACL-AM's obnoxious sportscaster, Bulldog (Dan Butler).
5 Fortify the two weakest characters on the show by cooking up a romance between widower Martin (John Mahoney) and the eternally eligible Roz (Peri Gilpin).

MURPHY BROWN
1 Make regulars out of Garry Marshall and Paul ''Pee-wee'' Reubens (as the network prez and his nephew). They're much funnier than Charles Kimbrough's Jim Dial and Joe Regalbuto's Frank Fontana.
2 Let Murphy (Candice Bergen) land an interview with Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley. And have her ask tougher questions than Diane Sawyer did.
3 Add an anchor to FYI: Connie Chung.
4 Allow cameos from real-life politicos only if they can tell a joke (are you listening, JFK Jr.?).
5 Since she's newly married to Miles (Grant Shaud), have Corky (Faith Ford) convert to Judaism.

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