The Olympics are over, but don't despair: You don't have to go back to reruns.
With minimal flourish, the fall television season finally gets under way tonight--a couple of weeks late and more than a couple of shows short. In fact, ABC is still short all of its regular prime-time series, the result of last summer's paralyzing writers' strike.
The effect is still being felt at the other networks as well, but NBC, anxious to capitalize on the momentum of two weeks of Olympics coverage, is forging ahead aggressively. Tonight it is rolling out the first new series episodes of the 1988-89 season: "ALF" at 8 p.m. and "The Hogan Family" at 8:30 p.m., to be followed at 9 p.m. by a new TV movie, "The People Across the Lake," with Valerie Harper and Gerald McRaney.
NBC will follow with the season premieres of "Unsolved Mysteries" on Wednesday; "The Cosby Show," "A Different World" and "Dear John" on Thursday; "Sonny Spoon" on Friday, "227," "Amen," "The Golden Girls" and "Empty Nest" on Saturday; and "The Magical World of Disney" on Sunday.
CBS, meanwhile, will fill five of the nights this week with new TV movies, starting with "Unholy Matrimony" at 9 tonight, starring Patrick Duffy and Charles Durning. It also will unveil a new series Tuesday, "High Risk," in which people perform dangerous stunts, and "Simon and Simon" begins a new season Saturday.
ABC also will have plenty of first-run programming this week--most of it sports, beginning with "Monday Night Football" at
6 p.m. today and continuing through the week with the Major League baseball playoffs. Also on tap at 10 tonight is a new documentary from ABC News, "America's Kids: Why They Flunk," anchored by Barbara Walters.
If that's not enough to whet your TV appetite, also arriving tonight is the season premiere of the comedy "Out of This World" on KTLA Channel 5 (at 7:30 p.m.); the first of six PBS programs about the presidential campaign, this one examining television's impact on the political process (9 p.m., Channels 28 and 15), and the debut of a new cable channel called Turner Network Television, which serves up "Gone With the Wind" at 8 p.m.