Clip this and file away in a place where you'll quickly forget it. What follows is a thumbnail handicap of next fall's new TV series. It's based on some first-hand previewing, some knowledgeable opinion, word on the street, buzz, rumor and innuendo and all analyzed with a deft combination of insight, foresight and hindsight:
Everyone will be talking about: "ALF" (NBC), with a curmudgeonly alien played by a puppet; "Designing Women" (CBS), a wittily packaged cat-fight that brings the "Golden Girls" motif to new levels of bitchiness, and the Joan Rivers series on the upstarting Fox Broadcasting network.
Surprise hits: "Head of the Class (ABC), with Howard Hesseman as the high school teacher trying to socialize a class of geniuses, and "Ben Matlock" (NBC), which combines Andy Griffith's homespun appeal with TV's rediscovered profession, law.
Critics will write incessantly about: "L.A. Law" (NBC) which will remind them of the things they liked best about "Hill Street Blues" in its early years; "Our House" (NBC), a seriocomic look at cootish Wilford Brimley as a retiree and suds star Diedre Hall as his newly widowed daughter-in-law; and the aforementioned Joan Rivers show, if for no other reason than everybody will be scrutinizing her ratings opposite Johnny Carson.