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CBS debuts three new sitcoms; Carly Simon's mystery appeal on AMC; KCET's life of Ginsberg



"Baby, That's Rock 'n' Roll" / 5 and 9 p.m. Bravo

From "On Broadway" to "Hound Dog" and "Stand by Me," the songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller have created many of pop music's timeless tunes. This two-hour tribute features an interview with the dynamic duo (Jimmy Weatherspoon recorded their first song, "Real Ugly Woman," in 1950), performances of their most popular compositions and comments from the artists who made them famous. The special also takes a backstage look at the team's hit musical "Smokey Joe's Cafe."


"The Gregory Hines Show"--"George & Leo"--"Michael Hayes" / 8:30, 9:30 and 10 p.m. CBS

Hoping to narrow the gap between itself and front-runner NBC, CBS will count on these new series to make a difference in the Nielsens. The first two are comedies, with Hines starring as a widower raising a 12-year-old son (Brandon Hammond), and Judd Hirsch making trouble as an overbearing in-law at odds with mild-mannered bookstore owner Bob Newhart. In "Michael Hayes," David Caruso returns to prime time as a federal prosecutor in New York. Caruso discusses his new venture, Page 3.


"Songs in Shadow: The Making of Carly Simon's Film Noir" / 6 and 10:30 p.m. AMC

It would be a stretch to say "Nobody Does It Better" (it being singing and songwriting) than the sexy Simon. In 1977, she performed that tune for "The Spy Who Loved Me," a James Bond adventure. Additional soundtrack assignments on such films as "Heartburn," "Working Girl" and "Postcards From the Edge" followed in subsequent years. This half-hour special, which plugs the release of the artist's new album, mixes music with memorable clips of "Laura" and "Key Largo," among other movies.


"The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg" / 10 p.m. KCET

The poet and founding father of the Beat generation, who died in April at the age of 70, is fondly remembered in this "American Masters" retrospective. His family recalls Ginsberg as "a good son." Political activists say he was a force for change over the past four decades. And colleagues discuss how he was a fixture in the heart of the literary establishment. Norman Mailer, Joan Baez and Abbie Hoffman are among the interviewees.


"Nothing Sacred"--"Cracker" / 8 and 9 p.m. ABC

Did you hear the one about the priest and the psychologist? No punchline here, really, just our sneaky way of introducing this item about two of ABC's new dramas. Getting off to a rocky start with the conservative Catholic League, "Nothing Sacred" is the controversial hour about a cleric played by Kevin Anderson. "Cracker" is an American version of the boffo British series centering on a shrink (Robert Pastorelli) with bad habits. Sample them early because they may not be around long due to tough time slots.


"Meego" / 8:30 p.m. CBS

So you loved his Euro-trash accent in "Beverly Hills Cop"? You thought he was cute as the co-star of "Perfect Strangers"? And you secretly tuned in "Step by Step" last season for his appearances as a Frenchman? Then by all means turn to this new sitcom starring Bronson Pinchot as a stranded extraterrestrial who becomes guardian to a single father's three kids. The show's sole asset: a cuddly canine named Barkley.


"A Driving Need" / 9 p.m. KCET

With Nick Clooney of AMC as host, this half-hour program offers practical information for senior drivers. In particular, the show deals with facts and figures about cognitive and motor skills as well as the behavior of older drivers who may be at risk behind the wheel. The goal: to educate the elderly, their families and caregivers about safety on the road.

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