Barbara Eden goes from 'Jeannie' to 'Witch'

Look for two blasts from our pop-cultural past on tonight's episode of "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" (7 p.m., WB). Barbara Eden ("I Dream of Jeannie") guest stars as Sabrina's Aunt Irma, who arrives from the Other Realm when she discovers that Harvey has knowledge of Sabrina's magic powers.

According to a network press release, this marks Eden's first appearance on a sitcom since her former stint on the hugely popular 1965-1970 series. Not to quibble with the folks at the WB, but Eden briefly appeared on the romantic comedy segment of "Brand New Life" on a Walt Disney anthology series back in 1989. She also had starring credits in the 1981-1982 drama/soap opera "Harper Valley, PTA," and as LeeAnn De La Vega on "Dallas" in 1990-1991.












Prime-time ratings as compiled by Nielsen Media Research for Dec. 31-Jan. 6. Listings include the week's ranking and season-to-date rankings in parentheses. An "X" in parentheses denotes a one-time-only presentation.1. (X) "CBS NFL National Post Game: Various Teams and Times," CBS2. (X) "Rose Bowl: Miami vs. Nebraska," ABC3. (4) "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," CBS4. (14) "60 Minutes," CBS5. (9) "Survivor: Africa," CBS6. (15) "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," NBC7. (X) "Rose Bowl-Pregame show," ABC8. (1) "Friends," NBC8. (6) "Law & Order," NBC10. (X) "Fiesta Bowl-Postgame show," ABC

More recent nostalgia arrives in the form of Hanson, the teen pop ensemble that had the whole world "'M-Bop"-ing some five years back. Isaac Hanson (as himself) guest stars as Roxie's (Soleil Moon Frye) ex-boyfriend, who surprises her with a spontaneous gig with his brothers and bandmates Taylor and Zac. Can a "Sabrina" Spice Girls reunion be far behind?

� Snowbound coach potatoes can take some vicarious pleasure in the special "Top Secret Beaches" (9 p.m., Travel), a roundup of the five most exotic sandy spots on Earth.

Tonight's other highlights

� Syd's malpractice suit interferes with her clinic work on "Providence" (7 p.m., NBC).

� An older executive (Angela Bassett) finds romance with a younger lover (Taye Diggs) in the 1998 drama "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" (7 p.m., UPN).

� Scheduled on "Dateline" (8 p.m., NBC): A small town embraces an ambitious new minister, only to discover his sordid past.

� Karen snaps out of her depression on "Once and Again" (8 p.m., ABC).

� Molly flirts with the son of her dad's professional rival on "Maybe It's Me" (8:30 p.m., WB).

� Scheduled on "48 Hours" (9 p.m., CBS): After the murder of his wife, an upstanding Texas citizen finds himself arrested. Soon after, his brother takes his life.

� An abandoned boy suffers multiple attacks on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (9 p.m., NBC).

� Scheduled on a repeat of "Vanished" (9 p.m., ABC): a missing minister, long thought dead, resurfaces with a new church and family in another state. Rescheduled from an earlier date.

Cult choice

An adopted son (Ben Stiller) goes to absurd lengths to find his biological parents in the 1996 comedy "Flirting with Disaster" (10 p.m., USA), co-starring Patricia Arquette and Tea Leoni.

Series notes

Ray bends the truth about his injured wrist on "Everybody Loves Raymond" (7 p.m., CBS) ... Max discovers a Manticore mutant with powers of prophecy on "Dark Angel" (7 p.m., Fox) ... Tom Bergeron is host for "America's Funniest Home Videos" (7 p.m., ABC).

Ellen learns about Catherine's secret romance on "The Ellen Show" (7:30 p.m., CBS) ... Sarah betrays Dad's secret on "Raising Dad" (7:30 p.m., WB).

Lydia teaches acting on "That's Life" (8 p.m., CBS) ... Palmer confers with his son on "24" (8 p.m., Fox) ... Barbara Jean faces a credit crunch on "Reba" (8 p.m., WB).

Late night

Tom Cruise and Tom Papa appear on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno welcomes Drew Barrymore, Ashton Kutcher and Sugar Ray on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC).

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.