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CH. 29 SPLITTING 'SEINFELD' AND 'FRASIER'; 'TOOTHLESS' PULLS IN KIDS AND ADULTS

Hope you weren't getting used to watching "Seinfeld" and "Frasier" reruns back to back at 10 p.m. weekdays on Channel 29.

On Monday, WUTV is breaking up that terrific hour. "Seinfeld" stays at 10, but it will be followed by "Cops" at 10:30 and then "Frasier" at 11. Reruns of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" move to 11:30.

The loser in this reorganization -- besides viewers who watch the news at 11 or hit the sack -- is "Vibe," the syndicated talk show hosted by Chris Spencer. Channel 29 has moved it from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. because it hasn't done well nationally.

Channel 29 General Manager Don Moran said he is breaking up the "Seinfeld"-"Frasier" block in an attempt to establish an 11 p.m. audience. If it doesn't work in the November sweeps, perhaps the two NBC hits will go back to back again.

The cancellation of "The Vicki Lawrence Show" by Fox at 9 a.m. also has led to a reorganization of Channel 29's daytime lineup. On Monday, "Judge Judy" goes to 9 a.m. and "Pictionary" moves to 9:30. At noon the station is carrying reruns of "Fresh Prince," and "Real TV" moves to 12:30 p.m.

In a way, the Tooth Fairy played by Kirstie Alley in the appealing Wonderful World of Disney movie "Toothless" (7 p.m. Sunday, Channel 7) has the same problem as ABC.

The Sunday Disney movies have to appeal to young, innocent viewers at the same time they don't turn off adults who might be bored by kids' movies.

After about 20 minutes, this movie -- about a dentist who becomes the Tooth Fairy on her way to heaven or hell -- pulls off the balancing act with wit and charm, and it should attract kids and their parents. The music, which features a variety of 1960s songs by the Beach Boys, isn't half-bad, either.

Its message about taking risks to enjoy life and love isn't sickeningly sweet, either. That's largely due to the casting of Alley, who has a bitter sense of humor and isn't exactly one's vision of a Tooth Fairy.

She stars as Dr. Katherine Lewis, whose sole purpose in life is to be a good dentist. After an accident, she is sent to limbo -- the station between heaven and hell -- and made the Tooth Fairy. She is trained to fly by Raul (Daryl "Chill" Mitchell, who also co-stars with Alley in NBC's "Veronica's Closet"), who is less successful showing her how to land.

Katherine isn't happy about her wardrobe or the rules from her stern supervisor (Lynn Redgrave). She isn't supposed to talk to the kids who lose their teeth before they lose their innocence.

Naturally, she quickly breaks the rules with one 12-year-old, Bobby (Ross Malinger, who has grown up since "Sleepless in Seattle"), whose single father, Thomas (Dale Midkiff), isn't around much. Bobby convinces his pals and even his enemies that the Tooth Fairy isn't just a myth, she's real.

Directed by Melanie Mayron (who had a small role on "thirty-something), "Toothless" is full of clever lines and gags. You can quickly see where it's headed, but it's a delightful journey. If a movie as good as "Toothless" doesn't fly on Sunday night, that may explode the myth that there is a family audience out there.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

Remember Jennifer Smith, the former Buffalo Sabres vice president who was in charge of television and radio programming and co-hosted "Live From the Aud" on the Empire Sports Network?

She's back on Empire as host of a new National Hockey League program, "NHL Cool Shots."

In a brief telephone interview, Smith said the show isn't anything like the show she produced for the Sabres, "In the Zone."

"That was a lot younger and sillier than this show is," she said. "And we didn't have the opportunity to get behind the scenes like this show does."

Smith said next week's installment will include segments in which players and coaches were miked during the Stanley Cup finals.

Produced by NHL Productions and presented by Powerade, "Cool Shots" will air regularly on Empire at 4 p.m. Thursdays before "FAN TV." It also will be carried at various other times, perhaps after Empire's Sabres game coverage is over. "Cool Shots" replaces "Hockey Week," a highlights show carried by Empire that Mike Emrick narrated.

The program will originate from a different city each week. Smith said that no firm date has been set for a Buffalo visit but that it will come here sometime during the season.

Love those Channel 2 telepolls. On Tuesday, it ran one on whether the Buffalo Sabres should have traded center Pat LaFontaine. The vote was 73 percent in favor, 27 percent against. Presumably the Sabres board of directors weren't the only ones voting.

In case you missed it, the Fabulous Sports Babe returned to the local airwaves Wednesday on WWKB-AM 1520. She was badly missed for two weeks by sports fans, who had the AM choice of listening to Dr. Laura Schlessinger on WBEN-AM 930 castigating people for making honest mistakes or Clip Smith discussing local issues on WGR-AM 550.

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