Then you won't want to miss this Tuesday's episode of the ABC sitcom Spin City. Star Michael J. Fox comes to his office hungover and the mail seems to come flying right at him. And at you--if you're wearing the special red-blue 3D glasses you picked up at Wendy's. Use the glasses on a slew of ABC sitcoms (and America's Funniest Home Videos) during the rest of the week.
And, if you've haven't developed an astigmatism yet, get a different pair of glasses from the Little Caesar's pizza chain or by purchasing Barq's rootbeer for the 3D season finale of 3rd Rock from the Sun on NBC May 18.
The 3D process, first tried in l935, was more widely embracedby Hollywood in the mid '50s. It was rarely successful, except in thehorror flick House of Wax, and the industry soon moved on toanother innovation, wide screen CinemaScope, in an effort to bring movie audiences back to the theaters--seems everyone was staying home to watch TV.
Now--oh, irony!--with their share of viewership slumping, the networks have revived the gimmick.
ABC audiences will be cued when the 3D portions of the showare due up by an icon on the lower right of the screen and a messageflashing "Glasses on." The icon will disappear once the element iscompleted. If you don't have the glasses, the picture won't be fuzzy on either network--unless your set is normally fuzzy. ABC's technology used two cameras and overlaid film; NBC's achieves depth perception by moving the camera in opposition to the performers' movement. We can't really explain it any more precisely than that.
On 3rd Rock From The Sun, the wacky aliens' 3D dreams,including Dick Solomon's masochistic fantasies about Mary Albright,make up a major portion of the hour-long season finale.
But several of the ABC shows will just use 3D in opening sequences. Ellen, for instance, will go multidimensional on Wednesday for a lead-in with Ellen DeGeneres playing with rock band Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. She'll go back to two dimensions to tell her parents that she's gay.
But 3D will come out of the closet literally at the start ofSabrina, The Teenage Witch, (Friday), when the giant, whostands in the way of the young sorceress' entry into "the otherrealm", will emerge from her bedroom closet wielding a giant club, only tobe counter-attacked with flying pillows and popcorn.