With the exception of ABC's "My So-Called Life," what's the best show on TV that almost nobody has been watching?

No doubt about it - Fox's "Party of Five."Unlike so much of what passes for programming on the fourth network, "Party" is engaging, thoughtful, touching, funny and smart. It's full of bright, personable actors and thought-provoking writing.

It's the tale of five siblings - ranging in age from 11 months to 23 - who are on their own after their parents are killed by a drunk driver.

The good news is that "Party," which has been languishing on Monday nights, gets a better time slot beginning tonight - the post "90210" hour at 8 p.m. on Ch. 13.

If there's any justice in the television world (and there isn't a lot), the switch will boost the ratings and save this show, which thoroughly deserves saving.

VIDBITS: On next week's episode of the oh-so-cute ABC sitcom "Sister, Sister," twins Tia and Tamera both have attacks of appendicitis at the same time.

Like we needed another bit of evidence to prove how dopey this show is.

- After working without a contract for a couple of weeks - and spending a few days at home - Bryant Gumbel has re-upped as co-anchor of the "Today" show.

Gumbel's is quite a success story - he hasn't let his tendency toward condescension and obnoxiousness hold him back.

- Fox and NBC continue to duke it out, exchanging legal volleys and increasingly nasty verbiage in a battle over Fox's foreign owners and the spotty ethical record of NBC's owners, General Electric.

Would anyone be surprise to see Jimmy Carter offer to mediate the dispute?

- The Federal Communications Commission has issued a gag order on its continuing investigation into Fox's ownership.

How appropriate. So many of Fox's shows have been making people gag for years.

- Wasn't it nice to see all the local stations dress up their sets with ponsettias or toys to get us all in the holiday spirit?

Oh, yes, it was such a nice contrast the the mayhem, horror and destruction that was a big part of the actual content of the shows.

- The magazines Satellite TV Week and Satellite Choice recently published their lists of the year's best and worst, as voted on by their subscribers. "Dish Owners . . . have their choice of more than 250 channels to watch, so they really are among the most competent people to comment on what's on," said the magazines' direcotr of communications.

Yes, they're so competent that "Matlock" was No. 3 on the Favorite Farewell to a TV Show list. "Matlock," of course, is still on ABC.

- As 1994 draws to a close, "NYPD Blue" is showing up at the top of an awful lot of best-show-of-the-year lists.

Isn't it about time that we all realize that "Blue" is neither as terrible as its detractors made it out nor as great as its supporters insist? It's a pretty good cop show, but - with the exception of some language and brief nudity - it's nothing ground-breaking. We've seen it all before. (No double entendre intended.)