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2-PART `TEXAS' IS REALLY JUST 4 HOURS OF FILLER

If you want to know how good "Texas" is, just take a look at when it's scheduled.

ABC will air the two-part adaptation of James Michener's novel on Sunday and Monday (8 p.m. both nights on Ch. 4). That's two weeks before the beginning of the May sweeps - when the networks air their really good stuff."Texas" is OK, but it certainly doesn't qualify as really good.

It's also not entirely new. The same show has been on video since last fall. (In a rather unusual deal, ABC paid less for this two-parter because of that early video release.)

"Texas" is full of stars. TV stars, that is. The cast includes Patrick Duffy, Chelsea Field, Stacy Keach, David Keith, Grant Show, Benjamin Bratt, Rick Schroder and John Schneider.

It's also full of action and full of history. What it's not full of is entertainment.

The whole thing seems rather perfunctory and shallow, with almost a cartoon-like quality.

What it's all about is the founding of the Texas Republic. Among the familiar figures are Stephen Austin (Duffy), Sam Houston (Keach) and Jim Bowie (Keith, in a rather ridiculous performance).

There's plenty of fightin' and shootin' among the American settlers and the Mexicans (parents will want to beware of the violence), plenty of characters torn between their loyalties, and some romances that are significantly more lifeless than the rest of the rather lifeless production.

Oh, and there's an overlong recreation of the siege at the Alamo that comes off like a TV version of the actual events - not particularly realistic.

"Texas" isn't really bad TV, it just sort of is. There's nothing here to excite the imagination or draw the viewers into the story.

It's just four hours of filler.

MORE MELODRAMA: Philip Casnoff, whose CBS series "Under Suspicion" may or may not return in the fall, is joining the cast of NBC's "Sisters" on in a recurring role.

He'll play Jack Chambers, the recipient of the heart transplanted from Teddy's (Sela Ward) murdered husband, Falconer (who was played by George Clooney until he quit to join the cast of "ER").

Although a return by "Suspicion" is questionable, NBC has already ordered 28 episodes of "Sisters" for next season.

EMPTYING THE "NEST": "Empty Nest," which should have been allowed to die with dignity at least a couple of seasons ago, will finally sign off with an hourlong series finale on April 29.

The plot surrounds a double wedding - both Laverne (Park Overall) and Carol (Dinah Manoff) will be getting married.

But the big news is that former regular Kristy McNichol, who left the series in 1992 to seek treatment for manic depression, will make a guest appearance.

RETOOLING: CBS hasn't confirmed this, but the trade papers are reporting that the network is going to try to save the hugely disappointing "George Wendt Show."

Supposedly, the show is going to be pulled out of production while undergoing a revamping that will eliminate all the cast members except Wendt and Pat Finn, who plays his brother.

Whether it will work is, of course, in doubt. But there's no doubt that this show isn't working as it is now.

FATHER AND SON: Did you ever envision that Tom Skerritt's father might look like James Coburn?

Well, somebody at "Picket Fences" did. Coburn guest stars as Skerritt's father in an upcoming episode of the Emmy-winning CBS series.

Which is sort of odd, because - in real life - Coburn was born on Aug. 31, 1928; Skerritt was born on Aug. 25, 1933.

For the math-impaired, Coburn is not quite five years older than Skerritt.

WHY BOTHER? CBS, which obviously doesn't have anything better to put on the air these days, will rebroadcast the 1992 TV movie "Deliver Them from Evil: The Taking of Alta View" on April 25.

That was the re-creation of Richard Worthington's murder and hostage-taking at the Sandy hospital. A re-creation made all the worse by Hamlin's weak performance as Worthington.

THAT'S ENTERTAIMENT? Here, verbatim, is CBS's tag line an upcoming episode of one of its prime-time series:

"A family is caught in a house fire, a Rollerblader is hit by a truck, a 4-year-old is found choking, and a boy passes out after inhaling butane, on a rebroadcast of `Rescue 911,' April 25."

Gee, sounds like a swell hour of entertainment.