New York — Try to Remember CBS, tonight, 8-9 p.m. Executive producer: Robert Northshield. Anchor: Charles Kuralt. Sweet Charles Kuralt is trying to replace tangy Linda Ellerbee in what amounts to a CBS version of ABC's late lamented ``Our World.'' But ``Try to Remember'' is not as incisive, informative, or entertaining as the original.
It's all part of the continuing low-budget news-programming sweepstakes. Shows made up of news clips introduced by staff correspondents are much less expensive to produce than entertainment programming and thus, potentially, more profitable.
ABC News started the cut-rate genre of info-tainment a couple of seasons back by scheduling ``Our World'' as a kind of sacrificial lamb opposite ``The Cosby Show.'' NBC is reportedly preparing its own version. Meantime, Ms. Ellerbee is preparing a syndicated ``Our World.''
According to executive producer Robert Northshield, what makes ``Try to Remember'' different is that it attempts ``to see how people can use the past to understand the present or the future and how we realize our responsibility for each other.'' (Didn't sassy Linda Ellerbee do just that on ``Our World''?)
The new CBS pilot is actually a hodgepodge of news clips covering happenings from Aug. 10 to 17, 1969: Hurricane Camille in Mississippi, Woodstock in New York, terrorism in Londonderry, the astronauts' return from the moon, and desegregated voting in Alabama.
In addition to the clips, there are interviews with people who were involved in the events, and comments from Charles Kuralt. Sounds great, doesn't it?
Well, it turns out to be repetitious, confusing, disjointed. Almost any one of the segments, alone, could have made a whole program, handled straightforwardly without the razzmatazz editing and maddening cross-cutting, which turns a potentially fascinating magazine show into a series of annoyingly incomplete bits and pieces. Even the loving and benign Charles Kuralt couldn't manage to salvage this show.
Linda Ellerbee, come back soon.