December 21, 1998 12:00 PM

NBC (Mondays, 9 p.m. ET)

Sure, sports fans. It’s easy to boo the high-salaried stars when the team is losing. Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt signed for this seventh season of Mad About You at $1 million apiece per episode. Now the sitcom’s ratings have sagged (NBC just shifted it from Tuesdays to Mondays), and the principal players are hearing negative feedback from the bleachers. We’d join the jeers if it weren’t for one thing: Reiser and Hunt are still terrific as married New Yorkers Paul and Jamie Buchman. This season the writers have failed to get the most out of some promising situations. When Paul and Jamie tried to refrain from talking for one day, noisy visitors soon filled their apartment and shattered the opportunity for silent comedy. But even the disappointing episodes (e.g., Paul’s tonsillectomy) contained priceless laughs (he said his throat felt trapped in “a gunnysack of ouch”). Though the regular supporting cast is rather blah, hilarious Mel Brooks returns later in the season for his fourth guest shot as Paul’s Uncle Phil. Mel’s worth at least a million.

Bottom Line: Still an engaging couple

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