What do Billy Crystal and Joan Rivers have in common - apart from the Oscars and both being New Yorkers? Crystal, the curly-haired stand-up comic, made his starring film debut as the world's first pregnant man in the poorly received Rabbit Test in 1978, a film written and directed by Rivers. Thankfully, his choice of films has improved since and the actor who first became famous as the acerbic gay stepson on Soap has appeared in both popular and well-received movies, notably When Harry Met Sally (1989) and City Slickers (World, 9.30pm). Tonight's film, written by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel (Parenthood and Splash ) from a story by Crystal, carefully combines slapstick, an emotional undercurrent and well-timed wisecracks to create a genuinely warm and affectionate film held together by the friendship of the main characters. Crystal plays Mitch Robbins, a man in the throes of a mid-life crisis, who, along with two friends, Ed Furillo (Bruno Kirby) and Phil Berquist (Daniel Stern), spends two weeks on a cattle drive from New Mexico to Colorado. At first, the trio demonstrate their complete lack of cowboy skills but, as they gradually learn to rope and ride, they discuss their childhood hopes and adult disappointments. Despite the - on occasion - stomach-achingly funny script, the best remembered scenes are at the start of the cattle drive when Jimmy Durante sings Young At Heart and when they triumphantly bring in the cattle humming the theme from Bonanza. Jack Palance, he with a face like a saddle-bag, won Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role of Curly. The eternally baby-faced Andrew McCarthy made his debut in Class in 1983 and became associated with the Brat-packers of that decade. But, while many of his contemporaries went on to bigger and better things, McCarthy has yet to show enough charisma to carry a film. Year Of The Gun (Pearl, 9.30pm) well demonstrates that fact. The sloppy John Frankenheimer thriller about a novelist (McCarthy) in 1970s Rome who stumbles across a Red Brigade plot to kidnap the prime minister is kept alive by the performance of one Sharon Stone, the actress who would become a household name a year later after her revealing performance in Basic Instinct. John Pankow and Valeria Golino also star. Afterburn (World, 1.10am) is based on the true story of Janet Harduvek (Laura Dern), a woman who fought the system to discover the truth behind her husband's death. One night in 1982, Janet received the news that her husband Ted's (Vincent Spano) F-16 fighter pilot had crashed during a routine mission over Korea. The Air Force blamed the accident on 'pilot error' but Janet could not believe her husband, an expert pilot and chief of weapons for his division, would cause his plane to crash. Determined to clear Ted's name, she began the arduous task of investigating his last flight. Air Force officials dismissed her pleas for assistance, discarding her as a grieving, irrational woman. But Janet firmly believed there was something wrong and did not stop until she got to the bottom of it. This is a well above average made-for-cable movie with Dern steadfast in her part. The Post's editor, Jonathan Fenby, talks to Media Watch (World, 7pm) tonight to explain the appointment by the Post of a mainland Chinese consultant. The appointment, which has been criticised as a political move, is anything but, he reassures.