IT is a shame ATV could not have shown All In A Family (World, 6.30pm) in prime time. Not because it is so brilliant that I advise you all to drop what you are doing and watch, but because it is the kind of harmless rubbish with which you might while away part of an otherwise boring evening. All In A Family comes in 13 episodes - each directed by a different director - and is part sitcom and part soap opera. It has already been broadcast on Chinese television, where it went down with a mixture of enjoyment and bemusement. Most of the laughs stem from the three featured foreign devils (Pierre Tremblay, Andrew Johnston and Scudder Smith) mispronouncing Cantonese words. Quite how all this highbrow humour will come over in subtitles remains to be seen. The programme's producers claim it is not really a series about pasty-faced big-noses, but about relationships, Chinese values and Western culture. You and I know different, but that does not stop All In A Family being a bit of a giggle. The first episode is called Father And Daughter and was directed by John Law. Also starring are Chan Chun-wah (father), May Tse (mother) and Mandarin-speaking V music channel VJ Angela Chow, who in her spare time works as a teenage agony aunt for readers of Young Post. THE Chinese film Li Lianying: The Imperial Eunuch (World, 9.30pm), released in 1991, was directed by Tian Zhuangzhuang, one of the country's fifth generation film-makers. It stars Jiang Wen as the eunuch and Liu Xiaoqing as the empress Dowager Cixi. Liu was the biggest thing in China since sliced bread before the delightful and pouting Gong Li came along. Jiang has forsaken acting for directing; a couple of his movies have been shown at Cannes. The Imperial Eunuch is the story of Li Lianying, a neuter who served under five emperors until his death in 1910. THE story of Cocoon (Pearl, 9.30pm) is one that must have looked terrible on paper, but in director Ron Howard's hands worked out neatly, and heart-tuggingly. Brian Dennehy is one of a group of aliens who arrive from the planet Antarea and take on human form so they can go about their work on Earth without detection. They land in the heart of geriatric country where a bunch of elderly residents from a nursing home stumble on some strange cocoons the aliens are using and immediately begin to feel energised, youthful, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. The special effects are reminiscent of Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, but there are a number of fine performances (Don Ameche, who won an Oscar, Jessica Tandy, Maureen Stapleton). Steve Guttenberg, later of Jurassic Park, is a man with a boat for hire. THE comedy Moon Over Parador (World, 1.05am) has much in common with the comedy Dave, which came four years later. It stars Richard Dreyfuss as a struggling actor shanghaied into playing a recently-deceased Latin American dictator. In Dave, Kevin Kline is the likable buffoon who stands in for the President when he suffers a heart attack. CLINT Eastwood's epic Bird (World, 2.50am) will keep you up most of the night, but is worth it. Forest Whitaker plays Charlie ''Yardbird'' Parker, the tormented but talented genius who died at the age of 34. A towering performance from Whitaker, and exceptional music, much of it original but updated with the benefit of digital recording techniques. DIRECTOR Pedro Almodovar features in E! Features (World, 9.00pm). He was responsible for Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! a comedy which found vociferous admirers but which New York Times critic David Leavitt said ''left most people the night I saw it in tears''. TWO films on STAR Plus if you have a dish. A New Lease Of Death (2.30am) is one of those humble English whodunnits, based on the books by Ruth Rendell and starring George Baker as Detective Inspector Reg Wexford. Quarantine (4.30am) is something of an unknown quantity and so are the people in it. It is set in the near future and ''brings savagely alive a world in the grip of a devastating plague''.