Programs like "The American Girls" make it hard to argue with people who hate TV. It gives them such splendid ammunition. The new and incredibly tedious CBS action series premieres at 9 tonight on Channel 9.

Models Debra Clinger and Priscilla Barnes star as two women who look like Miss America contestants but allegedly work for a network magazine show like "60 Minutes." In fact the program has the nerve to open with a shot of a ticking stopwatch.

Visually, there are obvious assets - Clinger and Barnes didn't get the parts by reciting "To be or not to be" - but one expects a television program to fill a slightly larger function than that of a gas station calendar.

When the gals aren't out-witting or out-jiggling enemy agents, they are back at the office, where network executives all yell at one another in the style of NBC's feeble "W.E.B." The perkier of the reporters, we learn, got her job because she was able to infiltrate San Clemente in a disguise and sneak at interview with Richard M. Nixon."Mr. Nixon though it was cute," she says of her disguise.

Hasn't he suffered enough?