Imagine. Television is able to come up with material unworthy even of Joan Collins. Actually, Collins from time to time shows a kicky flair for cheeky comedy, but she gets so little opportunity to shine -- only a moment or two, for instance, in the exhaustingly insipid NBC movie "The Cartier Affair," a fool's notion of a romantic comedy, tomorrow night at 9 on Channel 4.

The "Cartier" in the title does not refer to a jeweler but to the role played by Collins, actress Cartier Rand, star of the prime time soap "Storm Watch." Through a tedious set of contrivances, her life is disrupted by an ex-convict posing as a gay secretary. He is played by David Hasselhoff posing as an actor. Insatiable masochists can get three hours of Hasselhoff tomorrow if they watch his NBC series "Knight Rider" at 8 p.m. as well.

Hasselhoff was obviously cast in "Knight Rider" because they needed an actor who was thoroughly incapable of upstaging a car. To watch him stammer and yammer and play puppy dog to Collins in "Cartier" is definitive excruciation. Not that even an actual actor could do much with dialogue like, "Relationships are relationships. Even a vegetarian knows what to do with a hamburger."

The aspiring caper eventually ends in an airplane chase over Mexico. The production is so shoddy that at one point Collins is photographed through a dirty windshield. Rod Holcomb directed, three people are credited with the script, and NBC proves again that it can sanction TV movies worse than anybody else's -- even ABC's. They love a challenge at the National Boobcasting Company.