ODDS 'N' ENDS OFF THE BROADCAST BEAMS:
* You really have to wonder whether a quarter century playing the same roles doesn't occasionally cross over into an actor's personal life. But then, how many performers have a chance to convey character development over such a span of real time?
We're talking about Macdonald Carey and Frances Reid, original cast members of the NBC daytime serial "Days of Our Lives," which marked its 25th anniversary with today's episode.
The show airs daily at 1 p.m. on Channel 2.
* Not too long ago, NBC's "Today" did a pretty fascinating series of shows from the legendary Orient Express, where Agatha Christie set her most famous mystery novel. But did you catch Geraldo Rivera's domestic version one day last week? He took the whole production of "Geraldo" (seen at 10 a.m. on WBAL-Channel 11) on a trip around the New York subway system.
The subject was standard Rivera fare, a vaguely lurid investi-gation of the rise of crime on not only the city's subways but in the urban jungle in general. He packed the subway car in which he rode with crime victims, transit cops and a few heroes who have stopped violent crimes.
"When there's no vision, the people perish," philosophized a pretty articulate conductor.
But our favorite moment was when Rivera introduced two young brothers whose mother makes them wear bulletproof vests on the streets. "I just wonder about our town," opined the host gravely, moments before closing by nonetheless asserting, "I still love New York."
* Although commercials will interrupt the magic to some degree, WBFF-Channel 45 is taking three hours tonight (at 8) to screen Steven Spielberg's masterful "Close Encounters of the Third Kind."
A less self-conscious prelude to his subsequent "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" (1982), the 1977 "Close Encounters" pays tribute to a host of sci-fi alien-encounter movies, then neatly turns the paranoia tables to suggest humankind might someday be able to overcome innate hostility to meet another species on a friendly footing.
* No, no it's too easy -- but what the heck, Jay Leno would say it: Tonight's television lineup offers a chance to watch The Four Stooges.
Yes, four. At 8 p.m. on WNUV-Channel 54 comes "Disorder In the Court," a clip-filled tribute to the 60th anniversary of those slapstick masters, The Three Stooges. (Of course, over the years there were actually five members of the act, always including Moe and Larry with Curly, Shemp or Joe.)
But tonight's fourth stooge? Vice President Dan Quayle, who gets a cameo on CBS' "Major Dad" at 8:30 on Channel 11. (Yes, Media Monitor knows the veep has lately been buffing up his image on the campaign trail, and is duly ashamed.)