ODDS 'N' ENDS OFF THE BROADCAST BEAMS:
* Talk about your mixed media. A local Baltimore radio show is joining a nationally syndicated talk show Monday morning, and some 40 Baltimoreans will be along for the ride.
It's the payoff of a contest on WYST-FM 92.3, in which morning hosts Don O'Brien and Wendy Corey offered listeners a chance to travel to New York and be part of the studio audience of "Live With Regis and Kathie Lee" (seen here at 9 a.m. weekdays on WBAL-Channel 11).
The winners are scheduled to go to the Big Apple Sunday, stay overnight and then populate the live show's audience on Monday, wearing "Maryland, You Are Beautiful" T-shirts. Show hosts Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford (who grew up in Bowie) will be given a proclamation from Governor Schaefer dubbing the day Live With Regis and Kathie Lee Day in Maryland.
O'Brien and Corey are also scheduled to do their 6 to 9 a.m. show on 92 Star live from the TV show's studio.
* Also on Monday in Washington, a crew from HBO Pictures is scheduled to be shooting film outside the Washington Hilton on Connecticut Avenue, re-creating the 1981 shooting there of President Reagan and his press secretary, James Brady. "The James Brady Story" is an original film scheduled to premiere on the premium cable service next May, based on the Mollie Dickenson book "Thumbs Up."
Brady, of course, was the most seriously wounded survivor of the assassination attempt, suffering brain damage from which he has slowly been recovering. His wife, Sarah, has become a national leader in the fight for gun control as chairwoman of the organization Handgun Control Inc. Both Bradys are scheduled to be at Monday's filming, along with actors Beau Bridges and Joan Allen, who portray them in the film.
* The Showtime cable service this month has been running a children's special, "The Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat" (on again at 9:30 a.m. Sunday). Naturally, Media Monitor assumed it is an adaptation of a favorite nursery rhyme from childhood. Remember? While their owners slept, these two stuffed toys quarreled, fought and finally tore themselves to bits. It was a nice lesson promoting harmony, especially applicable to sibling situations.
So where does Showtime get off turning the quaint story into a new Christmas special? In this version, the reincarnated toys fall off Santa's sleigh and must find their way home.
OK, with narration by Amy Grant, nice "dissolve animation" techniques and a music track by guitarist Chet Atkins, it is obviously a well-intentioned show. But we've said it before: Classic children's tales are precious and do not need updating, ever. Give the kids, instead, a book with the original nursery rhyme.