ON AND OFF THE AIR:
* The late actress Colleen Dewhurst made perfectly clear the source of the abrasive, aggressive character of "Murphy Brown" (Candice Bergen) with her guest-star portrayal last season of Avery Brown, Murphy's mother.
And in tonight's episode (9 p.m., Channel 11), the series pays tribute to Dewhurst and integrates her passing into the show. Murphy tries to cope with her mom's death, anticipating that she TTC will be haunted. Darren McGavin also appears as Murphy's father.
Dewhurst, 65, died in August from cancer. And among many awards in her career, the most recent was an Emmy for her role on "Murphy Brown." The "Outstanding Guest Actress" trophy was bestowed posthumously, less than a week after her passing.
* Over the course of six days this past summer, more than 1,000 bicycle riders pedaled their way from Solomons to Easton in the third annual Cycle Across Maryland tour. And along for the ride -- at times with camera operators on the rear seat of a tandem bike -- was a crew from the Maryland Public Television series "Outdoors Maryland."
The team's nicely shot and edited segment, compiled by producer Dwight Pearman and videographers Tim Pugh, Ray Kawata and Harry Vaughn, is a highlight of the new fall edition of the show, airing at 8 tonight.
As usual, this "Outdoors Maryland" ranges widely between tourism opportunities and ongoing environmental studies. Included are excursion trains in Cumberland and a visit to some Maryland wineries, as well as the study of bears, birds and Chesapeake Bay underwater life.
* In another local event highlight on TV tonight, coverage of the Columbus Cup yacht race which concluded on Saturday in Baltimore Harbor is scheduled to be part of "America's Cup: Setting Sail for San Diego," at 10 o'clock on the ESPN cable network.
The hourlong show is part of a periodic series leading up to next January's anticipated U.S. defense of yachting's most famous trophy. And the Columbus Cup race here included some skippers and crew members involved in the America's Cup, including Buddy Melges of the America 3 syndicate and Antonio Gorostegui of Spain, Marc Bouet of France and Paul Thomson of Canada.
* And take note of an interesting sports event on cable tomorrow night: Pitcher Jim Palmer throws a curve ball to batter and former Orioles teammate Brooks Robinson, with one-time Orioles catcher John Stefero backstopping.
The show is "Invention," to be seen at 9 p.m. tomorrow on The Discovery Channel, and the segment explores the development of the curve ball. Did you know it dates back to 1867, and is attributed to pitcher Candy Cummings?
A Yale physics professor shares his studies of the aerodynamics of the pitch, and author/commentator George Will traces its history.