ON AND OFF THE AIR:
* Here's a question that is not going to be answered by tonight's last nostalgia-fest show on CBS, "Memories of 'M*A*S*H' " (at 9:30, Channel 11): Why have so few regulars from the popular 11-season series returned to TV with anything approaching regularity?
When, for example, was the last time you saw Gary Burghoff (Radar O'Reilly) in anything? It might have been those computer firm ads he and some of the other "M*A*S*H" gang did a few years back.
The post-war years have not meant unemployment for everybody, of course. Alan Alda (Hawkeye) went into the movies, David Ogden Stiers (Major Winchester) was in the recent ABC movie "Wife, Mother, Murderer," and Mike Farrell (B.J. Hunnicut) is producing and starring in cable movies, such as the recent "Silent Motive" on Lifetime. Loretta Swit (Maj. Houlihan) has been in a few TV movies, too.
But hardly anybody has found series success again.
Wayne Rogers (Trapper John) came closest. After leaving "M*A*S*H" after three seasons, he had a modest success with Lynn Redgrave in the 1979-82 hospital series "House Calls." (Curiously, though, Pernell Roberts did as well with Rogers' former character, playing the physician in later years in the series "Trapper John M.D.")
Harry Morgan (Col. Potter), Jamie Farr (Klinger) and William Christopher (Father Mulcahy) bombed in 1983 with the sequel "AfterMASH."
McLean Stevenson (Col. Blake) also bombed in "Hello, Larry" and other even less memorable vehicles. And Larry Linville (Frank Burns) was in a pair of sitcom bombs after he left "M*A*S*H." Does anybody remember "Grandpa Goes to Washington" (1978) or "Checking In" (1981)?
* WBAL-Channel 11 is the latest broadcast outlet to check in with some direct advice for people who may be newly out of work or otherwise in dire straits because of the sluggish economy.
"Making Ends Meet" is a series of news reports airing in newscasts last night and through today. And tonight (from 6 to 8), in conjunction with consumer reporter Jayne Miller's "Credit Wise" report, station phone lines will be staffed by credit counselors to answer questions about preserving personal credit.
* With the new film "The Addams Family" into theaters this week, it is no surprise that Worldvision Home Video got into video stores first with a re-issue of the 1964-66 television series. A dozen episodes are available on six cassettes retailing at $9.95.
* National Public Radio's cogent commentator, Daniel Schorr, is giving a free lecture, "Confessions of a Journalist at 75," at 8 p.m. tomorrow at Shriver Hall on the campus of Johns Hopkins University.