ON AND OFF THE AIR:
* Is the economy in recovery? Here's one local measurement:
After an unexpectedly heavy response to its first broadcast in December, WMAR-Channel 2 tonight is airing "Surviving the Pink Slip II" (at 8 o'clock), a second hour-long special intended to help the newly unemployed.
"We hadn't originally planned another show," says Channel 2 program chief Emily Barr, adding, "Obviously, we're hoping the economy will get better."
Tonight's show will be live and aired without commercial breaks. Anchor Beverly Burke will host the hour, which will include career counselors and other experts offering advice on such matters as retaining credit, seeking employment and handling the personal issues of suddenly being out of work.
The special pre-empts NBC's "In the Heat of the Night."
The first "Surviving the Pink Slip" aired Dec. 11. And like tonight's show, it offered viewers a free resource guide booklet, available by sending a stamped self-addressed envelope to: "Surviving the Pink Slip," WMAR-TV, 6400 York Road, Baltimore, 21212.
The station printed 2,000 copies, "and we gave pretty much all of them away," says Ms. Barr.
In addition, she says numerous telephone callers responding to the first show asked for additional programs. The booklet is available again, with 1,500 copies printed by Channel 2. In addition, the state's Office of Unemployment Insurance will make the booklet available to clients.
* A Trekker's trivia note: The credits for tonight's first-run episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (8 o'clock, WBFF-Channel 45) include the actress who provides the voice of the ship's computer on the star ship Enterprise.
Did you know she's Majel Barrett, whom fans know as Nurse (and later Dr.) Chapel of the original "Star Trek" series and movies? She also is the widow of series creator Gene Roddenberry.
* Tonight's scheduled episode of ABC's "Roseanne" (9 p.m., WJZ-Channel 13) sets up next week's show dealing with the issue of breast reduction surgery. Rosie (Roseanne Arnold) takes to her bed with back trouble and her mother (guest Estelle Parsons) comes to help.
* Stay tuned. Maryland Public Television says it will try to find a broadcast slot to air episode Number Four of the series "Barging Through Europe," which concluded a five-part, Sundays-at-6:30 p.m. run last weekend.
On the previous Sunday, Jan. 26, an MPT spokesman confirmed, a technical error led to a rebroadcast of episode three. Thus episode four was not seen, but will be scheduled as soon as the schedule permits.