Although the special fare broadcast during public television fund-raising time soon seems awfully familiar, something new has been added to buttress the Maryland Public Television spring drive that begins tonight.
Appropriately enough in an election year, when no candidate can run for office without a polling coordinator, a poll of viewers came out this week.
Are you surprised that 79 percent of the 700 viewers who took part in the survey said MPT is "very important" when asked, "How important do you believe MPT is to the citizens of Maryland and neighboring states that also receive our signal?"
Viewers may recall that last March was a pledge-free period on MPT, as the PBS outlet experimented for a year with alternate forms of begging. But after a sag in membership, MPT renewed the traditional pledge form last fall.
The first pledge show is tonight's "Wolf Trap Salutes Victor Borge" (at 9 o'clock), but the weekend's best program returns might be tomorrow.
At 3 p.m., for example, the wonderful "Anne of Green Gables" series will be screened in its entirety, with pledge breaks extending the presentation to 7:30 p.m. And next Saturday, the same time period will bring back "Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel."
At 7:30 p.m., MPT follows with a 2 1/2 -hour musical interlude with the late Nat King Cole and his multi-Grammy-winning daughter, highlighted (at 8 o'clock) by, "Unforgettable, With Love: Natalie Cole Sings the Songs of Nat King Cole."
And make a note: One other unusual pledge packaging this time around is scheduled on Sunday, March 15. Four recipe-sharing shows -- with pledge pauses between courses as the tab for the meals -- will be screened through the afternoon.
ON AND OFF THE AIR:
* Do movies have deeper significance? The Baltimore-Washington Institute for Psychoanalysis is launching tonight its 10th annual film/lecture series at the Walters Art Gallery, in which a psychoanalyst leads a discussion following the screening of some popular films.
On the bill this year (at 8 p.m. the next four Fridays) are: "My Life As a Dog," "The Vanishing," "This Property Is Condemned" and "The Dead Poets Society." For information, call 410-547-9000, Ext. 237.
* Correction: A photograph was misidentified in yesterday's review of the HBO series "Def Comedy Jam." The pictured performer was Martin Lawrence, host of the show which premieres at midnight tonight on the premium cable service.