ON AND OFF THE AIR:
* A generation of youngsters will not know Ringo Starr first as one of The Beatles, but as an engagingly accented storyteller.
For two seasons, Starr was the original Mr. Conductor of the PBS series "Shining Time Station," but was replaced this season by George Carlin. Now he's back telling tales tonight in a new cable series for young children, "Shelley Duvall's Bedtime Stories."
The animated show premieres at 7:30 on the Showtime premium cable service, and Starr narrates "Elbert's Bad Word," the first of two stories in the half-hour. By Audrey and Don Wood, the story envisions a bad word as an impish living pest that flies into the mouth of a little boy, and only a magical potion of good words can drive it away.
Bette Midler is the show's second guest narrator, for the Audrey Wood story "Weird Parents."
And Duvall introduces and comments nicely on each story, as with the last, when she notes, "You have to make allowances for parents."
* Off to a pretty good start this season -- at least when playing at home -- the Orioles hit the road again, meeting the Royals in Kansas City in the first of two weeknight games on WMAR (Channel 2) this week. "Orioles on Deck" begins at 8 p.m. (The second game is from Yankee Stadium on Friday.)
* Majel Barrett, the widow of "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry, returns as a guest on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" tonight at 8 on WBFF (Channel 45).
She plays Lwaxana, the mother of Counselor Troi (Marina Sirtis), and beams aboard the Enterprise to marry a man she has never met. But what about the Betazoid custom of nude weddings? And meanwhile, a cloud of mysterious particles hitchhikes on the ship's hull.
* Crime prevention priorities, including increased lighting of streets and alleys, get the attention of a Baltimore City Council resolution in a televised hearing this week.
The weekly 5 p.m. Wednesday council sessions are screened live on the city's local access cable network, Channel 44 on the United Artists Cable system. Repeats are scheduled at 10 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. Thursday.
* American Public Radio this week examines the problem of child sexual abuse in a four-part series that can be heard on WJHU (FM 88.1).
"Little Secrets: Child Sexual Abuse in America," began last night and continues at 7 o'clock tonight, Thursday and Friday. (Wednesday night, the locally produced production "Soundprint" airs at its usual time.)
* Classic alert! Tonight's scheduled rerun of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" at 9:30 on cable's Nick At Nite network features Rob (Van Dyke) trying to explain to son Richie (Larry Matthews) why his middle name is "Rosebud." (No, it has nothing to do with a sled.)