ON AND OFF THE AIR:
* Does it ever seem like almost everyone on television has had a shot at being host of a talk show? Chevy Chase is the latest, now preparing a show for the Fox network. But here's a vote for Burt Reynolds getting one.
The star of CBS' "Evening Shade" has another good outing as an occasional chatmeister tonight, on "Burt Reynolds' Conversations With . . . The Ladies of Country Music" (at 10 o'clock, Channel 11).
Viewers who saw Reynolds' first "Conversations With . . . " special last fall, with Hollywood legends June Alyson, Jane Powell, Ginger Rogers and Esther Williams, might agree the star has a surprisingly easy-going style that elicits something rare on talk TV: genuine conversation, as opposed to plugs, bits of comedy acts and other obviously prepared material.
Tonight he sits down with Kathy Mattea, Lorrie Morgan, Dolly Parton and Tanya Tucker. And each also gets to sing a song.
* Speaking of Dolly Parton, the VH-1 cable network today launched (at 2 p.m.) a new edition of the periodic movie profile series that runs with the weekly "Flix."
And "Talkin' Straight With Dolly Parton" can be seen again at 1:30 p.m. Saturday and twice on Sunday, at 1 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
* Psst! Did you know the Baltimore radio waves gained an all-news station a week ago, at least part-time?
With little fanfare, WERQ-AM 1010 has abandoned its simulcast of rhythmic contemporary hits of sister station WERQ-FM 92.3 (92-Q). Now, from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, the station is airing news from cable television's CNN service.
A cooperative venture with Baltimore County's Comcast Cablevision, the service includes CNN's Headline News and a variety of other reports CNN makes available to radio stations.
* Talk about a whole lot of shaking going on!
One local TV news announcer said yesterday the moderately severe earthquake in California Wednesday had measured "16.1 the Richter scale." Actually, it was a 6.1 tremor. (Media Monitor makes enough typographical errors not to identify the culprit.)
* If you tune in cable's MTV video service between 2 and 5 p.m. Sunday and things seem a little weird, it's just "Weird Al" Yankovic again.
The pop song parodist gets his sixth "Al-TV" special on the network, following the huge success of his "Smells Like Nirvana" video sendup of the rock group Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit."
VH-1 also screens a "Best of Weird Al" special at 8:30 p.m. Sunday.
* Shakespeare lives! For many surprised viewers, Kenneth Branagh's 1989 treatment of "Henry V" shook the dust from the boring bard. And Maryland Public Television on Sunday is screening the film in a special edition of "Masterpiece Theatre" at p.m.