A switch from Democrats and baseball

MEDIA MONITOR

July 14, 1992|By Steve McKerrow

Baseball or politics, baseball or politics. . . . Wait a minute, you don't have to watch either the All-Star Game, at 8 p.m. on CBS (Channel 11), or the Democratic National Convention, from 8 p.m. on Maryland Public Television and 10 p.m. on NBC (Channel 2) and ABC (Channel 13).

Try one of these non-sporting, non-election alternatives:

* Tonight's repeat episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation," at 8 on WBFF (Channel 45), offers an exploration of the provocative issue of sexual identity. The human debate over homosexuality seems only thinly disguised as Riker (Jonathan Frakes) falls for an alien (Melinda Culea) whose race is androgynous and condemns any sexual identity or activity as abnormal.

* Then there's royal marital discord -- in this case the recently sundered marriage of England's Prince Andrew. In the "Biography" series on cable's Arts & Entertainment, "Fergie: Royal Rebel" (at 8 o'clock) goes over the recent events, including an interview with Duchess Sarah Ferguson herself.

* In the film "Midnight Run," at 8 on WNUV (Channel 54), Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin blend well in an odd variation of the buddy-bonding genre. De Niro's a bounty hunter who has to get organized crime witness Grodin across the country, while a mobster (Dennis Farina) mobilizes hit men. A great road movie.

* Actress Kelly McGillis stars in the latest film from cable's TNT service, "Grand Isle," at 8 o'clock. An adaptation of "The Awakening," the film also stars Glenne Headly and Ellen Burstyn, all dressed up in 19th century trappings on a Louisiana resort island.

* Boxer George Foreman makes a guest appearance on "Home Improvement" at 8:30 on WJZ (Channel 13), playing himself as a guest on the show's fictional home repair show host.

* TV's tabloid talk trend comes in for some satire on "Quantum Leap," at 9 on WBAL (Channel 2), as Sam (Scott Bakula) leaps into the persona of a show host on the trail of a pesticide poisoning story.

* Remember "Scarecrow and Mrs. King?" The former network series, with Bruce Boxleitner as a federal agent and Kate Jackson as the housewife who helps him solve cases, now airs in repeats on cable's The Family Channel at 9 tonight.

* For an interesting then-and-now experience, switch back and forth at 9:30 between Nick-At-Nite's regular rerun of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and ABC's "Coach" (Channel 13). On the former, Jerry Van Dyke, brother of Dick, can be seen in the conclusion of a two-parter in which he plays Rob's shy brother, Stacey. On "Coach," of course, he plays regular Lester.

* Finally, at 10 o'clock, cable's Arts & Entertainment network repeats one of the best editions of its "Playwright's Theater" series. In Paul Zindel's "Let Me Hear You Whisper," actress Jean Stapleton (Edith on "All In the Family") plays a cleaning woman in a scientific laboratory who strikes up a conversation with a doomed dolphin.

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