Sky's falling, earth's moving Look out!: It's disasters aplenty on the season premiere of 'National Geographic Explorer,' with landslides, avalanches and tornadoes.

Radio And Television

August 19, 1998|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF

Time to clean out the notebook and clue everyone in on a bunch of TV happenings set for the coming weeks.

One thing about the weather: it always seems worse somewhere else.

For proof, check out the season premiere of "National Geographic Explorer," set for 7 p.m. Sunday on TBS. You know there's something nasty in store when the two-hour-long show is being billed as "Disaster Sunday."

First up, "Landslide" looks at the expensive homes and other West Coast properties that have fallen victim to El Nino. The segment features film of rescuers trying desperately to protect home and hearth, plus footage of expensive houses sliding into the mud.

Then it's time to cross the Atlantic for "Thunder on the Mountain," a look at Alpine avalanches that claim dozens of lives each year. Included are interviews with people who have survived being buried alive by snow. Brrrr.

Finally, "Tornado Hunters" looks at people who, for a good time, run toward tornadoes. The segment focuses on a part of the south-central U.S. known as Tornado Alley and follows tornado chasers in search of a real-life "Twister."

Thanks for the ratings, Bill

President Clinton's mea culpa proved good news for CNBC Monday night, providing record ratings for its "Hardball with Chris Matthews" program.

At 8 p.m., "Hardball" earned a 1.4 rating, meaning 914,000 households were tuned in -- its best performance ever. A live 11 p.m. edition performed almost as strongly, earning a 1.2 rating (793,000 households).

The network's ratings champ for the evening was "Rivera Live," which earned a 1.5 rating (1,004,000 households) at 9 p.m.

Recognizing Rhea Feikin

Few women have been a part of the local TV scene longer than Rhea Feikin, who began as a kids' show host on WBAL, Channel 11, back in the '60s, went on to do the weather and serve as host for the lottery drawings, and today is seen as the face and voice behind MPT's "On Location" spots.

Such longevity deserves recognition, and that's what Feikin will be getting Sept. 24, when she'll be given the second Charm City Award from Women in Film and Video of Maryland.

The award will be given at a dinner scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 24 at the Belvedere Hotel. Tickets are $35 for WIFV members, $40 for nonmembers. Others being honored at the dinner include Senator Theater owner Tom Kiefaber and Sharon Steele, past president of WIFV. For information, call 410-685-FILM, ext. 1.

The original 'Star Trek'

Fans of the original "Star Trek" who are tired of the chopped-up versions sometimes shown on TV (often, a couple of minutes are trimmed to squeeze in more commercials) will want to glue themselves to the Sci-Fi channel beginning Sept. 1.

That's when "Star Trek: The Sci-Fi Channel Special Edition" premieres. It will be shown at 7: 30 p.m. weekdays until all 80 original episodes have aired. Sci-Fi will show them in their entirety, accompanied by interviews with cast members DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, James Doohan and Walter Koenig (don't worry; the episodes are being stretched over 90 minutes, leaving plenty of time for interviews). William Shatner will serve as host the first time around; Leonard Nimoy will serve as host when the 80 episodes air again, beginning in January.

Each night's episode will be rebroadcast at 11: 30 p.m.

Toot toot, hey, beep beep

Ever wonder how your favorite disco song -- assuming you have a favorite disco song -- stacks up against the competition? Ever wonder which Village People classic, "Macho Man" or "YMCA," is the most popular?

The folks at MTV are offering the chance to find out. To commemorate the Aug. 28 release of "54," the Miramax film chronicling the rise and collapse of New York's famed Studio 54, MTV is polling viewers, celebrities, record industry types and others to establish a list of the top dance songs released from 1976 to 1982.

Viewers can e-mail their suggestions to MTV at

The results will be unveiled as part of "MTV's '54' Premiere Party Special," set for 10 p.m. Aug. 26. The show, originating from the movie premiere at Hollywood's famed Chinese Theater, will also feature a look back at Studio 54 and interviews with celebrities, who will be asked the potentially embarrassing question, "Where were you in 1979?"

All those other Emmys

Those Emmys you always hear about but never see, the ones presented for work behind the camera and in other areas not considered glamorous enough for prime time, are finally making it to television.

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences annual Creative Arts Awards will air on the TV Land cable channel Sept. 11 at 8 p.m., with a repeat at midnight. The show will be an edited one-hour version of the Aug. 29 awards presentation.

Scheduled presenters include John Forsythe, Jaclyn Smith, Connie Stevens, Robert Conrad, Cindy Williams, Shirley Jones and Flip Wilson. Sounds a lot like the TV Land line-up, doesn't it?

Rodricks on the road

Baltimore's favorite Sun columnist/weekend TV host, Dan Rodricks, is taking his show on the road this week. "Rodricks for Breakfast" will air Sunday from St. Michael's, one of the true jewels of Maryland's Eastern Shore. If you'd like to watch the JTC show in person, call 410-372-2655 for tickets. "Rodricks for Breakfast" airs Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon.

Get some 'Exposure'

"Northern Exposure" fans who demand more of a fix than its weekday airings on A&E are in luck. The cable channel has opened what it promises is the show's "ultimate fan site" at http: // Exposure.

The site includes updates on the show's cast (what is Janine Turner up to these days?), a travel guide to Roslyn, Wash. (which played Cicely, Alaska, on the show), a guide to all 110 episodes and a monthly trivia quiz.

"Northern Exposure" airs at noon and 6 p.m. each weekday on A&E.

Pub Date: 8/19/98

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