See birds a whole new way

TV: The couple that emcees `Stokes Birds at Home,' a new MPT show, will try to make birding a national craze.

Radio and Television

January 05, 2000|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF

This time, MPT is truly for the birds.

The latest production effort from Maryland Public Television, "Stokes Birds at Home," makes its debut in these parts at 10: 30 a.m. Jan. 15. Over the next 13 weeks, Don and Lillian Stokes will do their best to do for bird-watching what Chris Jussel and "Antiques Roadshow" have done for antiquing -- turn it into something of a national obsession.

The premiere episode sets the tone for what should follow, as the down-homey Stokeses -- sometimes, with their scripted banter, perhaps a little too down-homey -- clue viewers in to the ornithological wonders available just outside their back doors.

The program opens with hints on how to attract Northern Cardinals to your backyard (sunflower seeds for the birds to eat, strong tree branches for them to nest in). There's also a look at ducks, a visit with a Florida couple who sure love watching their birds (the Stokeses spend winters in Sanibel, Fla., summers in Massachusetts) and some relaxing footage of spoonbills spreading their wings in the Florida sun.

"Stokes Birds at Home" comes with a built-in audience -- birding is the country's fastest-growing hobby, the show's publicists say, climbing 155 percent in the past decade -- and may even convince some people to think twice before ignoring those songbirds making such a joyful noise out on their tree limbs.

That's Foxx with two x's

Local country music mainstay WPOC-FM (93.1) welcomed a new music director Monday, as Michael J. Foxx (unfortunately for him, not the one co-starring alongside Heather Locklear on ABC's "Spin City") relocated from Detroit to Charm City.

A native of Baltimore who had been handling the morning shift on Detroit's WWWW, Foxx will be wearing a trio of hats: music director, assistant program director and deejay on weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon.

`Roadshow' features city

PBS viewers anxious to see what sort of treasures Baltimoreans have hidden in their attics won't have to wait long. The fourth season of "Antiques Roadshow," showcasing stops the show's appraisers made during last summer's road tour, kicks off Monday.

On March 27 and April 3, the show will highlight items brought to the Baltimore Convention Center last June.

Among the items to be included on the Baltimore shows are a collection of train memorabilia, a book signed by Edgar Allan Poe, a cherry-wood tea table crafted by an 18th-Century Connecticut cabinetmaker and a rooster weather vane (appraised at $20,000-$30,000).

The program will also feature visits to several Baltimore attractions, including the B&O Transportation Museum and Oriole Park at Camden Yards. "Antiques Roadshow" airs 8 p.m.-9 p.m. Mondays on MPT, Channels 22 and 67.

`Children' has anniversary

ABC's "All My Children" celebrates 30 years on the air with a one-hour retrospective today, featuring clips from past episodes and a chance for characters to reminisce about three decades of stories centering on such hot-button issues as AIDS, abortion, date rape, teen-age alcoholism, racial bias, spousal abuse, homosexuality, eating disorders and opposition to the Vietnam War.

Most famous, perhaps, as home to Susan Lucci -- whose string of 19 consecutive Emmy losses finally ended last year -- "All My Children" features three additional actors who have been with the series its entire run: Mary Fickett (Ruth Martin), winner of the first daytime Emmy for acting in 1973; Ray MacDonnell (Dr. Joe Martin); and Ruth Warrick (Phoebe Tyler), who played the wife opposite Orson Welles in "Citizen Kane." All four actors will be spotlighted on today's show.

Created by Agnes Nixon, who is still head writer, "All My Children" made its debut Jan. 5, 1970, as a half-hour show; seven years later, it expanded to an hour. It launched many careers, including those of Dana Delaney, Lauren Holly, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Christine Baranski, Dorothy Lyman, Amanda Bearse, Kathy Bates, Robert Downey Jr., Christian Slater, Wesley Snipes and Robert Urich.

"All My Children" airs 1 p.m.-2 p.m. Weekdays on WMAR, Channel 2.

Sun wire services contributed to this article.

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