'thirtysomething' finale airs again



* Were Michael (Ken Olin) and Hope (Mel Harris) going to stay together or finally split? It remained to be seen in the ambiguous final episode of ABC's "thirtysomething."

With the apparent collapse of a movie deal that would have better resolved things, it's still an open question. But you can watch the final segment again tonight (at 10, Channel 13) for any clues to make you feel more comfortable.

It was an odd way to end a popular series, and many viewers hoped a movie finale might better tie up loose ends in the story. But Olin's reluctance to participate was among the reasons cited recently by ABC's Robert Iger for the apparent failure of the project.

And actually, the unresolved marital showdown was not entirely unsatisfying, for "thirtysomething" was the series that was often uncomfortably like real life. And real life is often ambiguous, uncertain and unsettling.

Media Monitor is much more upset about "ALF" and the outsiders from "Alien Nation." Both of those series ended with cliff-hanger episodes involving peril to major characters, and both were reportedly supposed to be resolved by subsequent movies. Yet neither film seems in the offing any time soon.

* Subscribers to Baltimore County's Comcast Cablevision have a chance to get fit while engaging in the activity that spawned the term "couch potato" -- watching television.

"Silvertone," a new 30-minute series making its debut at 9 tonight on Comcast Channel 2, is a toning and relaxing exercise program designed for senior citizens. It is scheduled to be seen twice weekly, at 9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.

Aerobics instructor Terry Freed leads the low-impact exercises, and the show is being taped at the continuing care retirement community of Broadmead. The series is a co-production of Comcast and Phillip Willen Associates.

* Speaking of fitness, the Orioles weren't tuned up very well last week when the Toronto Blue Jays were in town and won three games. Will the Skydome be more accommodating? The Birds are north of the border tonight on Channel 2, game time 7:30.

* Nighttime radio listeners with an interest in the entertainment arts are directed to a nice addition to the weekday lineup of WAMU-FM 88.5, the public radio station based at Washington's American University.

It's "Fresh Air With Terry Gross," whose host concentrates on casual conversation/interviews. The show is produced by WHYY-FM in Philadelphia, and airs at 10 o'clock nightly.

* "The Baby-Sitters Club," the HBO premium cable network's series adaptation of author Ann M. Martin's popular juvenile books, launches a new series this week. Five new monthly episodes are scheduled, and the show premieres at 5 p.m. tomorrow with "Stacey's Big Break."

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