ON AND OFF THE AIR:
* Talk about life imitating art -- or at least getting all tangled up together. Tonight's "Real Life With Jane Pauley" (at 9:30, Channel 2) is devoted to an interview with actress Candice Bergen, a.k.a. "Murphy Brown."
Does anybody else wish that interviewer and interviewee could switch roles so that Bergen, in her tough TV persona, could ask Pauley a good question?
"Jane, you seem to be sitting pretty after all that nastiness with the 'Today' show and Deborah Norville and all. So exactly when do you get the evening anchor chair beside Tom Brokaw on a permanent basis?"
There's a thought, anyway, for a future "Murphy Brown," the show which has already given cameos to a number of real-life newsies.
* NBC's whole lineup tonight is a new one. "Matlock," the Andy Griffith series that did not make the network's fall schedule, has arisen again and is now in the 8 p.m. slot with all new episodes. A network spokeswoman says a movie-length "Matlock" seen at this time on Oct. 18 "did so well we're gonna keep him in there."
The show never went out of production, anticipating such a mid-season replacement role.
The Tom Brokaw investigative show "Expose," previously paired with Pauley's outings, is gone altogether, and tonight also marks the final "Real Life" until next spring. Some retooling is expected on that show.
* Former CBS News giant Walter Cronkite is doing good works in retirement. Tonight on Maryland Public Television (at 10 o'clock), he hosts "Our Children at Risk," an hour-long special examining the sad reality that many youngsters in America lack food, health care and proper parenting.
* Tube fanatics, take note: WNUV-Channel 54 has put together a Sunday lineup that could serve as a tribute to shlock TV of seasons past.
Beginning at 10 a.m., four movie-length titles include: "Rescue From Gilligan's Island" (a 1978 sequel to the 1964-67 series); "Charlie's Angels" (the pilot for the 1976-81 series); "Return to Fantasy Island" (a 1977 pilot for the 1978-84 series) and "Vega$," (the 1978 pilot of the three-season series with Robert Urich as a private eye in the gambling mecca of America).
* Cartoons across the sea! The HBO premium cable network on Monday is launching the first American appearance of an animated adventurer said to be among Europe's favorite pop culture figures for 60 years.
"The Adventures of Tintin" debuts at 7 p.m. Monday in a regular weekly slot. Belgian artist/author Herge (whose non-pen name is Georges Remi) is creator of the graphic novels and other cartoon incarnations of a newspaper reporter, whose adventures are aimed at teens and young adults.