A big night of Porgy, Bess and baseball


Today is a major day for baseball fans: Two postseason games, including one played during that increasingly elusive setting known as daylight. And if you don't like baseball, there's always Gershwin.

* "American League baseball playoffs" (3 p.m.-conclusion, WBAL, Channel 11) -- Game 2 from Chicago, with the White Sox squaring off against the Toronto Blue Jays in the only mandatory daytime game of the American League championship series. The only other sunshine contest would be Game 5, should the loser last night win at least one game before then. CBS.

* "National League baseball playoffs" (8 p.m.-conclusion, WBAL, Channel 11) -- The Atlanta Braves took all season to get here (amassing the season's winningest record in the process), but on the last game of the year became eligible for postseason. Tonight they start their playoff series against the Philadelphia Phillies. CBS.

* "Porgy & Bess" (8-11:30 p.m., WMPT, Channels 22 and 67) -- This production is quite a combination of talents -- starting, of course, with the original operatic jazz musical by George and Ira Gershwin and DuBose and Dorothy Heyward. Willard White and Cynthia Haymon have the title roles in this production, which is a co-production of "Great Performances" and "American Playhouse," and is directed by theatrical heavyweight Trevor Nunn, based on his own stage version.

Filmed expansively for television, this version looks good and sounds fine, but not necessarily together: The lip-syncing, based on the existing cast recording, seldom matches the ambience of the settings, much less the lips of all the singers. For the ears, it's a sumptuous treat; for the eyes, it ain't necessarily so. PBS.

* "Now" (9-10 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Tom Brokaw is scheduled to interview Ted Turner, who has his choice of subjects to crow about: the Braves making the playoffs tonight or CNN's virtually owning the Moscow story on Monday. NBC.

* "Moon Over Miami" (10-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- John Ratzenberger, no longer warming a stool at "Cheers," has a big role tonight -- as a bigamist. ABC.


"Civil War Journal" (8-9 p.m., A&E;) -- The 54th Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry is examined in tonight's installment of this multipart documentary. If that particular group of soldiers doesn't sound familiar, try this: They're the ones dramatized in the film "Glory."

* "Tales From the Crypt" (10-10:30 p.m., HBO) -- Joan Chen, late of "Twin Peaks," stars as a woman who gets on the serious side of a circus clown.

A TV critic at the New York Daily News, David Bianculli also contributes to the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

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