Game 5 isn't the only game in town

All through the World Series, the rest of television has played dead, offering few real incentives to change the channel -- other than Tuesday's "NYPD Blue," that is. Tonight the tide turns in a big way, as NBC, Fox and TNT conspire to offer entertaining alternatives. Still, as that famous baseball fan William Shakespeare once wrote, the double play's the thing.

* "World Series Game 5" (8 p.m.-conclusion, WBAL, Channel 11) -- Look at it this way: No matter what happens tonight, this is the last World Series game to be played in the United States in 1993. And for any and all games played in Toronto, the designated hitter is back, and there's no chance of a rain delay. CBS.


* "The Simpsons" (8-8:30 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- With Charles Foster Kane, it was a childhood sled. With Montgomery Burns, the rich old coot on "The Simpsons," the emotional key to his youth is a toy named Bobo -- and Maggie's got it. Somehow, in the midst of all this, there's room for the Ramones to make a guest animated appearance. Fox.

* "Seinfeld" (9-9:30 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- If this episode looks familiar, it's because it's a rerun from last year -- the one about the burned-down cabin and the rewritten "Jerry" TV pilot script. NBC repeat.


* "Frasier" (9:30-10 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Bruno Kirby lends voice to a caller on tonight's "Frasier," playing a man whom Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) advises to dump his girlfriend. Subsequently, Frasier begins dating the same woman, and no wonder: She's played by Amanda Donohoe, formerly of "L. A. Law" and always worth seeking out for the cleverness of her performances. Another guest voice tonight: Eddie Van Halen. NBC.

* "L. A. Law" (10-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Speaking of "L. A. Law," it's got its own quota of worthwhile guest stars as well. Elizabeth Pena continues to play a private eye in a continuing subplot, while Morales (A Martinez) sets about renovating the office in order to help the new design consultant, played by Joan Severance. NBC.

* "Late Show With David Letterman" (11:35 p.m.-12:35 a.m., WNUV, Channel 54) -- Dry wit meets freeze-dried wit: XTC Letterman's guests tonight include Bob Newhart, in a pairing of droll comic tastes that shouldn't be missed -- but won't show up, most likely, until much later than the scheduled start, thanks to the World Series. CBS.


* "Network" (8-10:45 p.m., TNT) -- A great high-concept gimmick has Brandon Tartikoff, former NBC Entertainment president, as host to Paddy Chayefsky's brilliant lampoon of TV.