Super 'Novas' illuminate the tube

This is far from a red-letter day for television, but as long as it's a blue-letters day -- as in providing a fresh episode of "NYPD Blue" -- I'm not complaining.

* "Nova" (8-10 p.m., Channels 22 and 67) -- There are three things in store for "Nova" fans during this fund-raising package. One is a new 90-minute special with Bill Cosby as host, presenting snippets from some of the "Great Moments From Nova." The special is light on context, almost by necessity, but heavy on exciting visuals. If it pulls a larger audience for "Nova" in the future, I'm all for it.


Following "Great Moments From Nova" is a great hour from "Nova" -- a repeat of its classic "The Miracle of Life," which offers an insider's view (literally) of the conception and birth of a human being. The third thing in store? Lots and lots of pledge breaks, so be forewarned -- and if you're taping either or both of these shows, adjust the timings or ride the pause button accordingly. PBS.

* "Bakersfield P.D." (8:30-9 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- Two new prime-time series are generating a lot of appreciative buzz from cult viewers. One is Fox's "The X-Files," and the other, also from Fox, is this loopy little cop-show comedy. If you haven't checked it out yet, here's a fine opportunity. Stars include two actors from previous TV cult shows, Brian Doyle-Murray of "Get a Life!" and Chris Mulkey of "Twin Peaks." Fox.


* "The John Larroquette Show" (9-9:30 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Dinah Manoff, temporarily jumping out of her "Empty Nest," guest-stars as John's new romantic interest -- but romance, it turns out, is the least of her interests. John Larroquette stars, but you probably surmised that from the title. NBC.

* "NYPD Blue" (10-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Agreed, last week's episode was dramatically disappointing. But an occasional falter merely serves to underline just how satisfying this new series usually is. It's not as powerful or thoughtful as "Picket Fences," but as character dramas go, it's a lot of fun to watch, and both Dennis Franz and David Caruso are terrific. ABC.

* "Late Show With David Letterman" (11:35 p.m.-12:35 a.m., WNUV, Channel 54) -- Repeat week continues, and this one features Demi Moore, whose contributions to TV history include spitting her gum at the camera in slow-motion instant replay. CBS.


* "In This Corner . . . Boxing's Little Giants" (10:15-11:15 p.m., HBO) -- On this network . . . HBO's second boxing-biography special, this time focusing on the lesser weight divisions.