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Seventh-inning stretch for 'Baseball'


A respite at last: Believe it or not, this is the first weeknight in more than two weeks without a new network series being unveiled. Instead, it's pretty much business as usual, and the best in the business is the latest edition of "Baseball."

* "Baseball" (8 p.m.-10:30 p.m., Channels 22, 26) -- Mickey Mantle. Willy Mays. Don Larsen and his World Series perfect game. The Dodgers leaving Brooklyn. It's all here in "Inning 7," which covers the years 1950-1960 -- and, based on the content and the competition, it may well give "Baseball" its highest ratings yet. It's worth watching just to hear the way Bob Costas, among others, describes "The Catch" by Mr. Mays. If you don't know which catch, tune in. If you do, tune in. PBS.

* "Melrose Place" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., Channel 45) -- Last week's "Melrose Place" had the show's best "scar scene" yet. Kimberly (Marcia Cross) let her hair down in front of Michael (Thomas Calabro) in the most literal sense, pulling off her wig so he could see, and kiss, her baseball-stitch-shaped scar. Fox.

* "Dave's World" (8:30 p.m.-9 p.m., Channel 11) -- On tonight's episode, Dave (Harry Anderson) constructs a treehouse for son Tommy, then climbs in it and inadvertently spies on the amorous neighbors. The neighbors are played, in a cameo role, by Markie Post and John Ritter of "Hearts Afire," which doesn't quite make sense. The real neighboring TV shows adjacent to "Dave's World" are "Blossom" and "Blue Skies." I suppose, though, the casting agents on this series didn't want to go too far out on a limb. CBS.

* "A Friend to Die For" (9 p.m.-11 p.m., Channel 2) -- This fact-based made-for-tv movie stars Tori Spelling as a young woman murdered by a jealous peer. No, the villain is not Shannen Doherty -- she's played by Kellie Martin of "Christy," in a role that runs counter to the spirit (and title) of her previous series, "Life Goes On." NBC.

* "Murphy Brown" (9 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Channel 11) -- Garry Marshall, who produced such TV hits as "Mork & Mindy" and "Happy Days" and directed "Pretty Woman" and the forthcoming "Exit to Eden," returns to "Murphy Brown" in the occasionally recurring role of a TV network executive. Mr. Marshall previously portrayed a casino boss in the Albert Brooks movie "Lost in America," so playing a network bigwig isn't that much of a stretch. CBS.

* "Northern Exposure" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., Channel 11) -- Unlike last week's season opener, this show takes place entirely in "real life" -- except for some rather fanciful dreams by Shelly (Cynthia Geary). CBS.

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