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Guest stars trotted out for sweeps-month series

THE BALTIMORE SUN

All last month, most of the action was on cable TV. Now, all of a sudden, it's the broadcast networks providing most of the notable offerings. What could have changed from January to February? Can you say "sweeps month," boys and girls?

* "Coach" (8-8:30 p.m., Channel 2) -- Sweeps month guest shot of the night No. 1: Former "Major Dad" Gerald McRaney guest-stars as a man who has major plans for Coach Hayden's football team. ABC.

* "Melrose Place" (8-9 p.m., Channel 45) -- Sweeps month guest shot of the night No. 2: Traci Lords, midway through her five-week stint on "Melrose Place," continues to cause lots of trouble here (this week her cult ends up kidnapping Laura Leighton's Sydney). Ratings have been up during her visit, and she's fit in so well, so quickly, that it'll be a shame if the writers irrevocably write her out. Fox.

* "Blossom" (8:30-9 p.m., Channel 11) -- Sweeps month guest shot of the night No. 3: Alex Trebek of "Jeopardy!" makes one of his increasingly frequent prime-time sitcom appearances, portraying himself. I'll take "Easy Money for $100," Alex. NBC.

* "Sneakers" (8:30-11 p.m., Channel 2) -- This 1992 film is considered grown-up entertainment. However, there's nothing objectionable in it for kids, the mystery is a good one, and while adults will think of this as a Robert Redford movie, teens will think of this 1992 film primarily as part of River Phoenix's body of work. Other strong performances are turned in by, among others, Sidney Poitier, David Strathairn and Mary McDonnell. ABC.

* "Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story" (9-11 p.m., Channel 11) -- No other sweeps-month stunt tonight is as high-octane as this fact-based telemovie, which stars Glenn Close and whose executive producers include Barbra Streisand. Close plays a career Army woman whose honest affirmative response to questions about her sexual orientation led to her persecution by the military -- and her decision to fight back. Judy Davis co-stars, and this docudrama is written by Alison Cross, who did such a good job dramatizing the respective tensions in "Roe vs. Wade." NBC.

* "Cybill" (9:30-10 p.m., Channel 13) -- Sweeps month guest shot of the night No. 4: Jonathan Frakes, recently of "Star Trek: The Next Generation," plays a cast member of a sci-fi TV series who wants his off-camera relationship with guest star Cybill (Cybill Shepherd) to live long and prosper. CBS.

* "Chicago Hope" (10-11 p.m., Channel 13) -- Kim Griest, as the wife of Dr. Geiger (Mandy Patinkin), was introduced in this series' second episode. Tonight she makes another appearance, and this time her character has a very unusual request. CBS.

Cable

* "Zalman King's Red Shoe Diaries" (10-10:30 p.m., SHO) -- A new season begins on this new night and earlier time, but with a rather dull season opener.

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