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This is a choice Gingrich or 'VR.5'?


The Newt-man is everywhere! That's House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), of course, who will address the citizenry tonight -- although not live on all networks. He infiltrates several other programs, and in late-night seems a likely target for tart-tongued Dennis Miller.

* "Newt Gingrich: Address to the Nation" (8 p.m.- 9 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13; cable CNBC, CNN, C-SPAN) -- In a twist on the administration tradition, the House speaker will offer his assessment of the first 100 days of the GOP Congress. CBS.

* "VR.5" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- Drawn into her virtual reality experiments searching for Sydney (Lori Singer), Duncan (Michael Easton) assumes the personae of some old fictional detectives, including TV's John Steed ("The Avengers") and both Sherlock Holmes and Sam Spade. Fox.

* "Dateline NBC" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Here's Newt again. In a series on welfare, correspondent Deborah Roberts reports on "the mystery man who may have influenced fTC Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and set in motion the welfare-reform movement." NBC.

* "Pole to Pole" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., MPT, Channels 22, 67) -- A treat from start to finish, this inventive travelogue from former "Monty Python" figure Michael Palin was seen in 1993 on cable's Arts & Entertainment network. In the first of eight episodes, he goes to the North Pole to begin a 23,000-mile trek south, as far as anyone can go, offering wry comments on the cultures he meets along the way.

* "Boys Town" (11 p.m.-12:30 p.m., MPT, Channels 22, 67) -- Can this be coincidence? In December, the aforementioned Mr. Gingrich urged Hillary Clinton to see this 1938 melodrama, with Spencer Tracy and Mickey Rooney, before she criticized his suggestion to revive orphanages for welfare children.


* "The Busy World of Richard Scarry" (5:30 p.m.-6 p.m., Showtime) -- Charming kids' stuff! The network begins a new season of 13 episodes featuring the animal characters of the children's book illustrator, from Lowly Worm to Huckle Cat.

* "Dennis Miller Live" (midnight-12:30 a.m., HBO) -- A new season of television's sharpest satirical show premieres with the lucid host welcoming Rep. Pat Schroeder (D-Colo.). Expect both to offer a contrasting view of the GOP Congress than that outlined earlier in the evening by you-know-who.

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