Starting today, Channel 11 joins the 5 p.m. news pack


Now it's a three-way news race at 5 o'clock. WBAL today joins WJZ and WMAR in that hour, moving "Donahue" aside (to 3:05 a.m. daily) to expand its previous 30-minute news block. NBC also offers a new sitcom, and the ABC series "My So-Called Life" gets a temporary new life on cable.

* "11 News at Five" (5 p.m.-6 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Donna Hamilton (previously host of WJZ-TV's "Evening Magazine" and recently seen on cable's Discovery/Learning channels) and Virg Jacques (at the station since 1993) anchor the new local news hour, with meteorologist Tom Tasselmyer manning the weather maps.

* "Star Trek: Voyager" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WNUV, Channels 20, 54) -- While exploring a new planet, Voyager responds to the distress calls of an alien warship apparently disabled by an accident caused by Federation technology. Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) fears she may have a traitor aboard. UPN.

* "In the House" (8:30 p.m.-9 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Singer Debbie Allen ("Fame") stars in this new series as a socialite divorcee, who takes up residence with her two children in the home of a former NFL star, played by rapper LL Cool J. (Trivia note: His real name is James Todd Smith.) He's living in a garage apartment while training for a comeback, but they share a kitchen and -- do you doubt it? -- will soon share some interest in each other. (David Zurawik reviews, 1D.) NBC.

* "Thomas Jefferson: A View From the Mountain" (9 p.m.-11 p.m., MPT, Channels 22, 67) -- This new documentary (from Alexandria-based Journey Communications and Central Virginia Public Television) covers in a more scholarly way some of the territory of the new feature film about the man from Monticello ("Jefferson in Paris," with Nick Nolte). But it leaves as unprovable whether Jefferson really had a relationship with slave Sally Hemings.


* "My So-Called Life" (7 p.m.-8 p.m., MTV) -- Spotting an obvious opportunity, the rock network plans to show all 19 original episodes of the teen verite drama series. It debuted last fall to critical acclaim and a fervent following, but ABC has sent it off to Hiatusville. It will air daily at this hour through May 7.

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