Baltimore's pride and joy

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Can Opening Day really be less than four months away? Can you almost feel it? Maybe not, but at least you can get caught up with what Cal Ripken Jr.'s been doing, as he interrupts his off-season to visit with Jay Leno. Otherwise, you're best served today by a few choice repeats and a commercial-free showing of one of the greatest movies of all time.

* "Murphy Brown" (9 p.m.-9:30 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- This is a repeat of the very funny episode in which Paul Reubens plays a network executive's nephew who is named a vice president and tries to manipulate Murphy into anchoring a second news hour. Nice to see Reubens back at work; until that unpleasantness in Florida, his Pee-wee Herman character was one of the freshest on television. CBS.

* "Cheers" (11 p.m.-11:30 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- See her before she was a "Friend," as Lisa Kudrow makes an appearance as Woody's leading lady in a production of "Our Town."

* "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" (11:35 p.m.-1:05 a.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- When he won the MVP in 1991, Cal Ripken Jr. celebrated by going on David Letterman's old "Late Night" show. Tonight, the Iron Man is spreading the glory around by appearing with Jay Leno. Betya Jay won't have him fielding grounders in the hallway, as Dave did. NBC.

Cable

* "Adventure in Baltimore" (6 p.m.-7:30 p.m., AMC) -- This turn-of-the-century story, released in 1949, stars Robert Young (later Marcus Welby and the Father who Knew Best). Watch it if you have any civic pride at all.

* "Ebbie" (8 p.m.-10 p.m., Lifetime) -- Susan Lucci, the soap star who has elevated losing an Emmy to an art form, stars as a female Scrooge in this update of "A Christmas Carol." Is it a coincidence "Ebbie" sound so much like "Emmy"? Hmmmm.

* "Lawrence of Arabia" (9 p.m.-12:30 a.m., Disney) -- Only one of the greatest movies ever made, with Peter O'Toole turning in one of the screen's greatest performances. And remember, Disney is on free preview through today, so just about anyone with cable can watch this. Do.

* "Great Yellowstone Fire" (2 a.m.-3 a.m., Discovery) -- A fascinating and beautiful look at the fire that scarred better than one-third of Yellowstone National Park in 1988. The fire's power is hard to fathom. Even seven years later, its effects are still on display throughout the park.

* "Queen of Outer Space" (3 a.m.-4:45 a.m., TNT) -- My friends, this is one horrible movie. Most troubling of all, it suggests Venus may be inhabited by hordes of evil women who look like Zsa Zsa Gabor. Shudder.

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