The Muppet man on MPT

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Unless you just don't like puppets, period, it's hard to understand how you could not appreciate the artistry of Jim Henson. Whether on "Sesame Street" or the big screen, few acts have won more friends -- or more accolades -- than the Muppets. So get out your Kermit puppet, watch PBS tonight and enjoy.

* "Married With Children" (6:30 p.m.-7 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- Remember Jessica Hahn? Jim Bakker no doubt wishes you wouldn't. See the woman who helped bring down Jim and Tammy Faye's empire, and try to figure just what Jim was thinking.

* "BSO: Beyond Baltimore" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Travel to Asia with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in this look back at its 1994 tour.

* "Great Performances" (9 p.m.-10:30 p.m., MPT, Channels 22, 67) -- Along with Walt Disney, Jim Henson was probably among the most imaginative and most successful children's entertainer of this century. But he was also much more, as "The World of Jim Henson" shows. Watch from his beginnings in Washington (folks around here may remember his Wilkins Coffee ads from the 1950s, featuring Wilkins and Won't-kins). His was a vast talent, one that is sorely missed. PBS.

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* "Stand Up and Cheer" and "Curly Top" (3 p.m.-4:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.-6 p.m., Family) -- Sure, you've heard all about Shirley Temple, but have you actually ever seen one of her movies? So give 'em a look already -- these two, from 1934 and 1935, respectively, are two of her best.

* "Year In Rock" (6 p.m.-7:30 p.m., MTV) -- See what happened in rock and roll outside of the Beatles' "comeback." Find out there's more to recent rock than Michael Jackson, Madonna and Nirvana. Be careful; you may even find some music you enjoy.

* "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (8:05 p.m.-8:35 p.m., TBS) -- You say you missed Mr. Grinch when he was on TNT Wednesday? You have one more chance. No excuses this time.

* "Investigative Reports" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., A&E;) -- A haunting look at the search for the reviled Auschwitz Doctor of Death, "The Mystery of Josef Mengele" should keep you riveted. A few more pictures of Mengele would help put a face on this monster and add even more power to the story, but the footage -- particularly the scenes of Auschwitz that open the show, and of the autopsy that closed the mystery more than 40 years later -- will stay with you.

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