Let the ratings games begin!

Welcome to sweeps month, as the networks roll out their big guns . . . and probably more than a few duds. Sit back and endure.

* "Carnie" (10 a.m.-11 a.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Today's topic: fathering Madonna's child. Why would anyone watch this stuff? ABC.


* "Friends" (8 p.m.-8:30 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Remember the 1980s? The friends do; it's when they grew up. Tonight, Monica (Courteney Cox) drags out the prom videos, with predictably horrific results. NBC.

* "Patriot Games" (9 p.m.-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Maryland's favorite-son author, Tom Clancy, plops ex-CIA agent Jack Ryan into London, where he and his family become the targets of Irish terrorists. As always, the ever-stolid Harrison Ford plays Ryan. If you like Ford or Clancy or movies about spies and terrorists, you should have a fine old time. ABC.


* "Caroline In the City" (9:30-10 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- In a

show originally scheduled to air last month, "Dick Van Dyke Show" alums Morey Amsterdam and Rose Marie show up as the previous owners of Caroline's antique desk. I doubt this will be as funny as the best of the old "DVD" shows, but it could be fun. NBC.


* "Streets of San Francisco" (9 p.m.-10 p.m., Nostalgia) -- A decidedly pre-superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger appears as a body builder with a violent temper who doesn't like being teased. Man, who would be insane enough to tease Arnold Schwarzenegger?

* "The Misfits" (9 p.m.-11:15 p.m., TCM) -- Written by Arthur Miller, who at the time was Mr. Marilyn Monroe, this 1961 film proved the last for both Clark Gable and Marilyn, and one of the last for Montgomery Clift. It's an interesting, if sometimes overwrought, tale about men out hunting down wild horses near Las Vegas. Of course, neither the men nor the horses really have a place anymore, and they're not taking their fates gracefully. On the Turner Classic Movie channel.