Baseball season opens with hardball peppering the schedules of a number of channels for the summer. A guide to who's playing on what stations and networks this season begins on page 6. Meanwhile, a number of networks offer glimpses of series hoping for permanent slots on the schedule, including the WB's Black Sash. James Woods has the title role in The Rudy Giuliani Story on USA cable. And PBS's American Masters looks at the many sides of singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell.


More Games, New Channels

The 2003 Major League Baseball schedule offers an assortment of teams and games similar to last year's but with a modified and expanded roster of television outlets to carry them.

Baltimore Orioles games that used to be carried on the WB affiliate, WBDC/50, will be televised this season on the Pax station, WPXW/66.

ESPN's Sunday night games also will be carried on the cable network's Spanish-

language ESPN Desportes channel.

And Major League Baseball will make about 1,000 games available this season over the Internet by way of video webcasts.

The TV baseball schedule starts on page 6.


Sunday at 9 on the WB

The WB network offers a short-run spring series featuring martial-arts star Russell Wong as an instructor with a past. He plays Tom Chang, a former policeman who is rebuilding his life while serving as mentor to a group of young people he is schooling in the martial arts.

Master Li (Mako) fosters the former cop's work as a teacher and is mentor to Wong's character, who has been falsely imprisoned on a narcotics charge. Playing the roles of the students are Missy Peregrym, Corey Sevier, Ray J and Sarah Carter.

Executive producers on the project include Mike Tollin, Brian Robbins and Joe Davola from "Smallville." Also on board is Carlton Cuse, who worked on "Martial Law," "Nash Bridges" and "The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr."


Sunday at 9:30 on Fox

This new sitcom revolves around an average American family dealing with life's little problems--except when you're a Pitt, there's no such thing as a little problem. Dylan Baker stars as a good-natured, overly optimistic guy who just thinks his family has a little extra bad luck.

On hand to help him through the usually dark times is Kellie Waymire as his wife, who works with her hubby at the Mailboxes & More, Plus store. Also on hand are David Henrie and Lizzy Caplan as their kids.


"Daniel Deronda"

Monday at 9 on MPT

George Eliot's last, most ambitious novel charts a love story set in Victorian high society and takes a surprising turn into the hidden world of English Jews. Hugh Dancy stars as Daniel Deronda, and Romola Garai is his soul mate Gwendolen Harleth.

Though entranced with Daniel, Gwendolen is forced into an oppressive marriage to Henleigh Grandcourt (Hugh Bonneville), while Daniel finds a new life through his friendship with singer Mirah Lapidoth (Jodhi May). The screenplay is by period drama specialist Andrew Davies ("Middlemarch," "Moll Flanders," "Wives and Daughters," "The Way We Live Now").


Tuesday at 8 on ABC

ABC retools "Home Improvement," one of its long-running sitcom hits of the 1990s into a one-hour reunion show, of sorts. Tim Allen as Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor, Richard Karn as "Tool Time" sidekick Al Borland and Debbe Dunning as Heidi, the "Tool Time" girl, are on hand for this comic guide to home improvement.


Tuesday at 9:30 on ABC

This mid-season series introduces Mitch Rouse as an ad agency superstar with a fancy title and ambition to spare. He's a great provider, and is proud of the restored farmhouse where his stay-at-home wife, played by Connie Britton, and their three kids live in a beautiful country setting. But somewhere on the road to fame and fortune, and the endless workdays it took to get him there, Rouse's character lost touch with his family. He gets a wake-up call when his wife, who has practically raised their children by herself, announces that she's seen a lawyer and is prepared to leave him unless he reconnects with his family.

Gregory Hines, Stark Sands, Leah Pipes, Gavin Fink and Aaron Hill also are in the cast.