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WORTH NOTING ON TV

By Alan Bunce / January 18, 1994



* TUESDAY

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Edith Ann - a Few Pieces of the Puzzle (ABC, 8-8:30 p.m.): More than 20 years ago, Lily Tomlin, one of the comic geniuses of our time, created the precocious little girl who is the title character of this special. So many people now love Edith that not only has she been made the star of an animated program, but the show is also preempting ``Phenom,'' a sitcom that tied for a notable 20th in last week's Neilsen's ratings. This time Tomlin is doing only the voiceover, but Edith will be recognizable to any fan who tunes in. * WEDNESDAY

Canadian House of Commons (C-Span, 2-3 p.m., EST): Live coverage of the first question period of the new session of Parliament.

The American Experience: Ishi, the Last Yahi Indian (PBS, 9-10 p.m.): When a native American - later named ``Ishi'' - left his home in the foothills of Mt. Lassen in northern California, he was indeed the last of his tribe. It was 1911, and along with other Indian populations, the tribe's numbers had been decimated by war with white people and through disease. Nearly all remaining Indians had by then been assimilated or lived on reservations, but for more than 40 years Ishi had lived the old way with a small group of tribal survivors.

When he arrived at Oroville, Calif., the media pounced on him. Inevitably he was called ``the last wild Indian,'' a ``Stone-age man,'' and other Barnum-like names. He was put on display, used as a photo subject, and became a living exhibit at San Francisco's Museum of Anthropology, where people could watch him making arrowheads and building Yahi shelters.

This documentary follows two filmmakers who retrace a trip to Ishi's homeland that was made in 1914 by Ishi and Alfred Kroeber, an anthropologist who befriended Ishi and studied his tribe's ways. The production includes a recording of Ishi's voice and an interview with an 89-year-old Indian who as a boy remembers meeting Ishi.

Please check local listings for these programs.