A month of great women as WNET sees them

"Great Performances" is celebrating a month of great women. During the month of July, this WNET series is reprising some of its finest programs of recent years which highlighted strong, determined, uncommon women.

From the very first reprise, "Mourning Becomes Electra, Part 1" (PBS, Wednesday, July 2, 8-10:30 p.m.) this Wednesday and Friday (Sunday in New York area) repeat series has selected a wide range of female-oriented shows starring great actresses playing the roles of great women. Most of the programs will be airing on local PBS-affiliated stations. check local listings to make certain of premiere and repeat dates.

Not to be missed, if you did not see it the first time around, is this critic's favorite TV drama of recent years: "Abide With Me" (Wednesday, July 16, 8-9:30 p m.) featuring octogenarian Cathleen Nesbitt in, perhaps, the peak performance of her illustrious career, as a cantankerous widow in her final days who develops a poignant and very special relationship with a teen-age girl servant.

Some local stations, such as WNET/NY, are airing even more women-oriented shows during July and into August. Check local listings as some of these WNET shows will also air nationally.

The "Month of the Women" schedule:

July 2: "Mournings Becomes Electra, Part 1" (8-10:30 p.m.) stars Joan Hackett and Roberta Maxwell in this O'Neill drama.

July 9: "Mourning Becomes Electra, Part 2" (8-10 p.m.).

July II: "The Human Voice" (10-11 p.m.) stars Liv Ullmann in Jean Cocteau's telephone monologue.

July 16: "Abide With Me" (8-9:30 p.m.) with Kathleen Nesbitt.

July 18: "A Month in the Country" (10-11 p.m.) is London's Royal Ballet in Sir Frederick Ashton's adaptation of Turgenev's classic play.

July 23, "Uncommon women and Others" (8-9:30 p.m.) stars Meryl Streep and Swoosie Kurtz in a look at American college women seven years after graduation.

July 25: "Out of Ours Fathers' House" (10-11 p.m.) is based on Eve Merriam's play about growing up female in America.

July 30: "Sarah" (8-9:30 p.m.) stars Zoe Caldwell as "the Divine Sarah" Bernhardt.

August, by the way, has notm been designated "Month of the Man." But, according to feminists, ordinarily everym month is. That's why July is being promoted as something special.

Is it quibbling to wonder why, if it so special, the tribute is made up of reruns?

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