Baseball (PBS, 9-11 p.m.): Baseball is back, and so is ''Baseball.'' It may seem a bit too soon to re-air Ken Burns's highly publicized 18-1/2-hour series, but the timing is logical. At press time the major leagues -- after an extended player-owner standoff -- were ready to open their season on April 26.

When it first aired last September, ''Baseball'' became the most-watched program in PBS history, beating out Burns's landmark 1990 documentary series, ''The Civil War.'' Originally, much of the media focus was on whether ''Baseball'' stacked up to ''The Civil War,'' but it didn't take viewers and pundits long to realize that the former was absorbing enough to be judged on its own terms.

However it compares to the earlier show, ''Baseball'' possesses enough fascinating detail and insight to justify a second look. The long winding journey through the history of the game serves as a metaphor for American social history and so reaches beyond its immediate topic.

For those who have seen it, a selective second look may be in order -- maybe they missed parts or wish to see certain segments again. This time the viewing will be a little more leisurely: The episodes are airing weekly (except for May 8), instead of nightly, as they did the first time around.


TV's Funniest Families (NBC, 8-9 p.m.): Prime-time viewers have been laughing at families for decades, but you'd hardly recognize some of the families these days. In the 1960s the image was created through shows like ''The Beverly Hillbillies''; today it's vehicles like ''Frasier.'' In between, other prime-time shows featured a range of family types.

This special revisits several of them (from all the networks), from distant examples like ''All in the Family'' to more recent ones like ''The Cosby Show.'' It screens favorite and still-remembered moments. The program also considers how brothers, dads, etc., have been portrayed through the years that led from ''The Brady Bunch'' to ''The Simpsons.''

Please check local listings for these programs.

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