The Composers' Specials (HBO, 7-8 p.m.): As Georges Bizet labors to finish his opera ''Carmen,'' he is suddenly faced with a much more difficult task: convincing his piano student Michelle that life does not imitate art. This narrative may be fictional, but the program, entitled ''Bizet's Dream,'' seeks to bring the French composer to life for young people and their families. Future programs in this series, from the makers of the Emmy-winning ''Beethoven Lives Upstairs,'' will include ''Bach's Fight for Freedom,'' ''Liszt's Rhapsody,'' and ''Handel's Last Chance.''

Baseball (ESPN, 7:30-10:30 EDT): Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. is scheduled to break Lou Gehrig's record of playing in 2,130 consecutive games tonight, when the Orioles take on the California Angels at Camden Yards in Baltimore. In honor of the Streak, a special baseball will be in play - one with Ripken's name, orange stitches, and a logo commemorating the event (it's the first time a baseball bearing a player's name has been used in a major-league regular-season game). President Clinton is hoping to attend the game and may sit in a row of box seats being built on the field for this historic game. (See Cal Ripken profile, Page One.)

Politics With Chris Matthews (America's Talking, 9-10 p.m.): Whether by phone, fax, or e-mail, viewers can directly question newsmakers and journalists featured on this nightly program that premieres today. The show, airing from Washington, aims to give an inside look at politics and put the national agenda in perspective.


The Breakfast Club (TBS, 8:05-10:05 p.m.): TBS packages a twist around this John Hughes classic about five high schoolers in day-long detention: a recipe for the Breakfast Club Sandwich. It's all part of TBS's new ''Dinner & a Movie'' series, which combines Friday-night double features with recipes inspired by the movies. Comedians Annabelle Gurwitch and Paul Gilmartin host the series, giving step-by-step instructions for the dishes.

Please check local listings for these programs.

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