The Eighth Art is the television medium. Twenty-three critics -- insiders and outsiders -- were commissioned by the Columbia Broadcasting System to evaluate the catholic art as a step toward stimulating the country's better minds to get to thinking about the various aspects of the television picture. In line with the attitude embodied by the network, Marya Mannes berates the apathy, the ignorance, and the snobbery of the American intellectual about the best and the worst of the eighth art's offerings. Frances Landes Spain and Margaret C. Scoggin evaluate the effects of the medium on the reading habits of children. Moses Hadas asks for an intelligent climate of criticism and Lawrence Laurent outlines the ideal catholicity of the intelligent critic. Very distinguished representatives of other media -- the theatre's Tyrone Guthrie, George Balanchine of ballet, and Brian O'Doherty ""art on Television"" -- explore vehicular possibilities. ""Television in Courts & Legislatures"", by Richard H. Rovere, is an excellent analysis of the only legitimate criteria one can use to evaluate the proper place of the television camera and Ted Szule's description of Fidel Castro's ""One-Man Show"" replete with Orwellian overtone is a splendid bit of fresh reportage. Would that critical tension were sufficient!