On The Weekend Watch:
A FREEDOM FESTIVAL -- This week's holiday of Hanukkah celebrates the restoration of Jewish observance by a band of rebels in 165 B.C. Thus "Hanukkah -- A Celebration of Freedom" at 7:30 tonight on Maryland Public Television (Channels 22 and 67) follows folk singer Robyn Helzner on a concert tour in the Soviet Union, where Jewish observance was long repressed.
YULE TIDINGS -- With 11 viewing days to go, more and more favorite Christmas specials are to be found. Among them is the 26th airing of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," with Burl Ives narrating and singing, at 8 p.m. Friday on Channel 11. On ABC Friday comes a newer observance, a yule special featuring both cartoon version and real-life appearances of "The New Kids on the Block" (at 9, Channel 13). And "Christmas in Bermuda" at 10 p.m. Saturday on Channel 2 is the annual holiday special of Bob Hope, with guest stars Dixie Carter, Loni Anderson and Joan Van Ark.
BAYOU BOWL BOUND -- The University of Maryland football Terrapins put together a 6-5 record this fall, which was just enough to get them a minor bowl bid. And "The Independence Bowl," with the Terps meeting the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, is airing at 8 p.m. Saturday on Channel 45 from Shreveport, La.
SUCCESS THROUGH LEARNING -- Channel 11 anchor Rod Daniels hosts a locally produced special, "Stories of Success," at 8 p.m. Saturday, which profiles five local people who attribute success to education.
THE MOVIE MARQUEE -- Notable films popping up on the small screen include what is generally held the best adaptation of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," the 1951 British-produced "Scrooge," with Alastair Sim as the dour Ebeneezer. Newly colorized, the film airs at 8 p.m. Saturday on Channel 13. Also Saturday on CBS (at 9, Channel 11) comes a rebroadcast of "Foxfire," a splendid 1987 "Hall of Fame" production which earned star Jessica Tandy an Emmy. John Denver and Hume Cronyn (Tandy's husband, of course) are also in the story of a stubborn widow who doesn't want to sell her mountain home to developers. Finally, premiering on cable is "My Left Foot" (at 9 p.m. Sunday on Cinemax), the 1989 film about handicapped artist/author Christy Brown which earned an Oscar for actor Daniel Day-Lewis.
SHOOBIE DOOBIE DO -- He's 75 years old (as of yesterday), and he's been a national celebrity for close to 60 years. He's crooner Frank Sinatra, and a CBS special Sunday (at 9 p.m., Channel 11), "Sinatra 75: The Best is Yet to Come," celebrates the best of both the star's musical and movie moments. A variety of stars from Ella Fitzgerald to Tom Selleck are featured, and Sinatra talks about his career in taped interview sequences.
THE CABLE CONNECTION -- "Saturday Night Live's" resident comic "newsman," Dennis Miller, offers a caustic stand up session Saturday on the "HBO Comedy Hour" (at 10 p.m.).