On The Weekend Watch:
CARTOON CRUSADE -- How's this for timing? McCall's magazine this week sent TV writers a press release in advance of a January article in which child psychologist Lee Salk cites such programs as "The Simpsons" and "Roseanne" for having a negative influence on children. And in tonight's scheduled episode of "The Simpsons" (at 8, Channel 45), mother Marge takes up a community crusade against violence in TV cartoons.
ANOTHER DREAM? -- In the 1965-70 series "I Dream of Jeannie," Barbara Eden was the genie who sprang from a bottle to serve her astronaut master, played by Larry Hagman. In Friday's scheduled episode of "Dallas" (at 10 p.m., Channel 11), Eden pops up as a South American entrepreneur who might help J.R. (Hagman, of course) in a business deal.
GHOSTS OF CHRISTMAS PAST -- A few yule-oriented specials rise above the cresting flood this weekend. At 10 p.m. Friday on Maryland Public Television (channels 22 and 67), a 1981 cable special getting its first run on PBS features the peerless Red Skelton doing Freddy the Freeloader playing Santa. Vincent Price and Imogene Coca are guests on "Red Skelton's Christmas Dinner," first seen on HBO. NBC's "Saturday Night Live" (at 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Channel 2), features clips from previous "SNL" shows, going all the way back to the matchless mid-'70s editions. And at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, MPT screens the American Ballet Theatre version of "The Nutcracker," with Mikhail Baryshnikov as The Nutcracker and Gelsey Kirkland as Clara, the girl whose Christmas dreams come to life. (MPT repeats the show at 10 a.m. Monday and 7:30 p.m. on Christmas.)
THE SPORTS SCENE -- Mid-Atlantic region skiers may have been thinking snow, but the weather has not cooperated. At least a block of skiing programs on Channel 2 on Saturday offer some vicarious thrills. At 1 p.m., "World Cup Winter Sports Weekend" debuts with a Downhill and Super G event from Val d'Isere, France, and a second edition follows at 2 p.m. with freestyle skiing from Tignes, France. Finally, at 3, the weekly "Ski Magazine" offers tips and travel features from the snowy sport. In a more mainstream sport, an unusual Saturday night NFL football game on ABC offers some local interest. Time was when the 8 p.m. matchup between the Redskins and Colts would have been a parkway rivalry. Now the Skins of Washington are the closest thing Baltimore fans have to a local team, and are favored to thump the traitorous Colts.
THE CABLE CONNECTION -- Tonight's annual "Not Necessarily the Year in Review" on HBO (at 10) features some satirical reviews of the year just past, performed live by the "Not Necessarily the News" crew. And in another annual reprise, MTV's "The Year in Rock 1990" makes its debut at 6 p.m. Saturday.