On The Weekend Watch:
THE HOLIDAY BLUES -- Is anybody else upset every year at the onrush of old episodes of series? They are especially exasperating in shows with continuing story lines. A case in point is "L.A. Law," whose episodes this season have included the sub-plot of the breakup of Stuart and Ann's marriage (Michael Tucker and Jill Eikenberry). Again tonight (at 10, Channel 2) for the second week running, look for the two to be incongruously back together, for the show is from last season.
A SLEUTHING SERIES -- In the midst of the repeats, CBS on Friday slips in a new show described as an "occasional series," another based-on-truth mystery show. "True Detective" airs at 8 p.m., and the premise involves cases of real-life detectives, both professional and amateur, such as a Burbank, Calif., pharmacist who helped expose a drug operation.
WORTHY OF HONOR -- Television is full of awards shows, but one of the most prestigious is the "Kennedy Center Honors" program airing at 9 p.m. Friday on CBS (Channel 11). Taped earlier this month in Washington, the 13th annual show pays tribute to jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, actress Katharine Hepburn, opera singer Rise Stevens, Broadway composer Jule Styne and movie director Billy Wilder. Walter Cronkite is the host.
THE SPORTS SCENE -- Our bowls runneth over! Building toward the traditional New Year's Day football bowl game blowout, a few games get going in the next few days. At 7 p.m. Friday, Channel 45 presents "Race for No. 1," an hour-long preview of the bowl season with Al Trautwig, and follows live at 8 o'clock with the first Blockbuster Bowl, featuring Penn State and Florida State. On Saturday, ABC (Channel 13) has the Peach Bowl at noon, with Auburn and Indiana. And at 8 p.m., Channel 45 has the Anaheim Freedom Bowl, with Colorado State and Oregon.
THE MOVIE MARQUEE -- A satisfying sequel, a remake and the first of a series are among the classic films coming to the small screen soon. At 8 p.m. tonight, CBS (Channel 11) is airing "Aliens," the 1986 sequel to the 1979 "Alien." Sigourney Weaver is back, this time up against a mean mama alien and her whole brood. At 8 p.m. Saturday on Channel 54 is the 1956 "High Society," with Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly, the almost-as-good remake of 1940's "The Philadelphia Story" (with Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant). And at 10 Saturday, also on 54, Hepburn stars again in "Woman of the Year" from 1942, which was the first of the sublime movies which paired her with Spencer Tracy.
A NEW MASTERPIECE? -- A new adaptation of another work by Evelyn ("Brideshead Revisited") Waugh premieres on PBS' "Masterpiece Theatre" on Sunday. Michael Maloney stars in "Scoop" (at 9 p.m., channels 22 and 67), as a quiet newspaper writer turned African correspondent.