On The Weekend Watch:
INTRODUCING . . . -- Ringing in the new year are some new shows in the wake of a generally lackluster fall season for the networks. At 8:30 tonight in the coveted after-"Cosby" slot on NBC (Channel 2), we get a sneak preview of the series "Blossom" before it moves to a regular Mondays at 8:30 time slot next week. In this alternative-family comedy, Mayim Bialak is the teen daughter of divorced Ted Wass (who was the dim deputy sheriff on "Soap" some years ago). And to further capitalize on the lead-in show, "Cosby's" Phylicia Rashad gets a cameo on tonight's debut episode. Premiering Friday on CBS (at 10 p.m. Channel 11) is "Sons & Daughters," another unconventional-family show. Lucie Arnaz is the single mom of a complicated four-generation brood in this dramatic show, which originally was on the network's fall schedule.
COME AGAIN? -- While not new, some other shows are coming back in this brand new year in somewhat new form. Lee Horsley's ex-gunslinger marks a third season debut in "Guns of Paradise" at 8 p.m. Friday on CBS (Channel 11), which is really just the re-named "Paradise." In the new version, Horsley's character has a chance of become a lawman. Also Friday on CBS, "Dallas" moves back to the 9 p.m. slot to make room for the aforementioned "Sons & Daughters." And on Sunday night on NBC (Channel 2), two public-affairs shows we have seen in different guises take new identities. At 8, "Real Life With Jane Pauley" takes on a weekly half-hour shape rather than the 60-minute specials seen earlier. And Tom Brokaw's "Expose," an occasional series of specials in the past, follows at 8:30 in similar weekly half-hour form.
YO, IT'S DONNIE? -- Hey, if Leonard Bernstein can transpose "Romeo & Juliet" into the rumble musical "West Side Story," why can't Mozart's "Don Giovanni" take up residence in the South Bronx? It can and it has in Friday's edition of the PBS series "Great Performances" (at 9 p.m. channels 22 and 67). Director Peter Sellars has imposed the Italian text and score against a modern mean-streets backdrops, with Craig Smith and the Vienna Symphonic Orchestra.
TELETHONS RINGING -- Some viewers will have seen it last weekend, via Washington's Channel 20 or on the BET cable network, but Channel 11 on Saturday is carrying 5 1/2 hours of the annual "Lou Rawls Parade of Stars Telethon" for the United Negro College Fund, beginning at 6:30 p.m. And at 3 p.m. Sunday, Channel 45 has three hours of the "Day to Care for the Children Telethon," raising funds for kids around the world, with hosts Stephanie Edwards and Clifton Davis.
A MOVIE MASTERPIECE -- Dashiell Hammett invented an eternal stereotype in his novel and John Huston and Humphrey Bogart brought it to life on the screen. It was terse detective Sam Spade in "The Maltese Falcon," the 1941 classic which is getting a screening at 10 p.m. Friday on Maryland Public Television (channels 22 and 67).