On The Weekend Watch:
THE MEMORIES LINGER ON -- Elvis Presley may have died in 1977 (or maybe not, depending on your conspiracy leanings), but this week's nightly Elvis salute on Channel 54 is showing his memory is certainly alive and well. The station says Monday's screening of Presley's 1968 "Comeback Special" generated more than a 50 percent increase in the usual ratings. Still to come are "Aloha From Hawaii," at 8 tonight, an internationally telecast special which may have been seen by a billion people in 1973, and Friday's film, "Fun In Acapulco," from 1963.
WHERE'S MAX? -- On tonight's scheduled installment of "Cheers" (at 9, Channel 2), Sam (Ted Danson) is getting together for the 20th straight year with a Valentine's girlfriend. Guess who? None other than Barbara Feldon, Agent 99/Mrs. Maxwell Smart on the old "Get Smart" series. (That show can usually be seen at 9 p.m. weeknights on the Nick At Nite cable service, but it is being pre-empted this week by special double-features of other old shows.)
OLDIES BUT GOODIES -- And speaking of blasts from the TV past, the weekend offers a couple of rich time machine trips. One was a raucous breakaway from convention, the other was television's last regular gasp of the vaudeville stage. At 8 p.m. Saturday (Channel 11) comes the "All in the Family 20th Anniversary." And at 9 p.m. Sunday (Channel 11), "The Very Best of the Ed Sullivan Show" presents some of the Sunday night moments the show provided for 23 years. We should also mention that on Monday (at 9:30 p.m., Channel 11) CBS completes the trilogy with "Mary Tyler Moore: The 20th Anniversary Show."
THE CABLE CONNECTION -- If pomp and pageantry, romance and intrigue are to your taste -- not to mention scene-chewing acting by some pretty big names and lush on-location photography -- "Young Catherine" fills the bill. A two-part miniseries premiering Sunday (8 p.m.) on the TNT basic service, it is the absorbing story (if fancifully dressed rather than absolutely historical) of how Catherine the Great gained the throne of all the Russias. Julia Ormond is the young Prussian girl chosen as the bride of simple (and later quite mad) Grand Duke Peter. But often more interesting are Vanessa Redgrave (ironically starring with sister Lynn at the same time Sunday in ABC's "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?") as Empress Elizabeth, Christopher Plummer as an English ambassador and Maximilian Schell as a plotting chancellor. (Part 1 repeats at 10 p.m. Sunday; Part 2 can be seen at 8 and 10 p.m. Monday.)
WAR ON THE INNOCENTS -- Put together in extraordinarily timely fashion, Sunday's edition of the PBS series "Nature" (at 8 p.m., channels 22, 67 and 26) studies the environmental impact of the war-related oil spill in the Persian Gulf. Much of the show is re-edited material from a 1984 show about the fragile region, contrasted with recent footage of the half-billion-gallon spill.