ON THE WEEKEND WATCH:
CATCH WHILE YOU CAN -- With the fall network schedules now mostly known (lacking only the CBS lineup), some viewers may or may not want to catch some of the canceled shows before they disappear for good (or into cable reruns). Among the shows are "Father Dowling Mysteries" on ABC tonight (at 8, Channel 13), "D.E.A." on Fox Friday (9 p.m. Channel 45), "American Dreamer" on NBC Saturday (8:30 p.m., Channel 2) and "Top of the Heap" on Fox Sunday (at 9:30 p.m., Channel 45). Of these, the most curious, and easily the most worthwhile if you have not seen it, is "American Dreamer," with Robert Urich as a writer surrounded by some kooky characters, including the intriguing Carol Kane. Stuck last fall in a late Saturday slot, it disappeared quickly until this weekend's temporary return.
SOMETHING IS BACK -- And speaking of canceled shows, do you remember a two-part mini-series in 1988 called "Something Is Out There," which spawned a short-lived series? NBC has cobbled the original four-hour drama, which got some good ratings and had a moderately interesting science-fiction angle, into a three-hour movie special at 8 p.m. Friday (Channel 2). Joe Cortese is an Earth cop who encounters an alien escapee from a prison ship (Maryam D'Abo), and they both hunt a nasty something that has also come to Earth hunting her.
A WAR REMEMBERED -- When it was on the HBO premium cable network a few years back, the award-winning "Dear America: Letters Home From Vietnam" didn't have the added emotional immediacy created by a newer war in the Persian Gulf. Now out on video, the powerful film is also getting an airing at 8 p.m. Friday on Channel 54, with Robert De Niro, Michael J. Fox, Matt Dillon and Robin Williams among the actors who read the letter excerpts.
A WAR SALUTED -- The recent Middle East conflict also gives added impact to the annual "Memorial Day Concert" on PBS, which can be seen at 7:30 p.m. Sunday (channels 22, 26, and 67). A salute to the gulf troops is part of the observance telecast live from the lawn of U.S. Capitol. Actor E.G. Marshal is the host, and the National Symphony Orchestra and the U.S. Army Chorus are conducted by Erich Kunzel.
THE CABLE CONNECTION -- On the Cinemax premium service, performer Bob Dylan's 50th birthday is marked with a re-screening Friday (at 8 p.m.) of "Don't Look Back," a documentary of the singer's 1965 tour of England. And on HBO Saturday (10 p.m.) Damon Wayans (from "In Living Color") has an hourlong stand up gig.
THE SPORTS SCENE -- It has only been since 1986 that the Indianapolis 500 automobile race has been seen live in its entirety on TV. But what a production ABC has made since then! In Sunday's 75th running of the classic (beginning at 11 a.m., Channel 13), the network will have a dozen cameras aboard six top racers' cars for vivid from-the-track scenes.