On The Weekend Watch:
IN SESSION AGAIN -- NBC's "L.A. Law" finally returns for a sixth season tonight (at 10, Channel 2). And although she was among the partners who left the troubled law firm at the end of last season, Grace Van Owen (Susan Dey) is back tonight as co-counsel with Tommy (John Spencer), defending an abused woman accused of killing her husband.
THE SPORTS SCENE -- Baseball, baseball, everywhere there's baseball. CBS (Channel 11) has all the action of the American and National League playoff series, including: NL games (Atlanta and Pittsburgh) at 8:30 tonight, 3 p.m. Saturday and 8:30 p.m. Sunday, and American League games (Toronto and Minneapolis) at 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday (if necessary).
THE MOVIE MARQUEE -- Quick now, what did alien Klaatu (Michael Rennie) say to the big silver robot guarding his flying saucer on the Washington Monument grounds? We refer, of course, to the ominously prophetic 1951 film "The Day the Earth Stood Still," airing at midnight tonight on Channel 54. (The answer: Klaatu barada nikto!) In a far more recent classic on the small screen Friday, 1982's "A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy," director/writer/star Woody Allen charmingly tackles Shakespeare's namesake comedy (as well as Bergman's "Smiles of a Summer Night," from which the Broadway show "A Little Night Music" also was drawn). It's at 11 p.m. on Maryland Public Television.
SOME MARILYN MOMENTS -- Also worth noting from movieland, Channel 54 on Sunday is screening a four-film salute to Marilyn Monroe. Beginning at noon, the movies include: "How to Marry a Millionaire" (1953), "Monkey Business!" (1952), "The Seven-Year Itch" (1955) and "The Prince and the Showgirl" (1957).
SMILEY RETURNS -- Any new appearance by John le Carre's deductive spy, George Smiley, is welcome. But in "Murder of Quality," (reviewed elsewhere) a new two-part "Masterpiece Theatre" on MPT Sunday (at 9 p.m.), the intrigue has to do with a decidedly domestic matter, a public school murder. Denholm Elliott stars with Glenda Jackson.
THE CABLE CONNECTION -- A chronicle of outrageous ego or a parable of war? Viewers may find themselves unable to resolve the question after viewing "Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse," a Showtime premiere movie Saturday (at 10 p.m.). Garishly fascinating, it documents one of Hollywood's legendary behind-the-camera stories, the big budget and behind-schedule effort by director Francis Coppola to make "Apocalypse Now," chronicling the Vietnam experience on location in the Philippines. Coppola's wife, Eleanor, shot behind-the-scenes action and intimate moments with Coppola and stars. She also narrates.