On The Weekend Watch:
THE TURNER TOUCH -- You've seen him this week sitting with Jane Fonda at the World Series, following his Atlanta Braves. Now cable mogul Ted Turner sits down for an interview on Friday's scheduled edition of "Talking With David Frost" (at 9 p.m., Maryland Public Television). Do you think he will talk about the tomahawk chop issue? Unknown. But he will apparently review the visionary success he has had with Cable News Network, for which he was roundly ridiculed upon its founding a decade ago.
THE MOVIE MARQUEE -- Local angles highlight a pair of cable movie screenings in the coming days. First, at 9 tonight on USA, one-time University of Maryland Baltimore County student Kathleen Turner stars (with William Hurt) in the sultry "Body Heat." And at 9 p.m. Saturday on the premium Disney Channel, Brooklandville native Bess Armstrong co-stars (with Tom Selleck) in "High Road to China."
THE CABLE CONNECTION -- Speaking of local folks, Baltimore film directors Barry Levinson and John Waters are among the subjects of "Direct From Hollywood," a news special about Hollywood's hottest directors which is premiering at 5 p.m. Sunday on VH-1, the music video network for those who have outgrown MTV.
THE SITCOM CONNECTION -- One of television's enduring conventions is that a hit series will lead to a starring role in a made-for-TV movie on the same network. One reinforces the other, you see. That is why on Sunday we have "Stranger in the Family" on ABC, in which Neil Patrick Harris ("Doogie Howser, M.D." ) stars as a teen with brain damage suffered in an auto accident. Curiously, in a cross-network twist, Teri Garr of NBC's new show "Good & Evil" is also in the cast as his mom.
FROM THE SEA -- What is the fascination of sharks? ABC's occasional Sunday science series, "World of Discovery," returns this week (at 7, Channel 13) with "Shark Chronicles," a study of an underwater photographer who has spent 30 years stalking the silent swimmers.
GOING, GOING. . . -- Sunday also offers your last chance to catch up to a pair of new NBC fall series. Both "Man of the People" and "Pacific Station" (at 8 and 8:30 p.m., Channel 2), which brought back TV favorites James Garner and Robert Guillaume, respectively, are headed for dreaded "hiatus" after this week, thanks to low ratings. (The network says they will return in new time periods.)
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT -- A TV axiom: If a plot works once, it will work again and again. Remember an old episode of "Cheers" when Dr. Crane and Lilith (Kelsey Grammer and Bebe Neuwirth) took one of Carla's (Rhea Perlman) kids to dinner as a dry run for parenting? In tonight's new installment, Sam and Diane (Ted Danson and Kirstie Alley) repeat the test to see if they will be fit parents -- if and when they procreate.