ON AND OFF THE AIR:
* The new CBS series "Scorch" (at 8 p.m. Fridays, Channel 11) has been justifiably criticized for its similarity to the earlier series "ALF." Just because this show's fire-breathing dragon gets to masquerade in public as a weather puppet, while the furry Alien Life Form kept in hiding, hardly makes a huge distinction.
But the series does offer viewers the return of a favorite series TV performer.
She's Rose Marie, best known for her role as single comedy writer Sally Rogers on "The Dick Van Dyke Show" (1961-66). In "Scorch," she plays an unpleasant landlady.
The actress was also a longtime regular guest on the game show "Hollywood Squares," and some viewers will remember her last season on "Murphy Brown," as the overbearing mother of newsman Frank (Joe Regalbuto).
Did you know Rose Marie actually started her career at the age of 3, singing in a husky voice as "Baby Rose Marie"? At the age of 7, she even had her own show on NBC Radio.
Some lesser-known TV credits include the 1950-63 game show "Pantomime Quiz," the 1960-61 series "My Sister Eileen" and the 1968-73 series "The Doris Day Show." And during that last-named show, she appeared in Baltimore at Painters Mill Music Fair in a song-revival show with Margaret Whiting, Helen O'Connell and Rosemary Clooney.
* Speaking of old-time music, 1950s and '60s singing groups are the attraction of a nice weekend radio show heard locally, "Echoes of the Past," on WTMD-FM 89.7, the Towson State University station.
Ney Nasser is the host, spinning nostalgic platters from his collection of some 9,000 disks, according to co-host Ken Schreiber (with Wayne Jones).
The usual air time is noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Tomorrow's broadcast (at 1 p.m.) is just one hour because of a lacrosse game, and the whole show is being devoted to the sounds of Frankie Lymon and the Teen-agers.
* Hooray! "Super Dave" is back for a fifth season on cable's Showtime. The goofy series about mock stuntman Super Dave Osborne (played by Bob Einstein) can be seen at 11 tonight.
* The IMAX theater at the Maryland Science Center is adding two films to its weekend lineup of big-screen thrills.
Joining the current daily sailing feature "Race the Wind," on Saturdays and Sundays beginning tomorrow, are "Beavers" and "To the Limit." The former is at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and the latter is at 1 and 5 p.m., with "Race the Wind" at noon, 2 and 4 p.m.
One film can be seen as part of the regular Science Center admission of $7.50 adults, $5.50 students 4 to 17, seniors and military. For information, call 685-5225.