Black History observations abound


On The Weekend Watch:

THE FEBRUARY THEME -- The annual Black History Month broadcast observations produce several interesting specials in the coming days. Tonight, for example (at 8, Channel 13), comes "The Story of a People," a two-hour survey of the history of black America hosted by actor Robert ("Benson") Guillaume. At 7 p.m. Saturday on Channel 2, "A Relative Stranger" is this year's winner of WMAR-TV's annual competition for black playwrights. Written by Monalisa DeGross and produced by the station and Arena Players, it's a Chekhovian drama exploring the inability of individuals to escape their pasts. Though on the "talky" side, it manages to transcend a racial-interest theme. Also on Saturday night (at 9), Channel 13 is pre-empting ABC's airing of "Raw Deal" (a tiresome Arnold Schwarzenegger thing) in favor of "Sister, Sister," a well-remembered 1982 TV movie based on a Maya Angelou story and starring Diahann Carroll, Rosalind Cash and Irene Cara. Friday's edition of "Family Matters" (at 8:30 p.m., Channel 13) also deals with a black history subject.

MAX IS BACK! -- Remember "Max Headroom?" The satirical electron-man who flashed across our screens a few seasons back (actually Matt "Doctor, Doctor" Frewer) is the host of a replay of a 1987 Tina Turner concert at 9 tonight on Channel 54.

WORLD'S GREATEST -- What's really great here is wondering which will snare the most masculine viewers: death-defying stunts or diet-defying figures? We're talking about 9 p.m. Friday, when CBS (Channel 11) has the annual "Miss U.S.A. Pageant" opposite the Fox special (Channel 45) "World's Greatest Stunts II." Media Monitor suggests the best stunt of all is actually on the beauty pageant, in the person of host Dick Clark, who still manages to defy the rules of aging.

THE CABLE CONNECTION -- A pair of goodies in the coming days. On Arts & Entertainment beginning tonight (at 9) and continuing at 8 p.m. Friday is the British-produced miniseries "Darlings of the Gods," the story of the troubled but irresistibly romantic marriage between Sir Laurence Olivier and Vivian Leigh. And at 9 p.m. Saturday on Showtime, the new movie "Flight of Black Angel" is a supersonic thriller in which Peter Strauss is an instructor of fighter pilots who must stop a religiously crazed former student in a stolen Mirage III jet from cleansing the world's sins by nuking Las Vegas.

SUNDAY SWEEPS SHOWDOWN -- Tough choices Sunday at 9. On CBS (Channel 11) is Part 1 of a two-part miniseries, "And the Sea Will Tell," yet another a based-on-truth murder mystery (reviewed at left). NBC (Channel 2) screens "Good Morning, Vietnam," the Robin Williams-as-deejay film that's been getting lots of air play on war reports from the Persian Gulf. And ABC (Channel 13) airs "Bull Durham," the charming baseball-and-babes movie with Susan Sarandon and Kevin Costner.

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