Networks offer new summer series


On The Weekend Watch:

SOME SUMMER SERIES -- Hasn't a step been missed somewhere? We have "The Wonder Years," about adolescence and now Stephen King's "The Golden Years." What about "The Middle Years?" Oh well, the limited CBS series which debuted as a two-hour movie Tuesday moves tonight into its regular five-week slot of 10 p.m. Thursdays (Channel 11). Keith Szarabajka stars as a custodian exposed to a chemical which makes him younger. (Big deal. Evidently happened to Dick Clark years ago.) Also premiering this weekend is a new ABC sitcom, "Hi Honey, I'm Home," at 9:30 p.m. Friday (Channel 13). The show is setting a precedent, for it is a co-enterprise with the Nick At Nite basic cable network, where the series will air at 8:30 and 11 p.m. Sundays. The show features a family called the Nielsons (get it?), characters of a 1950s sitcom who are time warped into 1991.

CHOOSING SIDES -- CBS News is launching an interesting new series Friday which sounds like a cross between the old point/counterpoint segments of "60 Minutes" and the raucous guest-baiting of the mercifully defunct "Morton Downey Jr. Show."

In "Whose Side Are You On?" (8:30 p.m., Channel 11), advocates for opposite sides of topical issues argue their case in front of a panel. The first issue up is the question of assisted suicide. Mike Wallace hosts.

HOW SAFE THE SKIES? -- ABC's Friday night magazine show, "20/20," is scheduled to explore an issue of interest to any who fly commercial airlines: the safety of airports and how they handle the hundreds of incoming and outgoing flights a day. It's at 10 p.m. on Channel 13.

THE MOVIE MARQUEE -- How's this for a choice? Independent station Channel 54 has once again begun offering viewers each Friday a chance to choose, by telephone, which of two possible movies will air that night. Film buffs should have no trouble picking "Mildred Pierce" over "A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge," which comprise this week's offerings. But don't be surprised if the horrible horror film is the one that ends up on the air.

(Cable-connected fans of "Mildred Pierce," Joan Crawford's 1945 Oscar-winning film, can still see it at the same time Friday on the TNT service.)

Also of note on the small-screen home movie theater are the original "The Pink Panther," at 8 p.m. Saturday on Channel 54, and "Out of Africa," the big Robert Redford/Meryl Streep hit from 1985, airing on CBS (Channel 11) in two parts at 9 p.m. Sunday and Tuesday .

BE A GOOD SPORT -- Channel 2's Saturday night broadcast of Orioles/Mariners baseball action (at 7:30 p.m.) also features the fifth annual "Hits for the Homeless" fund-raising effort sponsored by the Orioles wives and Action for the Homeless.

Viewers of the game will be urged during breaks to phone in pledges, and a preceding half-hour special, at 6:30 p.m., will explore the need for the funds.

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