ON AND OFF THE AIR:
* Hmmm. Is actor Warren Beatty floating some trial political balloons?
The star of "Bugsy" muses that he would consider going into public office, "but I certainly wouldn't do so with glee," as part of a show premiering this weekend on basic cable's E! Entertainment Television network.
Oddly enough, however, in the "E! Saturday Special" appearance (at 8 p.m. tomorrow), Beatty is at England's Oxford University, participating in a question-and-answer session with students.
"It's not a nice life now to run for public office," he says, but if someone decided "I would be the most appropriate person to run, I guess I would have to do it."
The political comments comprise only part of a wide-ranging session, whose subjects range from Madonna to Beatty's sister, actress Shirley MacLaine.
"E! Saturday Special" marks the first "long-form" program on the inside-show-biz cable service. Last week's premiere got inside the CBS hit series, "Northern Exposure."
* Usually a premium service on most cable systems, The Disney Channel today begins a four-day free preview weekend on participating carriers.
And one highlight tonight (at 9:30) is "Laurel & Hardy: A Tribute to the Boys," with Dom DeLuise as host of a tribute to the sublime slapstick comedy duo. Also included in the salute by a host of stars, including Johnny Carson and Steve Allen, is director Hal Roach.
And in another program, the sweet series "Avonlea" at 6 p.m. Sunday, Christopher ("Superman") Reeves makes a guest appearance as an unsavory visitor to the peaceful town.
* Hearken back to humorist Garrison Keillor's fictional town in a "Lake Wobegon Spring Weekend" special at 10 tonight on Maryland Public Television.
Lake Wobegon is "where all the women are strong, the men are good-looking and the children are above average." The Everly Brothers and Taj Mahal are among the guests.
* A new radio sports-talk show premieres this weekend on WCBM-AM 680.
The two-hour "Sunday Sports Showdown" features Steve Sharon and Rob Goldman in live two-way conversation with listeners and can be heard at 8 p.m. Sunday.
* The rich roots of much of America's pop music lead back to 1920s Harlem, which is the setting for "Stompin' at the Savoy," the CBS Sunday Movie (9 p.m., Channel 11).
Lynn Whitfield (an Emmy winner for "The Josephine Baker Story" on HBO last year), Vanessa Williams (briefly Miss America) and Jasmine Guy ("A Different World") star in a drama with music loosely based on the lives of a real performing act, composed of Mary Odom Sawyer and her sisters. The screenplay was written by Sawyer's daughter, Beverly M. Sawyer.