Convention coverage comes to a close


On the Weekend Watch:

CONVENTION CLOSEOUT -- The Democrats gavel down their convention at Madison Square Garden tonight, with acceptance speeches by both nominee Gov. Bill Clinton and vice president candidate Sen. Albert Gore Jr. Combined PBS/NBC coverage begins at 8 (Channel 2 and Maryland Public Television), CBS checks in at 9 p.m., NBC goes solo at 9:30 and ABC joins the action at 10.

A NEW 'PARKER' SLOT -- The Fox series "Parker Lewis" takes up a new night tonight (at 8:30, Channel 45) in a second season premiere, also dropping the original "Parker Lewis Can't Lose" TC title and adding some characters. Included is John Pinette, who was on the short-lived Fox show "Vinnie & Bobby" this spring, as a new supervisor for Parker.

TALKING WITH BURT -- Burt Reynolds ("Evening Shade") makes another outing as a likable talk show host in a CBS special at 8 p.m. Friday. Earlier this spring Reynolds had a "Conversations With . . ." chat with top female stars of country music (Kathy Mattea, Lorrie Morgan, Dolly Parton and Tanya Tucker), and this week he talks to the guys: Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, George Jones and Randy Travis. Naturally, we'll hear them sing, too.

THE SPORTS SCENE -- The Orioles this week welcomed Cal Ripken Jr., Mike Mussina and Brady Anderson back from doing the team proud at the All-Star Game. And the team is back in prime-time action against the Texas Rangers Friday and Saturday (8 and 8:30 p.m. respectively, on Channel 2).

A MUSICAL MOVIE MARQUEE -- A trio of high-spirited screen musicals can be seen in the coming days. At 11 p.m. Friday on Maryland Public Television, Debbie Reynolds stars in the 1964 "The Unsinkable Molly Brown." And two adaptations of big Broadway musicals take center stage on Saturday night on Channel 54. At 8, Robert Preston plays the traveling con man who arouses the musical interest of the citizens of River City in 1962's "The Music Man." And at 11 p.m., Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones star in the 1956 film "Carousel."

THE PAGEANT PARADE -- Alan Thicke ("Growing Pains") presides Saturday night over the "Miss 1992 World America Pageant" on ABC, live from El Paso, Texas (at 8, Channel 13). Despite the sounds-the-same title, this is not the Miss America pageant, but the national preliminary to the Miss World Contest.

THE CABLE CONNECTION -- One of the better made-for-cable movies of recent years gets an outing tonight on the premium Showtime service. In "Flight of Black Angel," William O'Leary plays a fighter pilot who loses his equilibrium, steals his jet and plans to nuke the sinful city of Las Vegas. Flight instructor Peter Strauss takes off to stop him.

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