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A Wonderful Lineup of Holiday Treats

December 21, 1996|LEE HARRIS and SUSAN KING

New and classic Christmas movies and specials highlight this weekend's TV viewing.

Kelsey Grammer hosts NBC's presentation of everyone's favorite Christmas flick, "It's a Wonderful Life," tonight at 8 on Channel 4. James Stewart and Donna Reed star in Frank Capra's 1946 yuletide classic.

CBS repeats its acclaimed 1971 movie "The Homecoming: A Christmas Story," today at 3 p.m. on Channel 2. The film, which became the basis for "The Waltons," stars Richard Thomas and Patricia Neal.

Tony Award winner Betty Buckley guests on a special one-hour Christmas episode of AMC's original series "Remember WENN," tonight at 6:05 and 9:15. Buckley plays the radio station's chief stockholder, who decides to pull the plug on all holiday acknowledgments.

Ekaterina Gordeeva, Katarina Witt, Paul Wylie, Brian Orser and Yuka Sato skate to holiday songs and traditional hymns on "Holiday Festival on Ice," tonight at 8 on KCOP-TV Channel 13.

Sally Field co-wrote and directed ABC's "The Christmas Tree," airing Sunday at 9 p.m. on Channel 7. Julie Harris and Andrew McCarthy star.

Public Affairs: TODAY: "Saturday Journal," 5 a.m. C-SPAN. . . .

"Today" looks at year-end tax suggestions; last-minute gift ideas; immunizations; 5 a.m. (4). . . .

Secretary of Defense William Perry talks about the Peru hostage crisis and the situation in Bosnia on "Evans & Novak," 2:30 p.m.; repeats Sunday 7 a.m. CNN. . . .

Author Tom Clancy and the CIA spy case are the focus of "John McLaughlin's One on One," 2:30 p.m. (28). . . .

"Tony Brown's Journal" reports on Michigan's welfare reform, 3:30 p.m. (28). . . .

Topics on "Capital Gang Saturday," with guest Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), include House Speaker Newt Gringich's ethics issues, President Clinton's legal defense fund and Cabinet choices, 4 and 10:30 p.m. CNN. . . .

"Inside Politics Weekend" reports on religion and politics with guest Ralph Reed, head of the Christian Coalition, 4:30 p.m. . . .

Andy Griffith visits "Larry King Weekend," 6 and 11 p.m. CNN.

The 1996 McLaughlin awards are bestowed on "The McLaughlin Group," 6:30 p.m. (4).

SUNDAY: "Sunday Today" looks at Christmas celebration in Kennebunkport, Me.; critically ill children visit Santa's Hideaway in Cleveland, 6 a.m. (4)(36). . . .

"Pacesetters" takes a special look at Christmas and the holiday season with young people from Community Baptist Church in Torrance, 6 a.m. (5). . . .

Former Education Secretary William Bennett, former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, Jesse Jackson and Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) discuss the nation's values and Christmas on "Meet the Press," 7 a.m. (4)(36). . . .

"CBS News Sunday Morning" serves up a Christmas gumbo recipe; Bill Geist decorates his home for the holidays; and Charles Osgood narrates the story of Christmas, with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, 7:30 a.m. (2). . . .

"Fox News Sunday" arrives at 8 a.m. (11). . . .

White House special counsel Lanny Davis and Sens. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) field questions on "Face the Nation," 9 a.m. (2). . . .

MTA board president Larry Zarian, State Sen. Tom Hayden (D-Los Angeles) and L.A. Daily News reporter David Bloom discuss MTA squabbles on "Bob Navarro's Journal," 9:30 a.m. (2). . . .

"This Week" looks at ethical issues surrounding House Speaker Newt Gingich and President Clinton; the guests are Michael Cardozo, executive director of the Clinton legal defense fund, Rep. David E. Bonior (D-Mich.), and Rep. John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), 10 a.m. (7), 11:30 a.m. (3)(42). . . .

"Life & Times" reports on the controversy over Southern California's use of water from Owens Lake and the Colorado River, 10:30 a.m. (28). . . .

Welfare reform is the topic of "Both Sides With Jesse Jackson," 2:30 p.m. CNN. . . .

"Reliable Sources" reports on a libel suit that ABC lost; the TV ratings system; and the Elmo craze, 3:30 p.m. CNN. . . .

The crime rate drop in New York City is one of the topics on "Capital Gang Sunday," 4 p.m.; repeats 1:30 a.m. CNN. . . .

"Crossfire Sunday" discusses civility in America, 4:30 p.m. CNN. . . .

"60 Minutes" looks at the investigation into the TWA Flight 800 tragedy; the cost of corporate mergers and downsizing; industrial hog farming, 7 p.m. (2).

Specials and Movies: Jack Perkins narrates A&E's two-hour documentary exploring the mystery and wonder of "Cats," Sunday at 5 and 9 p.m. . . . Lyle Lovett performs his songs and talks about their origins on VH1's "Storytellers," Sunday at 10 p.m. . . . Jill St. John narrates Lifetime's "Intimate Portrait" of "Eva Peron," Sunday at 10 p.m.

Sports: College Basketball: UCLA at Illinois, today, 10:30 a.m. (2). . . . Pro Basketball: Clippers at Warriors, Sunday, 5 p.m. FSW. . . . Pro Football: Vikings at Packers, Sunday, 10 a.m. (11); Chiefs at Bills, Sunday, 10 a.m. (4)(36); Cowboys at Redskins, Sunday, 1 p.m. (11); Broncos at Chargers, Sunday, 5 p.m. ESPN.

For a complete list of sports events on TV, see the Sports Section.

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