* This afternoon on WJLA, the Redskins host their first playoff game in eight years.

* Tonight, the debut of "Winning Lines" on WUSA.

* "The Thin Red Line" on HBO.

* And "The Fifth Element" on WJLA.

* Tomorrow afternoon, football playoffs on WTTG and WUSA.

* The debut of "Twenty-One" and "The David Cassidy Story" on WRC.

* "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" returns on WJLA.

* The debut of "Malcolm in the Middle" on WTTG.

* Brian Dennehy stars in "Death of a Salesman" on Showtime.

* "The People's Choice Awards" on WUSA.

* And "The Virginian" on TNT.

SATURDAY

Presidential Debate

Vice President Gore and Bill Bradley participate in a one-hour debate in Des Moines (C-SPAN, CNN, Fox News Channel and Channel 26 at 2 p.m.).

Sports

College Basketball. Seton Hall at Georgetown (HTS at noon).

NFL Football Playoffs. Buffalo at Tennessee (Channel 7, 12:30 p.m.); Detroit at Washington (Channel 7 at 4).

NHL Hockey. Atlanta at Washington (HTS at 7).

NBA Basketball. Washington at Milwaukee (Channel 50 at 9).

Teen Shows

It's Academic. George Marshall and Osbourn high schools and the Landon School compete (Channel 4 at 10 a.m.).

Public Affairs

To the Contrary With Bonnie Erbe. Topics include the Supreme Court taking up the issue of what constitutes a family; with Rep. Connie Morella (R-Md.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) (Channel 26 at noon; repeats tomorrow on Channel 32, 5:30 p.m.).

Evans, Novak, Hunt & Shields (CC). Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack (D) discusses the presidential campaign (CNN, 5:30 p.m.).

Think Tank With Ben Wattenberg visits the National Zoo's think tank to study the cognitive abilities of animals (Channel 26, 6:30 p.m.).

Reliable Sources. Gail Collins of the New York Times, Tim Noah of Slate.com and Matt Cooper of Time magazine analyze the media's Y2K coverage (CNN, 6:30 p.m.; repeated tomorrow, 11:30 a.m).

Inside Washington With Gordon Peterson. Topics include the week's presidential debates and the Clintons' move to New York (Channel 9 at 7 p.m.).

The Capital Gang (CC) welcomes Democratic pollster Geoff Garin (CNN at 7 p.m.).

The McLaughlin Group. Russia's new president, Vladimir Putin, is the subject (Channel 4, 7:30 p.m.; repeats tomorrow, 11:30 a.m.).

This Is America With Dennis Wholey. Campaign finance reform and the Russia situation are among the topics for radio talk show hosts Diane Rehm and Armstrong Williams and others (Channel 32, 7:30 p.m.; repeats tomorrow, 7:30 p.m.).

The Beltway Boys welcome former ABC "This Week" talking head Bill Kristol along with Democratic media consultant Frank Greer (FNC at 9 p.m.).

Public Broadcasting

Rosebud Showcase. The local independent films nominated by the Rosebud Film Festival this year: "The Pitch," filmed in Bethesda, and "Puberty: Benji's Special Time" filmed by Richmond native Luke Fannin. Three hours (Channel 26 at 11 p.m.).

Game Show

Winning Lines (CC). Dick Clark hosts the latest entry in the network game show explosion, challenging contestants with questions that have numerical answers. 30 minutes (Channel 9 at 8).

Cable Specials

Uncomfortably Close With Michael McKean. The comedic actor interviews Jonathan Winters about his career in show biz. 30 minutes (Comedy Central, 9:30).

The James Bond Story. From "Dr. No" to "The World Is Not Enough," a profile of the beloved British spy through archival clips and interviews with several "Bond women." One hour (American Movie Classics at 10).

Prime-Time Movies

The Fifth Element (1997). Bruce Willis plays a futuristic cab driver whose fare happens to be the savior of civilization as we know it. Three hours (Channel 7 at 8).

The Thin Red Line (1998) (CC). The Oscar-nominated Terrence Malick film about GIs battling the Japanese on Guadalcanal. Three hours (HBO at 8).

Series

The Pretender (CC) pretends to be an FBI hostage negotiator when an ex-con takes prisoners at a Chicago hospital (Channel 4 at 8).

Profiler (CC). Elderly transients are being murdered at an alarming rate (Channel 4 at 9).

Martial Law (CC). A city councilman wants to start a mob war in his own district for financial reasons (Channel 9 at 9).

Walker, Texas Ranger (CC) does his karate "thang" to stop a gang of thugs selling illegal guns (Channel 9 at 10).

Late Night

Saturday Night Live (CC). With Jamie Foxx and Blink-182 (Channel 4, 11:30).

SUNDAY

Sports

NFL Football Playoffs. Dallas at Minnesota (Channel 5, 12:30 p.m.); Miami at Seattle (Channel 9 at 4).

College Basketball. Duke at Maryland (Channel 9 at 1); George Washington at Virginia Tech (women) (HTS at 4 p.m.).

Magazine

Sunday Morning (CC) reports on a Supreme Court ruling on the legal rights of grandparents, and profiles silent film star Mary Pickford (Channel 9 at 9 a.m.).

Public Affairs

Fox News Sunday (CC) interviews Democratic presidential candidate Bill Bradley and talks to David Yepsen of the Des Moines Register about Campaign 2000 (Channel 5 at 9 a.m.).

Meet the Press (CC). Guests are Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), Reps. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Bob Shrum from the Al Gore campaign (Channel 4, 10:30 a.m.).

This Week With Sam Donaldson & Cokie Roberts (CC). With former presidential candidates Bob and Elizabeth Dole; retired Air Force general Merrill McPeak and retired National Guard colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer debate gays in the military; and Democratic pollster Jefrey Pollock discusses political focus groups (Channel 7, 10:30 a.m.).

Face the Nation (CC). Presidential candidate John McCain and Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura discuss campaign 2000 (Channel 9, 10:30 a.m.).

Lead Story. Kweisi Mfume discusses the NAACP's agreement with NBC on minority representation (BET, 10:30 a.m. and 9 p.m.).

Capital Sunday With Kathleen Matthews and Derek McGinty. Frank Fahrenkopf and Paul Kirk of the Commission on Presidential Debates talk about their choice of debate sites (Channel 7, 11:30 a.m.).

John McLaughlin's One on One. Robert George of Princeton University and E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post talk about the Christian element in Campaign 2000 (Channel 4 at noon).

Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer (CC). Sens. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) debate Gore vs. Bradley; former New York mayor Ed Koch and former congresswoman Susan Molinari analyze Hillary Clinton's Senate run; and U.N. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke talks about the situation in Russia and the Middle East (CNN at noon).

Religion & Ethics Newsweekly. The Rev. Joan Brown Campbell discusses the decision to return a boy to Cuba (Channel 26, 12:30 p.m.).

Both Sides With Jesse Jackson. Gayle McDougal of the International Human Rights Law Group and Todd Gaziano of the Heritage Foundation debate the U.S. prison population explosion (CNN, 5:30 p.m.).

Road to the White House. Karenna Gore campaigns in Iowa and Donald Trump attends a fund-raiser for Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura (C-SPAN, 6:30 and 9:30 p.m.).

Booknotes. Thomas Keneally discusses "The Great Shame & the Triumph of the Irish in the English-Speaking World" (C-SPAN at 8 and 11 p.m.).

America's Black Forum interviews Bill Bradley (Channel 9 at 2 a.m.).

Game Shows

Twenty-One (CC). Maury Povich hosts the series, which returns after a notable dismissal 40 years ago. One hour (Channel 4 at 8).

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (CC). Regis returns for an eight-night run before settling into a normal three-day-a-week schedule. One hour (Channel 7 at 9).

Public Broadcasting

Masterpiece Theatre: Bramwell (CC). Jemma Redgrave returns as Eleanor Bramwell, a Victorian-era feminist physician, who this season works at a school for seriously ill children while trying to mend her own broken heart (Channel 26 at 9).

Prime-Time Movies

Britannic (2000) (CC). The story of the Titanic's sister ship, which sunk with British and German spies aboard during World War I; Jacqueline Bisset stars. Two hours (Fox Family Channel at 8).

The Virginian (2000) (CC). Bill Pullman stars in the title role of this adaptation of Owen Wister's 1902 novel. Two hours (TNT at 8).

The David Cassidy Story (2000) (CC) (Channel 4 at 9) is previewed by Tom Shales in tomorrow's Arts section.

Cable Season Premieres

First Wave (CC). Alien hunter Cade Foster (Sebastian Spence) has a new enemy in the form of a deadly extraterrestrial (WWF wrestler Sable) (Sci-Fi Channel at 7 p.m.).

La Femme Nikita (CC) returns in her slinky black dress, still brainwashed from last season by a covert antiterrorist group (USA Network at 9).

Cable Special

Death of a Salesman (CC). The classic Arthur Miller play, taped at Eugene O'Neill Theater in New York with Tony Award-winner Brian Dennehy as Willy Loman. Three hours (Showtime at 8).

Special

The People's Choice Awards (CC). Don Johnson and Cheech Marin host the 26th annual awards show that lets viewers pick their TV and film favorites. Two hours (Channel 9 at 9).

Newsmagazines

Dateline (CC) reports on "Ragtime" star Alton White's experience with racial discrimination (Channel 4 at 7).

60 Minutes (CC) profiles actor Denzel Washington (Channel 9 at 7).

Series Debut

Malcolm in the Middle (CC) (Channel 5, 8:30) is previewed by Tom Shales on Page C1.

Series

The Simpsons (CC). Homer goes skiing. Doh! (Channel 5 at 8).

Touched by an Angel (CC). A limo driver with a family to support takes a job that compromises his principles (Channel 9 at 8).

The X-Files (CC). That necrophiliac who abducted Scully five years ago is baaack (Channel 5 at 9).

The Practice (CC). Rebecca defends a childhood chum accused of murder (Channel 7 at 10).

CAPTION: Elizabeth Franz and Brian Dennehy in "Death of a Salesman," on Showtime.