This week's collection of made-for-TV movies puts two stars in a new light: Raquel Welch is decidedly unglamorous as she portrays a dying woman in "Right to Die," and suave Mark Harmon plays a rough, Depression-era carpenter in "After the Promise." If it isn't preempted by a pennant playoff game, "L.A. Law" will return, and NBC's "Saturday Night Live" is back as well. Look for Fox's new "Women in Prison" and PBS' "The Bretts" on Sunday, the 21st annual Country Music Association Awards on Monday, and, at this writing, the Redskins-New York Giants contest. Keep in mind that NFL games are tentative and that baseball playoffs may bounce some programs.
SUNDAY REDSKINS at NEW YORK GIANTS at 4 on 9
WOMEN IN PRISON at 8:30 on 5 and 45
AFTER THE PROMISE at 9 on CBS
MASTERPIECE THEATRE: "The Bretts" at 9 on PBS At this writing, despite the NFL's tenuous situation, WUSA plans to carry the Redskins -- New York Giants game at 4. Check today's sports pages to be certain. In the evening, Fox stations offer the new "Women in Prison" starring Tony Award-winner Peggy Cass, Wendie Jo Sperber, Antoinette Byron, C.C.H. Pounder, and Julia Campbell. Campbell, who appeared on the "Werewolf" pilot, plays a rich, spoiled fashion plate who is framed on shoplifting charges by her attorney-husband and thrown in jail. Her cellmates are an aging gun moll, a murderer and a woman described as "a coquettish lesbian." In the cell next door is the resident computer genius. Denny Dillon plays the guard and Blake Clark the warden. At 9, choices include ABC's "Dolly" (Parton's guests are Bruce Willis, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt) and CBS' "After the Promise," a drama based on real events. Mark Harmon plays Elmer Jackson, a Depression-era carpenter who tries for eight years to get custody of his four sons who were taken from him after their mother died. His spotty work record and unschooled manner lead welfare officials to conclude that he is an unfit parent. After he tries to take the boys away from their foster parents, three are sent to a home for mentally retarded boys, the fourth to different foster care. Rosemary Dunsmore appears as the boys' mother and Diana Scarwid as Jackson's second wife. PBS stations begin the first of an eight-part "Masterpiece Theatre" series at 9 starring Barbara Murray and Norman Rodway as Charles and Lydia Brett, actors and theater owners. The Brett family includes the grandparents, troupers in their 80s still,touring the British provinces with a Shakespeare company; Charles and Lydia's five children, grandchildren and their loyal but unorthodox servants and employees. In tonight's opener for "The Bretts," Charles gets the lead in a new play, plans to buy a theater and hires a pretty, young personal secretary. Mindful of his previous indiscretions, Lydia banishes Charles to the spare bedroom. Note: At 7, WHMM begins "Howard Journal," highlighting Howard University events. Tonight's edition of "A Better Mousetrap" on Channel 53 focuses on the Chesapeake Bay and Northern Virginia, where scientists are trying to save the round-leaf birch, the first plant named to the U.S. Rare and Endangered Species list. Guests: Jane Powell, Audrey Totter, Evelyn Keyes, Eileen Brennan, Robert Prosky and Clu Gulager on "Murder, She Wrote" (8 on CBS). MOVIES: "Bonnie & Clyde" (4 on 20). SPORTS: Kansas City at Miami (1 on 4); San Diego at Tampa Bay (1 on 2); Philadelphia at Dallas (1 on CBS); AT&T Tennis Challenge (4 on ABC); St. Louis at San Francisco, National League championship series, game five (4:30 on NBC); American League championship series (8:15 on NBC)
MONDAY FUNNY, YOU DON'T LOOK 200 at 8 on ABC
SHAKA ZULU at 8 on 45
RIGHT TO DIE at 9 on NBC
COUNTRY MUSIC ASSOCIATION AWARDS at at 9:30 on CBS At 8, ABC airs yet another Constitution celebration. This one sprung from an idea of Richard Dreyfuss, who hosts the show and plays Uncle Sam. A large cast of celebrities, live and animated, from Sir John Gielgud to Jiminy Cricket and including Whoopi Goldberg and Lily Tomlin, join up for the special, "Funny, You Don't Look 200," which also introduces a song by Randy Newman, "Follow the Flag." At the same time, Channel 45 begins the five-part "Shaka Zulu," starring Henry Cele as an early 19th-century African tribal leader whom the British viewed as a threat to their colonization of southern Africa. At 9, Raquel Welch stars in a fact-based drama that should squelch for all time her earlier image as a glamor girl. She plays a psychology professor and mother whose fight against Lou Gehrig's disease culminates in one battle: to be allowed to die. Michael Gross plays her husband, Bonnie Bartlett her private nurse. At the end, she communicate with them by blinking her eyelids, yet her mind continues to be sharp enough to chart her own disintegration and to recognize that she and her family face only pain until she dies. At 9:30, CBS begins the 21st Annual Country Music Association Awards from Nashville's Opry House, with Kenny Rogers as host. Expect appearances and performances by Wynonna and Naomi Judd, Reba McEntire, George Strait, Randy Travis, Hank Williams Jr., T. Graham Brown, Holly Dunn, the O'Kanes, Restless Heart, Sweethearts of the Rodeo, Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, Barbara Mandrell, Anne Murray, Willie Nelson, Charley Pride and Ricky Skaggs. Cast additions: Sam Freed, in a recurring role as Bob Barsky, former Jets football star, on "Kate & Allie" (8:30 on CBS); Washington deejay Donnie Simpson on "Geraldo" (1 on 7). MOVIES: It's Tyrone Power week on WDCA at noon, from "Johnny Apollo" today to "Brigham Young" on Friday; "Airport" (8 on 20). SPORTS: Fifth American League playoff game, if necessary (3 on NBC); Los Angeles Raiders at Denver (9 on ABC).
TUESDAY NOVA at 8 on 22/67
MOONLIGHTING at 9 on ABC On the 25th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis, "Nova" examines the world of espionage and the role science and technology have played. PBS stations conclude the "We the People" series with a look at how well the structure of our government works. At 9, "Moonlighting" sets up two stories, as Maddie goes back to her parents' home in Chicago and David and Herbert search for an errant bridegroom. Guests: Dick Butkus as a pro wrestler on "Matlock" (8 on NBC), if not preepted by baseball; Robert Culp on "Jake and the Fatman" (9 on CBS); Mark Stevens and David Hedison on "The Law and Harry McGraw" (10 on CBS). MOVIES: "The Quiet Man" (8 on 50). SPORTS: Game Six, National League championship series (8:15 on NBC), if necessary. WEDNESDAY GREAT PERFORMANCES: "The Magic Flute" at 8 on PBS
THE 'SLAP' MAXWELL STORY at 9:30 on ABC
CAPITAL TO CAPITAL at 11:30 on ABC PBS stations give 3 1/2 hours to the New York City Opera's new production of Mozart's "The Magic Flute," conducted by the company's music director, Sergiu Comissiona. The work, sung in German with English subtitles, stars Faith Esham, Jon Garrison and Jan Opalach. On "The 'Slap' Maxwell Story," Dabney Coleman gets involved in a one-on-one basketball game with a talented female athlete. Michael Moriarty guests on "The Equalizer" as an East European scientist who leaves a seminar in New York intending to defect, and Julia Migenes appears on "Magnum, P.I." as a woman who has an effect on Higgins. In another of ABC's late-night "Capital to Capital" series from Washington and Moscow, politicians from both countries talk about human rights. Peter Jennings and Leonid Zolotarevsky anchor the live dialogue. SPORTS: National League championship series (8:15 on NBC), if necessary.
THURSDAY L.A. LAW at 10 on NBC
MYSTERY! "Strong Poison" at 9 on PBS
NIGHT COURT at 9:30 on NBC "Mystery!" concludes Dorothy L. Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey series with an episode called "Strong Poison," the story of a nearly-perfect crime. On "Night Court," bailiff Bull, having been struck by a bolt of lightning, says God has told him to give away all his belongings. NBC plans to air the long-awaited season premiere of "L.A. Law" at 10, providing the American League series does not extend to seven games. On the opener, Becker represents a man who wants to muscle in on the property of his TV-star wife (Shannon Tweed) and Kuzak lets his own feelings interfere with his dying client's lawsuit against a tobacco company. Guests: Sister Sledge on a three-hour offering of "The Jeffersons" (7:30 on 20); William Russ as a gung-ho sergeant on "Tour of Duty" (8 on CBS); Eileen Heckart on "The Cosby Show" (8 on NBC). SPORTS: American League playoff game (8:30), if necessary.
FRIDAY BEAUTY AND THE BEAST at 8 on CBS
MAX HEADROOM at 9 on ABC
GREAT PERFORMANCES at 9 on PBS On "Beauty and the Beast," Vincent shows up to rescue Cathy from a street gang attack, but becomes a captive and is shot before he can escape to his familiar netherworld. At 9, on "Max Headroom," Edison Carter tries to expose criminals behind an electronically addictive game show, and PBS offers the season premiere of "Great Performances." Tony Bennett, Glenn Close, Judy Collins, Roberta Flack, Bernadette Peters, Andy Williams and more appear on the 90-minute opening night gala at Wolf Trap Farm Park for the Performing Arts. Guest: Jim Youngs as a Texas rock star who learns that the music business can be dangerous ("Private Eye" at 10). SPORTS: Mike Tyson vs. Tyrell Biggs in a heavyweight bout live from Atlantic City (10 on HBO).
SATURDAY TRYING TIMES at 7 on 26
WONDERWORKS: "The Littlest Horse Thieves" at 8 on PBS
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE at 11:30 on NBC Rosanna Arquette stars as Kara Dimley, a young woman whose first meeting with her future in-laws becomes a trial-by-fire, on WETA's new "Trying Times." Hope Lange, David Byrne, Robert Ridgely and Johnson Stockwell co-star in this episode. At 8, "WonderWorks" begins a two-part story set in turn-of-the-century Yorkshire. It's "The Little Horse Thieves," starring Alastair Sim as the owner of a failing coal mine who decides to replace the inefficient pit ponies that have been used to haul coal. The story follows a girl and two young brothers as they try to save the ponies, now condemned to the slaughterhouse. (Tune in next week for the conclusion.) And at 11:30, it's "Saturday Night Live" on NBC, back for its season opener with Steve Martin as host. Guests: Race car driver Danny Sullivan as himself on CBS' "Leg Work" at 9. SPORTS: North Carolina vs. North Carolina State (noon on 7); USC vs. Washington (3 on ABC); World Series, game one, from the home of the America League champion (8 on ABC).
CABLE NOTES HOME BOX OFFICE U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop presides over a one-hour special, "AIDS: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know . . . But Were Afraid to Ask" Tuesday at 8.
Sunday at noon, C-Span carries Henry Kissinger's address to a meeting of the Center for Strategic International Studies.
Denny Miller, who starred as scout Duke Shannon in the old "Wagon Train" series, hosts the 30th anniversary special, "Wagon Train -- Still Rolling!" on Sunday.
THE NASHVILLE NETWORK
"Merle Haggard: Poet of the Common Man" (Saturday) blends one of the country singer's performances from Nashville with interviews.
HOME TEAM SPORTS
Ice hockey: Capitals vs. Hartford Whalers (Friday at 8) and vs. the New York Rangers (Saturday at 7:30). LIFETIME
"Dying for Love: The Impact of AIDS on American Woman" (Thursday) profiles four women living with the disease, including one who contracted AIDS from her bisexual husband.