WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21

NBC (8 p.m. ET)

Wagon train boss Rod (The Birds) Taylor leads his three motherless kids west, beset by Indians and Darleen (Streets of San Francisco) Carr.

CBS (8 p.m. ET)

With matriarch Esther Rolle gone, Jimmie "J.J." Walker survives to head what's left of the Evans clan. Janet, 11, youngest of the musical Jacksons. joins the cast but doesn't sing.

NBC (9 p.m. ET)

Last season's miniseries about an amphibious, kelp-eating survivor of the lost continent (28-year-old Patrick Duffy) returns weekly.

NBC (10 p.m. ET)

Rebellious Cliff Potts and pa John (Temperatures Rising) Dehner cut each other off at generation gap in a dramatic series set on the 50th state's biggest ranch. Bonanza meets Hawaii Five-O.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22

NBC (10 p.m. ET)

Broadway actor Tony Roberts and Squire Fridell hang up their shingle as novice Perry Masons. Jane Elliot gets the Hamilton Burger role.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23

ABC (8 p.m. ET)

Aging gracefully, Marie, 18 next month, goes glitter with outfits by Bob Mackie, Cher's designer. And—can it be?—Donny leaves his teens in December.

ABC (9 p.m. ET)

Peter Sellers repeats as the maladroit Inspector Clouseau in the first TV showing of the 1975 hit.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24

PBS (check local listings)

Metropolitan Opera star Shirley Verrett sings Mozart and Wagner with the New York Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta. Dick Cavett hosts.

CBS (9:30 p.m. ET)

Judge Franklin's court changes venue from ABC to CBS. Penny (Rich Man, Poor Man) Peyser, 26, daughter of former N.Y. Congressman Peter Peyser, replaces Devon Scott, George C.'s offspring.

ABC (10 p.m. ET)

MTM's ex-newsroom buddy Gavin MacLeod is skipper of a tub on which most of the cruising is done by passengers belowdecks.

NBC (11:45 p.m. ET)

The Still-Not-Ready-for-Prime-Timers return with host Steve Martin and singer Jackson Browne.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25

CBS (8 p.m. ET)

In theaters just last year, this cornucopia of highlights from MGM's best is three nonstop hours of AstaireRogersKellyGarlandCrosbySinatraChevalierLenaSatchmoJeanetteCetera.

NBC (9 p.m. ET)

Alan (Hawkeye) Alda turns dramatically against type as Caryl Chessman, the California lover's lane kidnapper-rapist who spent 12 years on death row before his execution in 1960. Talia (Rocky) Shire co-stars as Chessman's lawyer, Rosalie Asher, in the made-for-TV movie.

ABC (9 p.m. ET)

Jailbird Burt Reynolds quarterbacks a "Mean Machine" of convicts against a team of equally mean screws in Robert Aldrich's 1974 movie.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26

NBC (9 p.m. ET)

Incredibly, the sad story of Karen Ann Quinlan is already a TV movie—even though she still lies comatose (and no longer on a respirator) in New Jersey. NBC at least had the taste not to portray Karen in this drama which co-stars Brian Keith and Piper Laurie as her anguished parents.