WORTH NOTING ON TV

SATURDAY

Gunsmoke: The Long Ride (CBS, 9-11 p.m.): To those for whom "Gunsmoke" remains television's classic action format, this made-for-TV movie will be old home week. "Gunsmoke" is an amazing fixture in the shifting world of TV series. After a popular radio run, the TV version started way back in 1955 - with James Arness as the memorable Marshall Matt Dillon - and didn't end regular broadcasts until 1975. In between, Westerns came and went as the medium's dominant format, but "Gunsmoke" remained (amid charges of excess violence at times) with a stubborn continuity that probably makes it TV's longest-running prime-time series with continuing characters.

Now - nearly 40 years after that TV debut - guess who's starring in this special edition? It's James Arness, recreating the role he played for 20 years in the series. One of this production's concessions to time is casting Arness as a long-retired Dillon. He is hosting his daughter's wedding when confronted by bounty hunters who are there to arrest him as a suspect in a murder. Shot partly on location in Santa Fe, N.M., the show also stars James Brolin and Ali MacGraw. SUNDAY

Statue-snatching (C-Span, 6-6:30 a.m., E.T.): The historic Statue of Freedom atop the Captiol dome in Washington needs renovation. If you'd like to see it removed by helicopter, you can catch the event live in this early-hour coverage. MONDAY

A Skating Spectacular (PBS, 8-9 p.m.): Dorothy Hamill, Kitty and Peter Carruthers, Brian Boitano, Scott Hamilton - they were all past performers at this brilliant biennial skating exhibition in Rochester, N.Y. America's top amateurs have been going there for 20 years to get exposure before a live audience. This year's version, taped at the Genesee Figure Skating Club on the campus of the Rochester Institute of Technology, includes people like Todd Eldredge, 1990 and 1991 United States Senior Men's Figure

Skating Champion, and the pairs team of Katie Wood and Joel McKeeve.

Please check local listings for all programs, especially those on PBS.

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