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ABC Weekend Specials (ABC, 12:30-1 p.m.): `The Parsley Garden,' based on Pulitzer-and-Oscar-winning author William Saroyan's 1949 tale, is the first film version since 1946 of a Saroyan short story. Narrated by James Earl Jones, it takes place in the poverty-stricken Armenian area of Fresno, Calif., during the Great Depression. Ten-year-old Al Condraj is caught trying to steal a hammer, and the ensuing humiliation - he comes from a proud family - leads, eventually, to his finding a new sense of his own

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The Oscars (ABC, 9 p.m.- conclusion, ET): The 65th edition of the Annual Academy Awards airs live from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Los Angeles Music Center. Host Billy Crystal will bring his refreshing let's-not-take-ourselves-too-seriously tone to the breathless and sometimes tedious proceedings. And the `presenters' are probably TV's most impressive roster of stars appearing live on any one show. This year lots of eyes - and hopes - are on Clint Eastwood, after his three decades in the busines s. Nominations for `Unforgiven which he directed, produced, and stars in - give him a shot at winning in three major categories, including the big one: Best Picture.

The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends (Family Channel, 8-8:30 p.m.): After 100 years, Peter Rabbit is more than holding his own in the land of Bugs Bunny, Donald Duck, and Porky Pig. The well-loved creation of British author-illustrator Beatrix Potter has appeared in some 80 million books in more than 20 languages. On the 100th anniversary of Peter's arrival - an event being marked throughout Europe, Britain, and the US - he is about to appear in animated form. It's a step the late Potter and her publish er had put off until now, afraid the stories' special quality would be lost. But this six-episode series, the work of respected British producer John Coates, goes to great lengths to preserve the feel of Potter's original watercolors - at a cost of about $11 million, making it the most expensive animation ever to come out of Britain. A live segment opens each show.

Please check local listings for all programs.

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