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December 29, 1985|HOWARD ROSENBERG

"A CITIZENS' SUMMIT," Wednesday, 8 p.m. (4); 9 p.m. (39)--After the Orange Bowl comes the people-to-people Global Bowl.

Audiences in Seattle and Leningrad are linked via satellite--creating a space bridge-type dialogue between United States and Soviet citizens--in a two-hour syndicated program that is scheduled to be taped Sunday. There will be simultaneous translation.

The moderator in Seattle is American TV personality Phil Donahue, host of the syndicated "Donahue" program. His Leningrad counterpart is Vladimir Pozner, an American-reared Kremlin spokesman who is frequently interviewed on American TV. Marilyn O'Reilly, a member of Donahue's staff, helped select citizens of both nations to participate in the dialogue.

The program--a co-production of the Documentary Guild, Seattle's KING-TV and Soviet TV in association with Multimedia Entertainment--has been in the works for some time. "A Citizens' Summit" was first rejected by PBS before KING agreed to underwrite the project in the United States.

It comes on the heels of a recent similar TV dialogue between children in Minneapolis and the Soviet Union in which Pozner also participated and is part of a general reopening of communications between the two super powers.

"A Citizens' Summit" is being offered to American stations in one-hour and two-hour versions. Although only an hour of the program is scheduled for airing on Soviet TV later this month, Pozner has promised that it will be shown with "absolutely no censorship whatever."

A skilled communicator himself, he says the Soviets are "learning quickly" about Western communications techniques and that "we should be much more visible, and much more on the screens . . . ."

This dialogue across the seas is the biggest step yet in that direction.

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