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Preview '90 : Coming Soon to Your Living Room : Specials: a Hymn, 'Nicholas Nickleby' and Mother Earth


Quoth the Church Lady: "Isn't that special ?"

Here's what the broadcast and cable networks plan this fall in the way of specials--dramas, documentaries, variety shows, profiles, comedy showcases and musical extravaganzas:



"World of Discovery," an as-yet unscheduled series of five specials, covers subjects ranging from archeology to wildlife.


"Mike Wallace, Then and Now, A CBS News Special" profiles the veteran newsman's 40-year career, Sept. 26 at 10 p.m. ... From Nashville comes "The Country Music Assn. Awards," Oct. 8. ... An "All-American Thanksgiving Day Parade" covers festivities across the nation, Nov. 22.


"Sunday Night With Larry King" gives the radio and cable talk-show host a prime-time interview-and-variety showcase, Oct. 28 at 8 p.m. ... Former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop hosts five specials about the country's health-care system.


Television's Emmy Awards are handed out Sept. 16 at 8 p.m.


"Amazing Grace With Bill Moyers" explores the history of the popular hymn, Sept. 12 at 9 p.m. on KCET ... Gregory Peck narrates "Adlai Stevenson: The Man From Libertyville," a profile of the Illinois Democrat who twice ran for President, Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. on KCET and 9 p.m. on KOCE and KVCR; Oct. 2 at 9:30 p.m. on KLCS. ... A true story of 13 men who helped turn the tide of Allied fortunes in the Pacific is told on "The Heroes," Oct. 24 at 9 p.m. on KVCR; Oct. 27 at 10 p.m. on KOCE; Nov. 4 at noon on KLCS.



Newscaster Linda Alvarez hosts the fourth in a series on education in Southern California, October.


Thanksgiving Day brings the biannual "Twilight Zone Marathon," Nov. 22. ... "The Hollywood Christmas Parade" kicks off the holiday season, Nov. 25 at 6 p.m.


The "Variety Club Telethon" raises money for local charities with a six-hour telecast, Sept. 23 at noon. ... "Kids Under the Influence," a "For Kids' Sake" documentary, examines alcohol abuse among the young, Sept. 29 at 8 p.m.


Arsenio Hall emcees "The MTV Video Music Awards" (seen last week on MTV), Wednesday. ... The Fox affiliate previews the Emmy Awards, Sept. 16. ... TV's top commercials are featured in "The Clio Awards," November.


The station observes Hispanic Heritage Month with programs throughout the month. ... Narrated by Jesse Jackson, "Blue Helmets" deals with United Nations peacekeeping forces, Sept. 23 at 4:30 p.m.


"Orange County's Air Terminal Takes Off!" a public affairs program, airs Saturday at 6 p.m. ... "The George Mendoza Story" tells about a blind, record-setting runner, Sept. 16 at 10:30 p.m.



"Campaign '60" is a monthlong package of nine programs focusing on 1960's John F. Kennedy-Richard M. Nixon election. ... In "Caught on a Train," Dame Peggy Ashcroft plays a wealthy eccentric who manipulates the lives of a couple in Europe, Oct. 4 at 6 p.m. ... "In Search of the Dream," a six-part series, uses interviews and archival footage to trace the black experience, Oct. 7 at 5 p.m.


Performed by the National Ballet of Marseille, "Ma Pavlova" pays tribute to prima ballerina Anna Pavlova, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m.


"Treasures of a Lost Voyage" explores the remains of the S.S. Central America, which sank off the Carolina coast with three tons of gold in 1857, tonight at 6. ... "Opening Night" previews the network's new season Sept. 30.


The Royal Shakespeare Company's Emmy Award-winning production of "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby," with Roger Rees in the title role, arrives as an 8 1/2-hour spectacle airing on four consecutive nights, Oct. 21-24.


Punchlines flow fast and freely during the "Third Annual Stand-Up Comics Take a Stand," Oct. 6.


Steven Wright, Robert Wuhl and Joe Piscopo headline comedy hours in September, October and November, respectively. ... "Sex, 1990" takes a mature look at contemporary "sexual realities," October. ... Rare footage and audio tapes offer a personal view of Robert F. Kennedy during "RFK: In His Own Words," November.


"Sex in the '90s" probes the country's sexual mores and morals, Wednesday at 10 p.m. ... "The Breakdown Tour: A Ken Ober Special" casts the actor/game show host as an overworked TV personality, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m.


Hosts Lorianne Crook and Charlie Chase preview the Country Music Assn. Awards, Oct. 5 at 7:30 p.m. ... The Doobie Brothers perform in Hawaii, Oct. 9 at 5 p.m. ... "The Grand Ole Opry 65th Anniversary" salutes the legendary country music show that launched Nashville's music industry, Oct. 13.


"Stories From Growing Up" offers childhood tales told by celebs, October. ... Whoopi Goldberg plays the guardian angel of "Hot Rod Brown, Class Clown," November.


"Deep Dish TV" spoofs the small screen, Sept. 21 at 9:35 p.m. ... "National Lampoon Comedy Playoffs" hunts for the country's top amateur comic, October. ... John Mendoza and Pat Matteson are "A Pair of Jokers," October.


"Voice of the Planet" is a five-part series based on the Michael Tobias novel about Gaia, mother goddess of the Earth, Oct. 15-19.


Jessica Lange narrates "Vivien Leigh: Scarlett and Beyond," a profile of the two-time Oscar-winning actress, October 22

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