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OF, BY AND FOR THE CHILDREN

Disney's 'Sky Trackers' sends three kids in search of mystery satellite

May 19, 1991|LAUREN LIPTON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The sky is falling; the sky is falling ... no wait, that's just an experimental satellite carrying a mutant strain of smallpox. Confused? Tune in to Sky Trackers, a suspense drama about three kids who hack into the computer at NASA and discover that a satellite is about to fall near their base in Australia. They set out to find it, unaware that the satellite is carrying dangerous cargo. Who will get there first: The three kids (Maia Brewton, Courtney Kieler and Justin Rosniak), their frantic parents (Pamela Sue Martin, Paul Williams) or a mysterious third party?

"Sky Trackers," Saturday 7-8:35 p.m.; the Disney Channel. For 8- to 13-year-olds.

MORE KIDS' SHOWS

The Wind in the Willows (today 2-3 p.m. Nickelodeon) is an animated take on the classic adventures of a talking toad, mole, frog and rat. Afterward, the animated Around the World in 80 Days (3-4 p.m.) tells of the fictional journey of Phineas Phogg. For 5- to 11-year-olds.

"The Cosby Show's" Keshia Knight Pulliam helps review the best in children's videos on an episode of the parenting series American Baby (Monday 12:30-1 p.m. and Saturday 8-8:30 a.m. the Family Channel). For parents.

A CBS special America's Missing Children (Monday 8-9 p.m.), focuses on some of the 1 million children who disappear every year, with segments on children who successfully resisted being kidnaped and one child who still has not been found. For parents.

"Doogie Howser's" Neil Patrick Harris is one of the stars who turns out for The Best of Disney: 50 Years of Magic (Monday 8-10 p.m. ABC), a celebration that includes rare behind-the-scenes footage from some of Disney's classic films. For all ages.

Created out of a 1988 project founded by photojournalist Jim Hubbard, Shooting Back: Photography by Homeless Children (Monday 10:30-11 p.m. KPBS; 11:30 p.m. KCET) features a kid's-eye-view of the experience of homelessness. For ages 12 and up.

Pity poor Rebecca in The Prom (Tuesday 7-8 p.m. Showtime): Her nerdy date rips her dress, almost wrecks the car and manages to get soaking wet--but somehow turns out to be a nice guy after all. For 12- to 17-year-olds.

Gene Kelly stars in a live action/animated musical version of Jack and the Beanstalk (Tuesday 8-9 p.m. the Disney Channel), playing the trader who persuades a boy to give up his cow for a handful of magic beans. For all ages.

A episode of The '90s, "Kids and Learning" (Tuesday 10-11 p.m. KCET, KPBS) focuses on various ways of educating children. For parents.

In a 10-country Gallup survey conducted in 1988 and '89, the youngest group surveyed, Americans 18 to 24, ranked the lowest overall in their knowledge of geography. Viewers who want to find out how they measure up should check out the National Geography Bee Finals (Thursday noon-1 p.m. KPBS, 10-11 p.m. KVCR, Friday 9-10 a.m. KOCE), where those at home can play along with the 10 student finalists. For all ages.

A couple of back-to-back Tall Tales & Legends tell the stories of two American folk heroes: Pecos Bill (Saturday 11 a.m.-noon KCAL), who helped found the Wild West, and Johnny Appleseed (noon-1 p.m.), who was environmental before his time. For 5- to 12-year-olds.

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