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OF, BY AND FOR THE CHILDREN

Welcome to Nickelodeon's game show, where players enter the video arcade

December 29, 1991|LAUREN LIPTON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Imagine being inside a video game! If it sounds like a kid's dream, the people at Nickelodeon are just the folks to make it come true. They've created "Nick Arcade," which uses TV technology to get as close as possible to "living a game."

During the half-hour game show, two teams, led by host Phil Moore, try to gain control of a video game board by solving video puzzles and answering general-knowledge questions. The winners advance to the bonus round, where they get to play the custom-designed interactive video game, complete with computer-generated obstacles and prizes at the end. On-screen, it appears as if the contestants are actually taking the place of the characters in a video game.

"Nick Arcade," Friday 7-7:30 p.m. (one-time sneak preview); Saturdays and Sundays 5:30-6 p.m. Nickelodeon. For 8- to 15-year-olds.

MORE KIDS' SHOWS

"The Man Who Planted Trees," on Long Ago & Far Away (today 9-9:30 a.m. KCET) is an Oscar-winning animated adaptation of the Jean Giono story of a man who devotes himself to tending a forest. For 2- to 11-year-olds.

Julian Lennon lends his voice and his musical talents to "The Runaway Teapot" (Monday 7-7:30 a.m. and 4:30-5 p.m. HBO), an HBO Storybook Musical featuring characters inspired by "Alice in Wonderland": Toby the Teapot and Jenny the Milk Jug. For 2- to 11-year-olds.

The National Parent Quiz (Monday 8-9 p.m. KOCE) combines panel discussions, advice from experts and videotapes of real-life situations to illustrate how better parenting can combat drug abuse in children. For parents.

"The Baby-Sitters' Special Christmas" (Tuesday 7:30-8 p.m. HBO), an episode of The Baby-Sitters Club, has girls deciding to celebrate the season by visiting hospitalized children. For 8- to 15-year-olds.

The Tournament of Roses Parade (Wednesday 8 a.m.-approximately 10:30 a.m., CBS, NBC, ABC, KTLA, KTTV) isn't specifically a kids' show, but it's colorful and interesting enough that it may keep children occupied during the early hours of the morning after. For all ages.

The Disney Channel celebrates New Year's Day with a block of programming starring some favorite cartoon characters. Animated All Stars (Wednesday 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.) features such offerings as "Hey There, It's Yogi Bear" (2-3:30 p.m.) and "A Boy Named Charlie Brown" (4-6 p.m.). For all ages.

Childhood in America (Thursday 8-9:30 p.m.), hosted by Phil Donahue, looks at nationwide intervention programs that have helped families cope with problems such as poverty and inadequate education. A studio discussion follows. For parents.

Prince Valiant: The Voyage to Camelot (Friday 7-9 p.m. Family Channel) features the voices of Robby Benson and Efrem Zimbalist Jr. in an animated version of the King Arthur legend. For 6- to 15-year-olds.

Throughout January, Nickelodeon Cartoon Saturdays (9 a.m.-1 p.m. Nickelodeon) kick off the weekend with a block of animated shows including recent ("Doug," Rugrats," "The Ren & Stimpy Show") and less recent ("Inspector Gadget," "Danger Mouse"). For 2- to 11-year-olds.

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