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OF, BY AND FOR THE CHILDREN

New contest show lets teen-agers flex their mind and muscle

July 04, 1993|N.F. MENDOZA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

"All brains and no brawn" can elicit the same yawn as "All brawn and no brains," but a combination of the two is a mighty attractive package at any age.

Brains and Brawn is a new NBC kids show replacing "NBA Inside Stuff," as that show goes on hiatus during the off-season.

"Brains and Brawn" pits groups of teens against one another in fast-paced rounds of academic and physical challenges. Participants compete for points with celebrity teammates in rounds of questions, video games and, finally, athletic competitions.

"You have to be a Jack-of-all-trades to do well, says creator Gary Considine, senior vice president of NBC production and executive in charge of production. "We have questions on academic issues and pop culture, and then there are physical activities on an individual and team basis.

Considine notes that kids will like the half-hour show because, "I think that it very closely mirrors what they go through on a daily basis. It reflects what dominates most of their time."

Teen idol Mark-Paul Gosselaar of "Saved by the Bell" and the upcoming "Saved by the Bell: The College Years" is the show's host and creative consultant.

"Brains and Brawn" premieres Saturday at 11 a.m. on KNSD and at 11:30 a.m. on KNBC. For ages 8 and up.

MORE FAMILY SHOWS

Sunday is the second day in the Disney Channel's "Fourth of July American Legends and Heroes Weekend" featuring Mr. Magoo's Favorite Heroes (10 a.m.), Johhny Tremain (noon), Tall Tales and Legends: Annie Oakley (2 p.m.), Tall Tales and Legends: Johnny Appleseed (3 p.m.), Daniel Boone "The Wilderness Road" (4 p.m.), Daniel Boone "The Promised Land" (5 p.m.), Tall Tales and Legends: John Henry (6 p.m.), Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier (7 p.m.) and Paul Bunyan (8:35 p.m.). For ages 2 and up .

Kids who play cowboys and Indians or cops aren't likely to understand the implications of real guns. A Day in the Death of America (Monday 9-10 p.m. Discovery) takes a look at how many guns--at least 180 million--are in private hands, roughly two for every household, and what that means in daily deaths and injuries. For ages 12 and up.

J.R.R. Tolkien (Thursday 7-8 p.m. Learning Channel) has managed to transport many a reader into mystical, magical kingdoms and parallel universes. He used his skills as a professor of ancient languages to create the mythical saga "The Lord of the Rings." Reprinted more than 80 times, the stories have been read by millions. His evocative setting of elves, dwarfs, Hobbits and otherworldly beings has created its own language and history, setting a standard for fantasy books to come. For ages 11 and up.

No doubt with one eye on the booming "Jurassic Park," the Disney Channel will air the four-part miniseries Dinosaur! (every Thursday 8-9 p.m. and every Saturday 3-4 p.m. for the next four weeks). This week, host Walter Cronkite looks at "The First Clue: Tale of a Tooth," about how a giant tooth discovered by an English scientist in 1824 changed his previous beliefs. For ages 8 and up.

With the proliferation of private adolescent mental hospitals, 1989's Lost Angels (Friday 9-11:30 p.m. Lifetime) focuses on a teen (played by Beastie Boy Adam Horowitz) unjustly sent to a mental clinic and looks at the care given middle-class kids whose parents are unable, or unwilling, to cope with them. For ages 12 and up.

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