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SHOWS FOR YOUNGSTERS AND THEIR PARENTS TOO : 'Annie' Get Your Shot--Showtime's twist on an old story is for girls and boys

October 29, 1995|N.F. MENDOZA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Today's Little Sureshot isn't firing off rounds from a rifle, she's firing off red-hot basketballs that swish smoothly into hoops.

Showtime's Annie O takes its inspiration from the Wild West's Annie Oakley with the tale of a teen (Coco Yares) with talent for basketball who tries out for her Tacoma high school boys varsity team.

" 'Annie O's' part of a series of films where classic novels are contemporized," says producer Larry Sugar, whose other projects include the upcoming "The Halfback of Notre Dame" and "Robin of Locksley." In addition to borrowing basic storylines from classics, all the films use sports "as a sub-theme."

" 'Annie' entertains and educates and I'm hoping that seeing these films will interest families into examining the original source material and realize the importance of pursuing dreams," Sugar says from his Los Angeles office.

Yares, 18, agrees. "She's so independent," she says of her character, from her Santa Fe home. "She went after what she wanted no matter what anyone said--her family, her boyfriend or friends." The recent high school grad describes Annie as "sensitive, independent, boyish and very unlike me." Yares adds with a laugh that she was a cheerleader, not a player. But at 5- foot-6, she had a lot of fun with the other actors playing team members. "We all got close, like a real team," on the movie's Vancouver shoot.

Annie's persistence is for a good cause: "she becomes a hero," Yares says enthusiastically, "and the best shooter and despite the guys' egos she could be the star because she has talent."

Above all, Sugar stresses, "The tale gives families something to think about in terms of male and female equality."

"Annie O" airs Sunday at 6 p.m. For ages 6 and up.

More Family Shows

It's fright time with A Magic Schoolbus Halloween (Sunday 7:30 a.m. KCET), with voices by Tyne Daly, Carol Channing, Eartha Kitt, Elliott Gould and Edward James Olmos. For ages 6 and up.

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No one can say the often sweet and light-hearted Disney Channel forgot the eeriest and creepiest of holidays: It'll show 24 hours of spook-filled programming from 6 a.m. to 6:15 a.m. Tuesday. Included will be series, specials, and features, from favorites such as "Adventures in Wonderland," "Fraggle Rock," "Marsupilami," "Mickey Mouse Club," "Darkwing Duck," "Casper," "Eerie Indiana," as well as the feature films "Labyrinth," and "Frankenweenie." For ages 2 and up.

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How about a Mysterious Marathon (Tuesday, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and repeats 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. The Travel Channel) on Halloween, featuring highlights from "Mysterious Places With Stacy Keach," with a visit to the Salem witch trials; Stonehedge, and a search for the holy Grail. For ages 10 and up.

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Nancy Kerrigan, Paul Wylie, Scott Hamilton and Todd Eldredge skate with Hanna-Barbera characters for Halloween on Ice (Tuesday, 5 p.m. TNT).

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