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TV Smarts

April 24, 1998

Some broadcast and cable programs contain material included in the public school curriculum and on standardized examinations. Here are weekend home-viewing tips:

* Tonight. "Take a Step--Moyers on Addiction: Close to Home in L.A." (KLCS, 9-9:30 p.m., also airing Friday at 9 p.m.) This live interview and call-in show with counselors, physicians and recovering addicts is a locally produced addition to the national PBS series on drug and alcohol addiction. Glenda Wina hosts.

Also, "Seeds of Tibet: The Voices of Children in Exile" (KCET, 10-11 p.m.) This is a documentary about the efforts of Tibetan families who escaped the Chinese occupation of their nation to preserve their culture.

* Friday. "The Heiress" (AMC, 3:30-5:30 p.m.) This is a superior, Oscar-winning movie version of Henry James' classic American novel, "Washington Square." Olivia de Havilland and Montgomery Clift star. Music by Aaron Copland. Available on video.

* Saturday. "Stand and Deliver" (KCOP, 4-6 p.m.) This feature film, based on fact, makes mathematics--specifically calculus--dramatic. Edward James Olmos stars in the role of East Los Angeles teacher Jaime Escalante. Available on video.

Also, "Le Mort d'Arthur" (TLC, 7-8 p.m.) This documentary examines the historical events underlying Thomas Malory's book--the definitive text on the subject--on the legend of King Arthur. (It's all in English, despite the title of the show and the book.) Note: The newest version of the legend, entitled "Merlin," is being broadcast on KNBC Sunday.

* Sunday. "In the Beginning" (KCET, 8-9 p.m.) This is one of four Earth Day-themed specials, by the producers of the well-regarded "Nature" series, examining the natural forces that have shaped Earth and its inhabitants. Tonight: origins of the solar system and the beginning of life.

Also, "Merlin" (Part I, KNBC, 9-11 tonight; Part II, KNBC, 9-11 p.m. Friday.) This miniseries presents a new version of the mythical events preceding the traditionally dramatized story of King Arthur and Camelot. Sam Neill, Isabella Rossellini, Miranda Richardson, Martin Short, Helena Bonham Carter and Sir John Gielgud star. For detailed information, log on to


--Compiled by Richard Kahlenberg in consultation with Crystal J. Gips, associate dean, College of Education, Cal State Northridge

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