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Shows For Youngsters And Their Parents Too

How 'Ruby' made a big difference; bears from polar to panda; a Tom vs. Jerry Bowl competition

January 18, 1998|LYNNE HEFFLEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Ruby Nelle Bridges was only 6 years old when she helped change history: She became one of the first African American students to be integrated into the New Orleans public schools in 1960, and to do it she had to be escorted by federal marshals for her own safety. The story of the brave girl is re-created in "Ruby Bridges," a new family film on "The Wonderful World of Disney" (ABC, Sunday at 7 p.m.), starring Lela Rochon, Penelope Ann Miller, Michael Beach, Kevin Pollak and, in the title role, Chaz Monet. For the family.

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How do polar bears sniff out prey in a frozen habitat? What gifts of evolution enable pandas to grasp tough bamboo stalks so they can dine on their primary food source? How are black bears able to navigate their way back to their hibernation dens? Find out in the "The Ultimate Guide" series premiere of "Bears" (Discovery Channel, Sunday at 8 p.m.). It explores the similarities and differences among all eight species of bears, from grizzlies to pandas. Ages 7 to adult.

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The Grammy Award-winning a cappella group All-4-One makes a guest appearance on the third season premiere of the toe-tapping "Kidsongs Television Show," featuring guests, singalongs, music videos and positive messages (KCET, Sunday at 7 a.m.). Ages 2 to 10.

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Jerry the mouse always foils Tom the alley cat in "Tom vs. Jerry," a 'toon marathon starring MGM's battling duo. This Cartoon Network Superbowl special also features John Madden and Pat Summerall, in voiceovers, supplying play-by-play and color commentary for the mouse/feline conflict in a "half-time show." (Cartoon Network, Saturday, 5-9 p.m.; repeats next Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.). For the family.

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"Saved By the Bell: The New Class," "City Guys," "Hang Time" and "NBA Inside Stuff" kick off NBC's Super Bowl weekend with a "TNBC Super Sports Saturday" block of all sports-themed repeat episodes (NBC, Saturday, 8-11 a.m.). Ages 13 to 16.

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"Cats Don't Dance," the animated musical about a feline who tries to break into show biz in the 1930s, but finds that only humans get the good parts, features the voices of Scott Bakula, Natalie Cole, Hal Holbrook, Rene Auberjonois, Kathy Najimy, Don Knotts and other notables (Disney Channel, Saturday at 7 p.m.). For the family.

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