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Flickers (PBS, Sunday, 9-10 p.m., and for five Sundays thereafter). This would-be lighthearted ''Masterpiece Theater'' saga is about a British con man in the early film business who marries an ambitious spinster and turns into a monstrous movie mogul.

It's a comedy with authentic period background, and if you're intrigued by the history of ''flicks'' in England, you'll probably enjoy this series, despite the fact that just about everybody in it is in some way villainous. Starring is Bob Hoskins, the picaresque traveling music salesman of the cult series ''Pennies From Heaven.''

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This one is just a mite short on picaresqueness and depends too much on what is meant to be lovable meanness.

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