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This guide is designed to alert readers to the scope and variety of programming coming up. Listing is not meant to represent blanket endorsement. Viewers are urged to be selective. FRIDAY Many Happy Returns (CBS, 9-11 p.m.): George Segal stars in original comedy about one man's war with the IRS.

Sidekicks (ABC, 8-9 p.m.): Preview of new series about a 10-year-old with a karate black belt.

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Starman (ABC, 9-10 p.m.): Premi`ere of new series about an alien who returns to earth in the body of an earthling. Based on 1984 movie. SATURDAY

Disney's `Captain EO' Grand Opening (NBC, 8-9 p.m.): An hour-long promotion for a new 3-D laser video show at Disneyland.

Life with Lucy (ABC, 8-8:30 p.m.): Lucille Ball is back in a new series as a recently widowed owner of a hardware store. Can Lucy do it again?

The Ellen Burstyn Show (ABC, 8:30-9 p.m.): Mother, daughter, and granddaughter live and laugh together in a new series about a college professor who teaches at home. SUNDAY

Our House (NBC, 7-8 p.m.): Season's most heartwarming new series about a granddad who takes in his late son's family.

National Geographic Explorer (WTBS/cable, 8-10 p.m.): Wide-ranging short documentaries of interest to the whole family.

Walter Cronkite at Large (CBS, 10-11 p.m.): Uncle Walter returns in the first of a two-part Cronkite journal. MONDAY

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ALF (NBC, 8-8:30 p.m.): Premi`ere of new series about a furry visitor from the planet Melmac, not nearly as endearing as ET.

Together We Stand (CBS, 8:30-9 p.m.): New series starring Elliott Gould as a the head of a family of mostly adopted children. TUESDAY

Matlock (NBC, 8-9 p.m.): Premi`ere of Andy Griffith series about a slick ``bumpkin'' of a lawyer.

The Media and Human Rights (PBS, 10-11 p.m.): Ted Koppel leads news reporters in discussion of media handling of human-rights issues in South Africa, Poland, and the Philippines. WEDNESDAY

Courage (CBS, 8-11 p.m.): A mother (Sophia Loren) fights back when her child gets hooked on drugs.

Head of the Class (ABC, 8:30-9 p.m.): New series about a substitute teacher trying to teach by example, sometimes bad.

Firing Line (PBS, 9-11 p.m.; check local listings): Two-hour edition hosted by William F. Buckley Jr. includes controversial documentary about alleged Stalin-engineered famine in the Ukraine in the '30s. THURSDAY

Our World (ABC, 8-9 p.m.): New documentary/magazine show hosted by Linda Ellerbee and Ray Gandolf. A kind of scrapbook of history.

Please check local listings for PBS programs since local option often results in differing days and times.

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