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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 This Is America, Charlie Brown (CBS, 8-8:30 p.m.): Mainly for ``Peanuts''-lovers, this animated special, first of an eight-part (!) miniseries, takes the famous characters back into American history... Bugs Bunny vs. Daffy (CBS, 8:30-9 p.m.): ... and if you're really into cartoons, you may want to stay tuned for this animated special about the two veteran figures as competing TV station programmers. Lots of music. Metropolitan Opera (PBS, 9-12 p.m.): Verdi's ``Il Trovatore'' stars Luciano Pavarotti and Eva Marton under James Levine's baton.

SATURDAY Big Ten football (ABC, 3:30 p.m., Eastern time, to conclusion): Michigan faces undefeated Indiana at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.

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SUNDAY Mission Impossible (ABC, 8-9 p.m.): Yes, this premi`ere brings back the classic 1966-73 action series. And it stars Peter Graves, whose own ``mission impossible'' - one he accomplishes nicely - is to re-create his original role of mastermind Jim Phelps. Basketball Open (ABC, 3:30-6 p.m., ET): The Boston Celtics compete in a tournament, played in Madrid, against four European teams.

MONDAY Newhart (CBS, 8-8:30 p.m.): This gently intelligent series - happily a network survivor - premi`eres a seventh season with its Vermont-inn regulars still wheeling comically around the hub of Bob Newhart's brilliant deadpan delivery. Smithsonian World (PBS, 8-9 p.m.): Three specials about museums? Before you yawn, please note that there's new life in the musty image of those institutions, as these worthwhile shows will tell. This season premi`ere explores the Smithsonian Institution itself. Campaign: The Choice (PBS, 9-10:30 p.m.): ``Frontline'' special profiling George Bush and Michael Dukakis is hosted by Gary Wills.

TUESDAY Nova (PBS, 8-9 p.m.): ``Do Scientists Cheat?'' There's been lots of smoke lately, and this episode explores the whole issue. The American Experience (PBS, 9-10 p.m.): Lots of viewers still feel Eric Sevareid was, hands down, TV's most insightful commentator. This edition of the new series is based on Mr. Sevareid's radio days during Hitler's rise to power in the '30s.

WEDNESDAY The Van Dyke Show (CBS, 8-8:30 p.m.): Good to see one of the biggest talents in the business - Emmy/Tony-winner Dick Van Dyke - back in a series, which premi`eres with a wild story about a stage play... Annie McGuire (CBS, 8:30-9 p.m.): ... not to mention another gifted comedian and former Van Dyke co-star, Mary Tyler Moore, who also starts a new series with this premi`ere. United Nations Day Concert 1988 (PBS, 9:30-11 p.m.): Australian soprano Joan Sutherland sings with the Sydney Symphony in a salute to Australia's bicentennial, featuring Richard Strauss, Ravel, and others.

THURSDAY Mystery (PBS, 9-10 p.m.): Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes returns with seven new episodes. This season premi`ere is the first of a two-parter called ``The Sign of the Four,'' about valuable pearls, an anonymous benefactor, a mysterious summons ... well, you get the idea.

Schedules may vary in some time zones. Please check local listings, especially for PBS, where individual stations often air programs on differing days and times.

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