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Nature (PBS, 8-9 p.m.): It may strike you as a little odd to see actor Bob Hoskins (``Who Framed Roger Rabbit?'') do a show about tigers - on elephant back, yet. But after all, Timothy Dalton did a good one about wolves not long ago, and now this program nicely conveys Hoskins's own sense of commitment to tigers, an endangered species.

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Hoskins travels Nepal's Himalayan foothills and the islands of Indonesia to study the tigers' plight as their habitat is destroyed and they are hunted. At one point Hoskins is charged - for real - by a startled tigress defending her cubs.

Children of the Dust (CBS, 9-11 p.m.): With the February sweeps very much in mind, this blockbuster miniseries focuses on a little-noticed side of the Oklahoma Land Rush of the 1880s and the years leading up to it.

Based on the novel by Clancy Carlile, the tale involves white and black settlers, native Americans, and the Ku Klux Klan. Sidney Poitier stars as Gypsy Smith, a half-black, half-Cherokee gunfighter who leads some former slaves into the Oklahoma territory. The tale opens with Smith rescuing a Cheyenne boy from an Indian massacre. He brings him to the head of an Indian Agency (Michael Moriarity), who decides to raise the boy - over the strenuous objections of his wife (Farrah Fawcett).

Part 2 airs Tuesday, 9-11 p.m.

Op Center (NBC, 9-11 p.m.): NBC has its own eye, of course, on this month's sweeps, and who is a better ally than novelist Tom Clancy? His works are the ideal program inspiration, and this two-part international thriller is based on Clancy's book of the same name. The story includes stolen nuclear warheads, renegade KGB agents, and an inexhaustible supply of melodramatic moments.

Harry Hamlin portrays a businessman who is named director of the National Crisis Management Center - the Op Center - a secretive government agency that deals with threats to world security.

Part 2 airs Monday, 9-11 p.m.

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Please check local listings for these programs.

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