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Wonderful World of Disney: Flash

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Sunday, Dec. 21, 7-9 p.m. (ABC)

TV highlights for the week of Dec. 20-26. All times are Eastern; check local listings. Ratings are listed for shows when available (see box below).

SATURDAY - 12/20

It's a Wonderful Life (NBC, 8-11 p.m.): The holiday classic, which has become part of America's Yuletide experience, will be aired uncut for its only national broadcast this season. The late Jimmy Stewart as the suicidal George Bailey is forced by an angel to recognize how worthwhile his life has been - which in turn alerts us to the value of ours. Flawless direction by the legendary Frank Capra. Stewart fans can see more of the actor with a poignant Biography, airing Monday, 8-9 p.m., on A&E. (TV-G)

SUNDAY - 12/21

NFL Football (NBC, 4-7 p.m.): The Detroit Lions and the New York Jets kick off action in a critical game for both teams. Six teams are still in contention for three undecided playoff spots - the Lions, Jets, New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, and Washington Redskins. For each of the teams the possibilities are multiple, and the suspense will not be resolved until the last game of the regular season - Patriots versus Dolphins - at Miami, Monday on ABC, 9 p.m.-midnight.

Wonderful World of Disney: Flash (ABC, 7-9 p.m.): A lively and inspirational story about a poor Georgia boy's love for his horse, Flash. After Connor Strong's (Lucas Black of "Sling Blade") dream of owning a horse finally comes true, he is soon faced with a few challenges: Times are tough financially, and his father is forced to join the merchant marines for five months. But the brave Connor proves that with his horse, he can get through anything. Also starring Ellen Burstyn ("Spitfire Grill") and Brian Kerwin. (TV-G)

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A Christmas Memory (CBS, 9-11 p.m.): After "Flash" (above), you might sleep through this one. A holiday drama starring Patty Duke and Eric Lloyd, it's based on Truman Capote's short story about a young boy's friendship with his older cousin in Alabama. Every year, Sook (Duke) and Buddy (Lloyd) make fruitcake for everyone in town and personally deliver the goodies. But this Christmas ends up being their last when Buddy is sent away to military school. (TV-G)

TUESDAY - 12/22

In Search of Mother Russia's Children (Cinemax, 8-8:50 p.m.): "Please give me money for some food," begs a six-year-old girl on the cold streets of St. Petersburg in the opening scene of this program. A follow-up to the film "Mother Russia's Children," the documentary returns to the mean streets of St. Petersburg in search of the children they interviewed in 1992. There are an estimated 30,000 homeless children in the city who are forced to live on the streets because of poverty or abusive and alcoholic parents. Most of the children interviewed have a bleak outlook on life with little hope or joy. (TV-14)

I'll Be Home for Christmas (CBS, 8-10 p.m.): A heartwarming tale set at Christmastime. Sarah Gladstone (Ann Jillian), a small-town mayor, has to find a doctor before Christmas to keep the hospital open. A search reunites her with her high school boyfriend (Robert Hays). (TV-G)

FRIDAY - 12/26

Biography - Dalai Lama (A&E, 8-9 p.m.): With Hollywood paying attention to the Tibetan cause, this solid documentary offers a timely introduction to the Dalai Lama, who was anointed leader of Tibet's Buddhists when he was two years old. Actor Richard Gere and historians familiar with Tibet offer insight into the life and activism of the exiled Nobel Peace Prize winner. (TV-G)

Kennedy Center Honors (CBS, 9-11 p.m.): Walter Cronkite hosts one of America's most distinguished salutes to exceptional artists. This year's honorees are Bob Dylan, Charlton Heston, Lauren Bacall, Jessye Norman, and Edward Villella. Among those taking the stage are Gregory Peck, Jerome Robbins, and Bruce Springsteen. (TV-G)

TV-Y All Children

TV-Y7 Directed to Older Children

FV Fantasy Violence

TV-G General Audience

TV-PG Parental Guidance Suggested

TV-14 Parents Strongly Cautioned

TV-MA Mature Audience Only

S Sexual Situations V Violence

L Language D Dialogue

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