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WEEKEND TV : VARIETY SHOWS WILL ADD SOME SPICE TO THE TUBE

Variety shows are hard to come by these days, but two entertainment forms that spawned that TV genre--vaudeville and the circus--are on view this weekend.

“The New Vaudevillians” is a 90-minute show that bows on the Disney cable channel for the first time at 9 tonight. Hosted by Peter Scolari of “Newhart,” the program showcases jugglers, clowns, musicians, ventriloquists, comedians and other specialty acts that gathered at San Francisco State University in June for a New Vaudeville Festival.

The program also will be shown on the Disney Channel Friday, Aug. 25, Sept. 2, 7 and 12.

For circus lovers, there’s a repeat at 9 p.m. Sunday of CBS’ “The 10th Annual Circus of the Stars,” with Bea Arthur, Dick Clark and Merv Griffin as ringmasters. The roster of guest performers includes Phyllis Diller, Ricky Schroder, Burt Lancaster, Cathy Lee Crosby, Deidre Hall, Pernell Roberts, Lana Turner and Willie Aames.

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For the more serious-minded, KHJ Channel 9 is unveiling “Terrorism: The Faceless Threat,” one of its periodic “Camera 9" documentaries. Dan Medina, Jim Murphy and Mark Trank report on why terrorism is happening, who is responsible for it and what is being done to combat it. The hourlong program airs Sunday at 8 p.m.


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