TV smarts

Some broadcast and cable programs contain material included in the public school curriculum and on standardized examinations. Here are weekend home-viewing tips:

* Today. “Rudyard Kipling’s the Second Jungle Book: Mowgli and Baloo” (TMC, 5:30-7 p.m.) This is a new, live-action movie version of the Kipling classic, intended for elementary school kids. James Williams stars. Also available in a newly reissued paperback edition.

* Friday. “Julia” (AMC, 5-7 p.m.) This is the movie version of “Pentimento,” an autobiographical work by American author Lillian Hellman, which examines her relationship with mystery writer Dashiell Hammett and an unusual, politically radical friend during the period before World War II. For his superior screenplay adaptation of the book, Alvin Sargent won an Oscar. Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, Jason Robards and Meryl Streep star. Also available on video. The film is rated PG.

* Saturday."Pippi Longstocking” (HBO, 7-7:30 a.m.) This is an animated film, one in a weekly series of 26, based on the children’s book series by Astrid Lindgren. The heroine is an energetic 9-year-old girl who won’t let anything stop her from setting forth on an adventure. Two new episodes debut each weekend, one on Saturday and one on Sunday, from 7-7:30 a.m.


Also, “Drums Along the Mohawk” (AMC, 9-10:30 a.m.). This classic, historically accurate movie about settlers in upper New York state--then the western frontier--during the American Revolution, is based on a novel by Walter Edmonds. It was directed by John Ford and stars Henry Fonda and John Carradine.

* Sunday. “Berlin Airlift,” (KCET, 10-11 p.m.) This documentary special marks the beginning of the 50th anniversary of the daring rescue from starvation of 2.5 million Berliners when Russia blockaded their city in 1948. American and British pilots, who made nearly 300,000 flights during a year’s time to bring their former enemies food, recall their experiences. Peabody Award-winner Robert Frye is the producer, Paul Duke narrates.

--Compiled by Richard Kahlenberg in consultation with Crystal J. Gips, associate dean, College of Education, Cal State Northridge. For references to books, videos and Web sites recommended in the past month’s TV Smarts log on