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 Circus of the Stars (CBS, 9-11 p.m.): It's the 13th annual edition of this somewhat odd format: all kinds of show-biz stars performing circus acts - and sometimes performing them well. Great Performances (PBS, 9-10 p.m.): A 1925 silent classic - ``The Eagle'' - stars Rudolf Valentino as a renegade Black Eagle during Catherine the Great's reign in czarist Russia.

SUNDAY Almost Grown (CBS, 9-11 p.m.): Preview of a new drama series about couple's relationship (see article on Page 27). Magical World of Disney (NBC, 7-8 p.m.): In the ``The Absent Minded Professor,'' a forgetful genius causes humorous havoc with a weird invention. Nature (PBS, 8-9 p.m.): ``The Nature of Australia: A Portrait of the Island Continent'' - third episode of this six-parter - deals with ``The Making of the Bush.''

MONDAY Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (CBS, 8-8:30 p.m.): Yes, it's a bit early for this animated tale, first broadcast in 1966 and so popular it's traditionally aired during the holiday season. But the tale of a Scrooge-like creature does help pin down where the real spirit of Christmas lies. Almost Grown (CBS, 10-11 p.m.): Premi`ere of the series previewed as a two-hour special Sunday. Pyramid (PBS, 8-9 p.m.): Architect-illustrator David Macauley's popular book about the Great Pyramid at Giza is adapted for TV through live action and high-quality animation. Horowitz Plays Mozart (PBS, 9-10 p.m.): It took 35 years, but Vladimir Horowitz, the 88-year-old pianistic legend, finally agreed to record again with a symphony orchestra in a studio. The result: Conductor Maria Guilini and the La Scala Orchestra join Horowitz in offering Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 in Amajor - including, of course, the indescribable delights of that third movement.

TUESDAY The 50th Barbara Walters Special (ABC, 9-11 p.m.): She usually lets viewers draw their own conclusions, but this time Walters talks about her own impressions of the world figures she's interviewed over the last quarter of a century - from the Shah of Iran and Fidel Castro to Dolly Parton and Stevie Wonder. TV 101 (CBS, 8-9 p.m.): Premi`ere of a new series about a journalism class (see preview on Page 27). The American Experience (PBS, 9-10 p.m.): In 1936, photographer Walker Evans and writer James Agee did a magazine piece called ``Let Us Now Praise Famous Men'' which became a classic social document. It was about tenant farm families in Alabama, and, in this program, filmmaker Carol Bell returns to see what became of them.

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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