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 Boston Pops special (NBC, 8-9 p.m.): This mix of Christmas music - taped in Symphony Hall under John Williams's baton -- includes guest stars Andy Williams, Reba McIntire, John Candy, and Roberta Flack. The King's Singers (PBS, 10-11 p.m.): Twenty years ago, this male sextet was formed at King's College, England. For this show it joins the Kansas City Symphony in a program of holiday music.

SATURDAY Santa Claus: The Movie (ABC, 9-11 p.m.): Could Santa Claus and his whole operation be the target of a takeover? How did he get his job in the first place? Dudley Moore, David Huddleston (as Santa), and John Lithgow star in this movie special about the origins of the Claus enterprise. The Homecoming: A Christmas Story (CBS, 9-11 p.m.): Rebroadcast of the award-winning drama that inspired the long-running series ``The Waltons,'' about a rural American family in the depression era.

SUNDAY Walt Disney's Very Merry Christmas (ABC, 9-11 p.m.): All the familiar characters and other types will join in the sixth annual live coverage of this colorful event.

MONDAY The Koppel Report: News From Earth (ABC, 10-11 p.m.): Ted Koppel assembles a special newscast as if it were going to be heard by aliens from another planet, many years in the future, and hopes it will appeal to today's resident viewers on Earth. (See preview in adjoining columns.) Smithsonian World (PBS, 8-9 p.m.): ``The apparel oft proclaims the man,'' as Polonius says in ``Hamlet,'' and this program explores what today's styles actually say about society. Called ``The Way We Wear'' (guess they just couldn't resist), the production taps the Smithsonian's costume collection for historical perspective. (See preview on next page.) Mission: Miskito Coast (PBS, 9-10:30 p.m.): The military-political cauldron in Central America has a human side, as shown in this documentary about refugees on the coast of Honduras.

TUESDAY The American Experience (PBS, 9-10 p.m.): Up the Missouri River in 1832 went Prince Maximilian of Wied, a German naturalist, and Karl Bodmer, an artist. ``Views of a Vanishing Frontier'' retraces the two-year expedition, using reenactments, Bodmer's paintings, and modern film clips.

THURSDAY Ice Capades (ABC, 8-10 p.m.): Stars - skating and nonskating - join in a family entertainment hour hosted by Kirk Cameron of the network series ``Growing Pains.''

Listings are in Eastern time; other zones may vary. Please check listings for all PBS programs, since local option often results in differing days and times.

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