Last year, 2,500 respondents from seven Soviet republics were asked to choose their five favorite TV programs. The survey, conducted by three American and two Soviet scholars, included both rural and urban respondents from a variety of ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. Topping the list:

1. View: It was chosen No. 1 by a wide margin. The show is a mix of guest interviews, magazine-style pieces, MTV, and tough investigative reporting. First produced in 1987, the program is considered the boldest on Soviet TV (a number of shows have been censored by the government). The program, which airs on Fridays, was recently expanded from two to four hours.

2. Vremya (The Evening News): The 35-minute broadcast (longer when deemed necessary) airs at 9 p.m. Moscow time.

3. Feature films: A mixture of dubbed foreign and Soviet films are broadcast during prime time. (Unlike television in the United States, most Soviet programs have no specific time slots; newspapers and a publication similar to TV Guide carry programming information.)

4. Around Laughter: Similar to a variety show, this comedy program runs about two hours. It appears about every other month on a weekend.

5. Before and After Midnight: One of the first Soviet late-night programs, it's similar to the Today Show in the US. The program combines two hours of news-related material (news clips and features) with musical entertainment. This program's monthly schedule is undergoing change.

- Courtesy Ellen Mickiewicz, director of the Soviet Media and International Communications Program at the Carter Center, Emory University, Atlanta

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