FRIDAY World Figure Skating Championships (NBC, 8-9 p.m.): From Prague comes taped coverage of the men's finals in an event boasting some of the world's top figure skaters. Canada's three-time world champion Kurt Browning hopes to regain momentum after a disappointing seventh place in the 1992 Olympics. Both Scott Davis and Mark Mitchell want to become the first American to win since Brian Boitano in 1988. (Coverage continues Saturday and Sunday.) `Entertainment Tonight': 3,000th show (Syndicated; check local listings): However trivial and gossipy it can be at times, this program is the granddaddy of big-time entertainment coverage and has triggered some visible changes in the tone of TV news programming since its premiere in 1981. It is regularly on the list of the top 10 syndicated programs, making co-hosts Mary Hart and John Tesh among TV's most familiar faces. The program's success has a lot to do with the increased visibility of show-business st ories on local newscasts, and with the creation of full-time entertainment shows. `Entertainment Tonight' was the first syndicated program to be taped the same day it is aired, and its timely presence has boosted the plausibility of first-run syndication. Along the way it has received some 12 Emmys. For this special edition, the show looks back at highlights from its long, sometimes silly, undeniably influential run. A Birthday Tribute to Julia Child - Compliments to the Chef! (PBS, 9-10:05 p.m.): Members of the Boston Symphony play `Fanfare for Pots and Pans' in her honor. Dan Ackroyd does his ludicrous impression of her. Celebrities salute her, and fans and friends pay tribute. It all happens at a birthday party - airing for the first time - that took place last April when TV's premier chef and America's best-known cooking instructor turned 80.

Please check local listings for all programs. PBS Pledge Month schedules vary widely from station to station.

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