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Sesame Street Stays Up Late! A Monster New Year's Eve Party (PBS, 8-9 p.m.): A surprising fact lies behind this ambitious international production: Broadcast TV offers little for kids in the way of New Year's Eve shows. So Children's Television Workshop has come up with one. It tunes in to cultures around the world to see what other kids are doing to celebrate the occasion.

Somewhat illogically, a program labeled ``New Year's Eve Party'' is being aired a few days before the fact, probably because New Year's Eve itself on PBS is booked with classical music for grownups. But this unusual production does sample the rich New Year's Eve traditions in many lands, with segments filmed in Japan, Norway, Portugal, Israel, Mexico, and Germany.

The show's format finds Big Bird and his Muppet friends getting ready for a party. Monster Elmo speaks with correspondents in other countries via the Monster News Network, which is covering children's festivities. As German kids go door to door banging pots and pans, Mexican youngsters whack open pinatas, and other customs are shown, the ``Sesame Street'' gang adopts some of them for their own party.

The American producers worked with teams in the other six countries, and the resulting program will be aired in these nations during the holiday season. Later it will be telecast elsewhere.

Great Performances - Leonard Bernstein: The Gift of Music ( PBS, 9-10:30 p.m.): Even with someone as talked about as Bernstein, it's easy to forget just how varied and prodigious his accomplishments were. This reflective documentary shows Bernstein in his many musical and personal roles - conductor, teacher, composer, family man, and media figure. He almost always had plenty to say, and his own commentary is used with clips culled from the huge archive of Bernstein materials.

Please check local listings for these programs.

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