VR.5 (Fox, 8-9 p.m.): The interesting series premiering here focuses on a young woman who stumbles onto a way of mixing virtual reality with real life - call it ``real virtual reality.'' During the day, Sydney Bloom (thoughtfully played by Lori Singer), works as a telephone line rigger. But at home, with a souped-up computer, she can involve other people in a kind of electronic dream world of the subconscious. She alone recalls the semi-real experiences when they are over.

Executive producer John Sacret Young, who helped create the series ``China Beach,'' has come up with a strange sci-fi fantasy format, but much of the time the people involved are credible: idiosyncratic and at times quite funny. Blurring reality with cyberspace is already a well-worked theme in TV plots, but ``VR.5'' manages - some of the time, at least - to prevent high-tech visions from being an end in themselves. Instead, they become a way of dealing with human problems and, in the opener, with some physical danger.

World Figure Skating Championships (NBC, 8-9 p.m.): Skating events have been proliferating lately on TV, but this one - held in Birmingham, England - has always ranked high, and the network is devoting a lot of prime-time to it. This program includes the men's final, with host Greg Gumbel, analyst Sandra Bezic, and reporter Mary Ann Grabavoy. * SATURDAY

World Figure Skating Championships (NBC, 2-4 p.m.): The pairs final and the ladies short program.

(8-11 p.m.): Ladies' short and long programs and the ice-dancing preliminaries. * SUNDAY

World Figure Skating Championships (NBC, 7-8 p.m.): The pairs skating final.

Please check local listings for these programs.

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