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First in a series of three debates among the leading presidential candidates. the others are scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 15, and Monday, Oct. 19 There will alson be one vice presidential debate on Tuesday. Oct. 13


GEORGE BUSH , Republican: Convince voters that he is the safest choice in this election. Must reinforce the public's doubts about Gov. Bill Clinton, while making a convincing case that a second Bush term would be dramatically different from the first.

BILL CLINTON, Democrat: Avoid at all costs a serious blunder that raises questions about his character or ability to carry out the duties of the presidency. Try to convey the impression that he has the personal stature to assume world leadership.

ROSS PEROT, Independent: Cast himself as a serious candidate who will not walk away from the job if the going gets rough. Should portray his opponents as career politicians who won't deliver the changes needed to improve the lives of average Americans.


Jim Lehrer of PBS moderates, with questions from a panel of three reporters, Ann Compton of ABC News, John Mashek of the Boston Glove and Sander Vancour, freelance journalist.



(13 WJZ, 7 WJLA, 47 WMDT) -- Live with debate from 7 to 8:30 p.m. From 8:30 to 9, an ABC News analysis: Peter Jennings, Cokie Roberts, Jim Wooten, Jeff Greenfield and others.


(11 WBAL, 9 WUSA, 16 WBOC) -- Live with debate from 7 to 8:30 p.m. BUT -- If Game Four of American League Championship Series baseball playoff, beginning at 4 p.m., runs long, CBS will join the debate in progress, at conclusion of game. Further, if there is a Game Five of the National League Championship Series, CBS will join game coverage after the debate at 8:30.


(2 WMAR, 4 WRC, 8 WGAL, 25 WHAG) -- Live with debate from 7 to 8:30 p.m. BUT -- If second game of an NFL doubleheader, beginning at 4 p.m., runs long, the network will join debate in progress, at conclusion of the game. NBC plans a short post-debate analysis (Tom Brokaw, John Chancellor, Tim Russert and others), joining the series "I Witness Video" afterwards.


(45 WBFF, 5 WTTG, 29 WTXF, 43 WPMT) -- Live with debate from 7 to 8:30 p.m. No pre- or post-debate analyses.


(22/67 WMPT, 26 WETA, 32 WHMM) -- Live with debate, 7 to 8:30 p.m. PLUS -- A special half-hour "McNeil-Lehrer Report" will air at 8:30 with post-debate analysis ("NewsHour" team Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer, as well as Mark Shields and David Gergen).


Live with debate, 7 to 8:30 p.m. PLUS -- at 6:30 p.m. Bernard Shaw anchors a pre-show with correspondents Catherine Crier, Ken Bode and William Schneider. And at 8:30 p.m. Shaw et al return for a half-hour post discussion, also joined by correspondent Brooks Jackson. And at 9 p.m., a special edition of "Larry King Live" will include debate reaction.

CNN will also repeat the entire debate at midnight (eastern time).

And the network plans during the debate to conduct, via the Gallup Organization, a telephone poll with about 500 people nationwide, who are being asked to react positively or negatively during the debate, on a scale of 0 to 9. Results of the polling will be part of the post-debate show.

9 p.m. to 10 p.m., special edition of "Larry King Live," with viewer call-ins.


Live with debate, 7 to 8:30 p.m. PLUS -- From 5 to 7 p.m., Walter Mondale will host a live call-in pre-show. And from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., a post-debate show will include viewer phone-ins plus the "spin" from partisan campaign supporters.

C-SPAN also will repeat the full debate at 9:30 p.m., with a one-hour phone-in show following, and plans to repeat the debate again at midnight.

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