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Olympic Odds & Historical Ends


The Winter Olympics will dominate the airwaves in February, with a whopping 128 hours of coverage allocated by CBS. But before then, there will be plenty of other specials to break up the routine of series and movies: promising documentaries, award shows galore, tributes, holiday celebrations and, oh, did we mention ice skating?

Here's a sampling of what's in store in the months ahead:


"The 1998 Olympic Winter Games": Medals will be awarded in 68 events in 14 sports in Nagano, Japan. The three new Winter Olympics sports are women's ice hockey, curling and snowboarding. Jim Nantz, Pat O'Brien, Andrea Joyce, Bill Macatee, Mark McEwen, Jane Robelot and Jose Diaz-Balart will host. Feb. 6-22. CBS.


For those of you who can't wait until February: "Gershwin on Ice," with Olympic champion Dorothy Hamill leading a cast of world-class figure skaters in this centennial tribute to the songwriting duo (Sept. 28, A&E); "Snowden on Ice," an original musical featuring Ekaterina Gordeeva, Scott Hamilton and Kurt Browning (Nov. 28, CBS); "Skating Romance III," with Brian Boitano and Michelle Kwan (Dec. 12, USA).


"The Making of a Supermodel: The 'Elite Model of the Year' ": The E! cameras follow dozens of young American beauties (ages 14-24) who vie for the chance to compete in the international "Look of the Year" finals in Nice, France. Sept. 28. E!.

"Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio?": This one-hour documentary on the Hall of Famer and American icon mixes archival footage and interviews with former President George Bush, DiMaggio's former teammates Jerry Coleman, Phil Rizzuto, Yogi Berra and many others. Oct. 20. HBO.

"The Girl in the Photograph": The girl is Kim Phuc, now a 34-year-old wife and mother living in Canada. The photograph is Nick Ut's Pulitzer Prize-winning black and white of a naked Vietnamese child, stinging with napalm burns. In this one-hour documentary, Phuc meets Ut, the journalist who comforted her, and Capt. John Plummer, who ordered the air strike on her village. Nov. 8. A&E.


"1997 VH1 Fashion Awards": Expect glam, glam and more glam from this music and fashion show. Oct. 28. VH1.

"1997 Europe Music Awards": MTV promises a "superstar host" for the show, to be held in the Netherlands this year. November. MTV.

"1997 Billboard Music Awards": The fans choose the winners at this awards show. Broadcast from the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. Dec. 3. Fox.

Also, save the dates for the biggies: "The 70th Annual Academy Awards," March 23, ABC; "The 40th Annual Grammy Awards," February, CBS; "The 52nd Annual Tony Awards," June. CBS.


"Farm Aid": Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, John Fogerty, the Allman Brothers band, and many others will perform at the six-hour benefit concert in Texas Stadium. Oct. 4. TNN.

"Classic Whitney": Whitney Houston, the Grammy-laden songbird, will perform many of her greatest hits from Constitution Hall in Washington. Oct. 5. HBO.


"The Magic of David Copperfield XVII": The suave illusionist's first network special in two years. TBA. CBS.

"A Tribute to Aaron Spelling": Heather Locklear, Ricardo Montalban, the cast of "The Love Boat" and, of course, daughter Tori, salute the sultan of prime-time soaps. TBA. ABC.

"The Champions of Magic": Princess Stephanie of Monaco no less will host and co-executive produce this one-hour special from Monte Carlo's Festival of Magic. TBA. ABC.


"Stomp": Television viewers have seen the cast of the off-Broadway dance phenomenon on the 1996 Academy Awards and on Coca-Cola commercials, but now the "Stomp" kids really get to show their stuff. December. HBO.


"Rolling Stone Magazine 30th Anniversary Special": Should we trust a pop-culture magazine over 30? Maybe it'll depend on how good this Radio City Music Hall show is. October. MTV.

"Motown's 40th: A Retrospective": Motown's 25th anniversary special was one of the highlights of television in the 1980s. For its 40th, ABC is giving Motown four hours over two nights to work the same kind of magic. TBA. ABC.

"Quincy Jones ... A 50-Year Celebration": Emmy Award-winner Jeff Margolis is helming a tribute to the multitalented entertainer, composer and producer, which will be taped at the Pasadena Civic Center. TBA. ABC.


"What Are You Staring At?": Christopher Reeve and John Hockenberry lead a discussion between able-bodied and disabled kids. Linda Ellerbee moderates this "Nick News Special Edition." Oct. 19, Nickelodeon.


"Kathie Lee Christmas": How will the talk-show host end her annus mirabilis? With a Christmas special, natch. Musical guest stars will join the famous redhead in Colorado. December. CBS.

"The Elf Who Rescues Christmas": A new animated feature from the studio of Will Vinton, creator of the dancing California Raisins. December. ABC.

"A Judy Collins Christmas at the Biltmore Estate": Collins sings holiday favorites at the famous American castle in North Carolina. December. A&E.

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