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The subject is science in 5-part KCET series; the people speak and the 'Choice' awards are given



"A Science Odyssey," / 8 p.m. KCET

Charles Osgood is the host for this five-part (Sunday to Thursday) overview of scientific discovery through the 20th century. Tonight's opening segment, "Matters of Life and Death" explores breakthroughs in surgery vaccines and medical technology. The remainder of the week covers "Mysteries of the Universe," "In Search of Ourselves," "Bigger, Better Faster" and "Origins."


"National Geographic Explorer" / 4 and 8 p.m. TBS

British explorers David Mitchell and Dr. Stephen Martin undertake an unsupported 1,200-mile crossing of the Arctic Ocean, from Siberia to Canada. The team must haul their own food and fuel, while facing forbidding dangers of wind, ice and polar bears. Even though they're making the trip in the Arctic summer, the sun's higher elevation in the sky causes melting of the broken ice fields they must traverse.


"I Know What You Did" / 9 p.m. ABC

This "Crimes of Passion" movie finds a defense attorney (Rosanna Arquette) snared in a twisted web of rape and the law. After getting a client acquitted of date rape, she herself is raped, but accidentally kills her assailant in self-defense. Not only is she being blackmailed by a witness to the assault, but her attacker was also an attorney--from the D.A.'s office--and her fiance (Stephen Eckholdt) is the police detective who's been assigned to the politically charged case.


"The People's Choice Awards" / 9 p.m. CBS

There's no academy to thank, no politicking to do within the industry: Real Americans are polled by the Gallup organization (no names or nominees are suggested) to determine this year's favorite movies, TV shows, actors, actresses, singers and music groups. Along with these categories is a Special Tribute Award to Whoopi Goldberg. Reba McEntire and Ray Romano ("Everybody Loves Raymond") are the hosts for the 24th annual ceremonies from the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Garth Brooks is a scheduled performer.


"The Andes" / 5 and 9 p.m Discovery

The South American mountain range stretches across seven countries, rising to peaks of 22,000 feet and embracing an amazing array of natural phenomena, extreme conditions, as well as unique plant and animal life. Man's adaptation to the unique Andean environment has occurred throughout civilizations past (ancient Inca) and present. Christopher Plummer hosts this three-part series.


"Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel" / 10 p.m. HBO

The first show of 1998 features segments on the glut of fraudulent merchandise on the sports memorabilia market; out-of-control fan beavior and steps being taken to curb it; Duane Thomas, the enigmatic Dallas Cowboys running back of the 1970s and Elizabeth O'Donnell, a former Ice Capades troupe member who became the pioneer skating instructor to the handicapped.


"Workin' Man: A Tribute to Merle Haggard" / Tuesday 6 p.m. TNN

The country music legend, whose superstardom is as much about his songwriting as his success in selling records, is saluted in songs--his own--by George Jones, Tim McGraw, Trace Adkins, Ricky Van Shelton, John Anderson and Little Jimmy Dickens. The two-hour special also reviews his life, which includes musical stardom as well as the hard times and life scrapes that inform his songs.


"Winter X Games" / 5:30 p.m. ESPN

Before and beyond Nagano: The second installment of what some might label as "Ice Follies: The Next Generation" finds fearless world athletes vying in a variety of extreme (hence the abbreviation "X") winter competitions including ice climbing, snowboarding, snow mountain bike racing, skiboarding, snocross and free skiing. Sixteen hours of coverage from Crested Butte, Colo. between Jan. 16-21 will be split up among ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC.

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