The Olympics, the Jacksons and Tonya

TODAY'S TV

February 22, 1994|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Special to The Sun

The Olympic competition between Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan starts for real tomorrow -- but tonight it starts for fake, thanks to a 300-second quickie, tongue-in-cheek Comedy Central telemovie, "Spunk: The Tonya Harding Story," starring Tina Yothers of "Family Ties" in the title role. "At a full five minutes," says Comedy Central executive Ken Olshansky, "we think the movie gives the story all the attention it deserves." Watch for it, and watch it, on tonight's "Short Attention Span Theater."

* "The 1994 Winter Olympic Games." (8-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel -- With skiing and skating on the program, it's snow problem to have an ice day. CBS.

* "Encounters: The UFO Conspiracy." (8-9 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- This special was promoted during last Friday's "The X-Files," which does in a fictional format what this special will attempt to do as a documentary: Explore UFO sightings and rumors for deeper meaning. I haven't previewed this special, which makes it a UFO of another kind -- an Unseen Fox Original. Fox.

* "The Jackson Family Honors." (9-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Soon to be followed, perhaps, by "The Jackson Family Dishonors," pairing LaToya Jackson and her parents in a debate moderated by William F. Buckley Jr. This special, taped Saturday in Las Vegas, made headlines yesterday because a) Michael appeared but didn't solo, and b) Janet appeared solo but didn't hang around for the group finale. I've long ago reached the point of c) Who cares? NBC.

* "NYPD Blue." (10-11 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- This is a repeat, which means you can watch the Olympics without guilt. For the record, however, it's the episode in which Wendie Malick of "Dream On," as a rich man's abused wife, ignores Kelly's advice and decides to do something drastic about her domestic situation. David Caruso, Dennis Franz star. ABC repeat.Cable

* "Short Attention Span Theater." (8-8:30 p.m., COM) -- "Spunk: The Tonya Harding Story" is only one of the features in this special "Bad Girls" edition -- but I've seen the rough cut, and it's enough of a hoot, complete with typical telemovie flashbacks and a sequence involving stunt doubles, to make a special effort to see it. It also, in this five-minute burst, provides the best role of Tina Yothers' career. Other "Bad Girls," seen in clips from the Comedy Central vaults, include Shannen Doherty, Roseanne Arnold, Joan Collins and Kim Basinger. What, no Kathleen Battle?

* "Henry V." (12:30-2:50 a.m., DIS) -- Of all the sequels of "Henry," this was the very best.

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