A final word from Bob Costas: 'Later'

TODAY'S TV

February 25, 1994|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Special to The Sun

Like you need help deciding what to watch tonight. There's only one show in town tonight -- and the town happens to be Hamar.

* "The 1994 Winter Olympic Games" (8 p.m.-11:30 p.m., WMAR, Channel 11) -- Hold on to the roof, because ratings for tonight's CBS Olympics coverage probably will go right through it. Two days ago, Nancy Kerrigan earned first place in the technical program. Yesterday morning, two of the other skaters in the top five collided during practice, adding a last-minute unexpected and unknown injury quotient into this already outrageous equation. Tonight Ms. Kerrigan, and those other gold-medal hopefuls, and Tonya Harding (who faltered Wednesday and finished 10th) all skate for the finals, and for history, and for a sense of temporary closure to one of the strangest sports stories in the history of the Olympics. CBS is advertising this night of coverage as "The music, the magic, the medal!" It might as well be described as "The maiming, the manipulation, the merchandizing!" But tonight, at long last, it all gets down to athleticism and artistry, and who can do the best when it counts the most. Kerrigan may pull a Dan Jansen and seize the day, or she may pull a former Dan Jansen and let it, and her skate, slip away. Either way, this is a telecast whose advance promotion, on CBS and in all rival media, make "The Day After" and the last episode of "M*A*S*H" look starved for attention by comparison. One word of warning: If you want the results to be a surprise, stay away from TV and radio in the hours leading up to prime time. CBS.

* "Hot Shots!" (8 p.m.-10 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- The Fox network already showed this movie Monday, so why is it repeating it in prime time tonight? Because even the folks at Fox know where most of America will be turning its attention tonight. Why waste original programming, or even perfectly good series repeats, on a night when CBS is the biggest ticket of the year? Fox repeat.

* "Later With Bob Costas" (2:35 a.m.-3:35 a.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- And for the last time, too, as the affable interviewer concludes as host of his fine series, and shows clips from past triumphs and embarrassments. Starting Monday, Greg Kinnear takes over as host. NBC.

Cable

* "Rescue From Gilligan's Island" (8:05 p.m.-10:05 p.m., TBS) -- If you don't want to watch the Olympics, what's left? Channel-surfing among several nostalgic TV movies, including this 1978 reunion . . .

* "Get Smart, Again!" (9 p.m.-11 p.m., LIF) -- . . . And this 1989 one . . .

* "Return to Mayberry" (10:05 p.m.-12:05 a.m., TBS) -- . . . and this 1986 one.

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