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Original Issue

SI View The Week in Television

the guide

Sunday 2/17 NBC 12:30 PM

Daytona 500
Expect the coverage to be all-Earnhardt, all the time. Dale
Earnhardt Jr. is among the favorites to win the event that last
year claimed the life of his father.

Tuesday 2/19 and Thursday 2/21 NBC

Women's Figure Skating
As usual, this competition boasts more breathless storylines than
Dawson's Creek. Will Michelle (Kwan) finally win Olympic gold?
Will Sasha (Cohen) try the quad? Will Sarah (Hughes), left, have
a breakthrough victory? Or will Irina (Slutskaya) be the Russian
spoiler, a role originally played by Oksana (Baiul)? Most
important, can four young women fight for three spots on the
podium without anyone getting clubbed?



sizzling & fizzling
Who Was Hot and Who Was Not

--NBC got a 25.5 rating (72 million viewers) for Salt Lake
City's opening ceremonies, the highest mark for an Olympic
opening ceremonies.

--Nifty technical innovations such as the Simul-Cam, in which a
downhill skier's run can be compared with the leader's as if
they were racing at the same time, made NBC's Olympic Games
coverage more accessible.

--NBC did well to keep its cameras on the action while Jim Gray
interviewed Michael Jordan during the All-Star Game. That
allowed viewers to see Tracy McGrady's spectacular
pass-off-the-backboard jam--a move that prompted Jordan to
dismiss Gray so His Airness could watch the game.

--It is understood that NBC wants to recoup its $650 million
Olympic investment, but by refusing to show marquee events
live--like the men's downhill on Sunday afternoon--so it could
get higher ratings at night, the network manufactured suspense
and misled viewers.

--When the tattered American flag from the World Trade Center
was carried into Rice-Eccles Olympic Stadium on Friday night,
Bob Costas and Katie Couric should have taken their cue from the
crowd and remained silent.

--If the NBA doesn't care about the slam-dunk contest
anymore--only four players deigned to throw it down on
Saturday--then TNT shouldn't bother airing it.