Blue Glow

Salon's TV picks for Weekend, Jan. 19-21, 2001

Topics: George W. Bush, Figure skating, Golden Globes, Television,

Series

The refined comic stylings of Benny Hill are remembered on Biography (8 p.m. Fri., A&E). The reality series Popstars (8:30 p.m. Fri., WB) really is the girl version of “Making the Band”; last week’s audition episode was practically identical to the “Making the Band” pilot, with clips of wannabes imitating Christina Aguilera and Mariah Carey in hopes of winning a slot. Except “Popstars” was even nastier, showing a long snarky segment on the most pathetically talentless of the lot. Grade A cheese. Mad TV (11 p.m. Sat., Fox) has a presidential inauguration special, if you feel like laughing about it. On King of the Hill (7:30 p.m. Sun., Fox), Hank’s beloved truck may be headed for the scrapheap. Malcolm’s family gets into a feud with the new neighbors on Malcolm in the Middle (8:30 p.m. Sun., Fox). Scully and Doggett battle a murder suspect who’s so, um, flexible he puts old bogeyman Tooms to shame on The X-Files (9 p.m. Sun., Fox). Nikita suffers from mysterious blackouts, much like California, on La Femme Nikita (10 p.m. Sun., USA).

Specials

George W. Bush takes the oath of office in the presidential inauguration ceremony (10 a.m. Sat., ABC, Fox News; 11 a.m., CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN). The two-part miniseries A Girl Thing (8 p.m. Sat., Showtime) gathers up a roster of big-name actresses for a vignette-laden four hours of predictably “empowering” drama, as well as the trendy glam-lesbian sex scene (between Elle Macpherson and Kate Capshaw). Stockard Channing holds it all together as a shrink tending to various patients and their problems. Starring Camryn Manheim, Mia Farrow, Peta Wilson, Linda Hamilton and Allison Janney, among others. The two-hour MTV’s Most Outrageous Moments (9 p.m. Sat., MTV) revisits some of the signature nonvideo happenings from Music Television’s first 20 years. Remember when a loaded Courtney Love crashed a Madonna interview and Missy was not amused? It’s here. The weirdest kids’ movie ever made, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (7 p.m. Sun., ABC), gets a rare network airing. The Oompa-Loompas have their charms, but what is the deal with Gene Wilder’s out there histrionics? The man is disturbing. Al Pacino gets a career achievement award — in his case, he should get a “throwing away a career achievement award” — at the 58th Annual Golden Globe Awards (8 p.m. Sun., NBC). Presenters include Kevin Spacey, James Gandolfini, Hilary Swank, Denzel Washington and Tom Cruise. Tom Selleck plays a gunslinger protecting a wealthy widow in the new cable western Louis L’Amour’s Crossfire Trail (8 p.m. Sun., TNT). In the George W. era, there’ll be a new Tom Selleck western every week.



Sports

Hockey:
Penguins at Stars (8 p.m. Fri., ESPN)
Panthers at Flyers (7 p.m. Sat., ESPN2)
Avalanche at Mighty Ducks (8 p.m. Sun., ESPN)

Basketball:
Kings at Trail Blazers (5:30 p.m. Sat., NBC)
Pacers at Knicks (Noon, Sun., NBC)
Raptors at 76ers (2:30 p.m. Sun., NBC)
Heat at Lakers (5 p.m. Sun., NBC)

Figure skating:
U.S. Championships (8 p.m. Fri., ESPN2; 1 p.m. Sat., ABC — men’s, dance finals; 9 p.m. Sat., ABC — women’s, pairs finals)

Talk

Rosie O’Donnell (syndicated) Tom Brokaw, Amanda Bynes
David Letterman (CBS) Tom Selleck, Richard Ashcroft
Jay Leno (NBC) Denise Richards, Don Cheadle
Politically Incorrect (ABC) Geoffrey Rush, Philip Kaufman
Conan O’Brien (NBC) Clyde Peeling
Craig Kilborn (CBS) Sheila E.

All times Eastern unless noted.

Joyce Millman is a writer living in the Bay Area.

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