Marathon madness: football and comedy


New Year's Day is a day of college football bowl games -- and of TV marathons. Regarding the latter, you can turn to Comedy Central at any point today (and until 10 p.m. tomorrow) and watch reruns of "Soap."

Or, beginning at noon today, you can watch a marathon of 18 back-to-back USA Network telemovies -- though I wouldn't recommend it. This sounds like a joke, but isn't: All 18 of those movies are bad. Nickelodeon has its always-tapeable "Classic TV Countdown" (beginning at noon and running past midnight).


* "Soap Marathon." (midnight-10 p.m. tomorrow, COM) -- "Soap" was the "NYPD Blue" of its day: protested and boycotted by pressure groups before it had even hit the air. This 1977-81 series is best remembered today as the sitcom that gave Billy Crystal his big break, in a controversial role as Jodie Dallas, the first gay character on a weekly TV series.

* "Classic TV Countdown." (noon-12:30 a.m. Sunday, NIK) -- VCR Alert: The most popular reruns from Nicklelodeon's rerun lineup are presented today. If you tape them, you can rerun them anytime you want.

* "Body Language." (8-10 p.m., USA) -- This is the worst of all the USA Network telemovies shown today, which truly is saying something. Linda Purl and Heather Locklear star in this 1992 "thriller" about a murderous secretary, and the catfight near the elevator is even dumber than the mud-wrestling scene on "Dynasty."

* "And Now for Something Completely Different." (12:05-2:05 a.m., TBS) -- This funny movie presents some of the best of "Monty Python's Flying Circus" --and in condensed rather than marathon form.

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