Will Martin be skating on thin ice?


Nine hours of "major" Olympics coverage -- five hours today, four more tonight -- are on the CBS schedule tonight. If previous coverage is any indication, this should work out to about three hours of commercials, three hours of features, an hour devoted solely to Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan, and 45 minutes about what's "coming up next," with the rest of the time reserved to cover actual athletes participating in actual sports. When watching these Olympics, patience isn't merely a virtue. It's a requirement.

* "The 1994 Winter Olympic Games" (1 p.m.-6 p.m., 7 p.m.-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- The men's skating final, which is a lot less predictable now that so many former champions and favorites had problems in Thursday's technical program, is one major event worth watching. Another is the 500-meter women's speed skating, with Bonnie Blair trying to medal in her third straight Olympics. CBS.

* "Airplane!" (8 p.m.-10 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- This 1980 comedy has been shown by ABC so many times, surely anyone interested in seeing this zany disaster-movie spoof already has taken the opportunity. (That's probably true -- but don't call me Shirley.)ABC repeat.

* "Hot Country Jam '94" (9 p.m.-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Geez, does this mean there automatically will be one in '95? For this year's show, Lorrie Morgan, Doug Stone and Marty Stuart are the hosts; Reba McEntire, Faith Hill, Vince Gill and Brooks & Dunn are scheduled to perform. NBC.

* "Saturday Night Live" (11:30 p.m.-1 a.m., WMAR, Channel 2 -- The Martin Lawrence of HBO is a lot raunchier and kinetic than the Martin Lawrence of Fox's "Martin." Which one will show up as the host of "Saturday Night Live" tonight? Fans will want the former; NBC had better hope for the latter. NBC.


* "Race to Freedom: The Underground Railroad" (8 p.m.-10 p.m., BET, FAM) -- Alfre Woodard makes an uncredited one-scene appearance as Harriet Tubman in this new made-for-TV movie, which mixes fictional characters and historical figures in a rather interesting drama about four slaves and their cross-country quest for freedom. Courtney Vance and Janet Bailey star.

* "The Big Carnival" (5 p.m.-7 p.m., 1-3 a.m., AMC) -- Tired of the current media circus? Make sure to watch this clever 1951 movie, starring Kirk Douglas as a cynical reporter, which dramatizes the typical circus atmosphere of more than 40 years ago.

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