With government closed, why is this man laughing?


What, ice skating again? Yep, on NBC this time. In interesting opposition, ABC is offering a new adventure for Little Orphan Annie.

* "Figure Skating: The Gold Championship" (8 p.m.-10 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- See? We told you ice spectaculars are the most popular tactic of "sweeps" month. The last skate show from the big three networks offers a championship skated in Vancouver, British Columbia, with the usual suspects, including Oksana Baiul, Kristi Yamaguchi and Brian Boitano. NBC.

* "Annie: A Royal Adventure" (8 p.m.-10 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- The plucky orphan (Ashley Johnson), her dog Sandy and benefactor Daddy Warbucks (George Hearn) match wits with a villain (Joan Collins) plotting to become queen of England. ABC.

* "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" (8 p.m.-10 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- Remember the episode last season in which Dr. Mike (Jane Seymour) was inspired by an elderly visitor's determination to climb Pike's Peak? Tonight the frontier physician decides to celebrate her birthday by tackling the trek herself. CBS.

* "Twins" (8 p.m.-10 p.m., WNUV, Channel 54) -- The sheer audacity of the idea -- Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger as siblings separated at birth -- helped make this a big hit in 1988. The sweet film features the two seeking some common ground -- and their mother.

* "A Gala for the President at Ford's Theatre" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Taped earlier this week at the Washington landmark, the annual special offers comedians Jeff Foxworthy and Paula Poundstone, country star Shania Twain and soul singers the Temptations performing for President and Mrs. Clinton. Brett Butler is the host. ABC.

* "Sisters" (10 p.m.-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- The struggles of Teddy (Sela Ward) to regain her fashion empire take center stage again, as the designer decides to mount her own show in opposition to the company that bears her name. NBC.

* "Saturday Night Live" (11:30 p.m.-1 a.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- They call her a "villainous vixen!" She's Laura Leighton, who plays Sydney on the weekly melodrama "Melrose Place" and is tonight's guest host. The musical act is the rock band Rancid. NBC.


* "Biography: This Week: Ross Perot" (8 p.m.-9 p.m., A&E; Network) -- Might he yet prove to be a wild card candidate in the presidential race? The millionaire Texan, who ran an on-again, off-again campaign last time around, is profiled from his childhood to his current role as a potential political spoiler.

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