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WEDNESDAY

Breakthroughs: Amazing Things to Come (NBC, 8-9 p.m.): What's really amazing is that experts are still willing to make long-term predictions - these days that means only a few years ahead - even though such forecasts tend to prove wildly off-base.

But the predictions keep coming, largely because it's great fun to hear educated guesses by experts, and this special not only offers these, but also has the good sense to take a look at what futurists of the past have said 1995 would be like.

This time the forecasting is about things in the not-too-distant future. Five aspects of the years ahead are explored: transportation, home, work, entertainment, and - taken together - health and education.

Among the predictions: cars that drive themselves, vacations in outer space, and homes that, in effect, read our minds (let's hope the latter is another of history's many false predictions).

The host is Grammy-winning recording artist James Todd Smith, who goes by the professional name LL Cool J.

THURSDAY

The Great Love Songs (PBS, 8-9:05 p.m.): In case today's rock sounds have wiped out your memory of what a romantic ballad with memorable lyrics sounds like, this special offers an evening that is unabashedly sentimental and maybe even old-fashioned.

Taped at New York City's Supper Club, the production nostalgically showcases six artists in a cabaret setting. As they perform, couples young and old, sitting at candlelit tables, tell which numbers are "their songs" and why.

Backed by Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops Orchestra, the artists and some of their songs are Dionne Warwick ("This Girl's in Love With You"), Maureen McGovern ("Our Love Is Here to Stay"), Jack Jones ("Just One of Those Things"), Margaret Whiting ("My Romance"), John Raitt ("If I Loved You," and "People Will Say We're in Love"), Cleo Laine ("Witchcraft" and "I Don't Know Why I Love You Like I Do").

Actress Betty White is host.

Please check local listings for these programs

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