What's On TV

By , M.S. Mason, and Suman Bandrapalli, Staff writers of The Christian Science Monitor

SATURDAY 1/30 The Magic Jersey (Disney Channel, 7-7:30 p.m.): A young boy refuses to allow his football-playing girl cousin into his club until he inherits a magic football jersey from his grandpa. The jersey gives him a whole new perspective on pro football - since he turns into a real star on a real team, and his cousin knows all the plays. Meant to involve both girls and boys, it is nonsexist fun.

Australian Open (ESPN, 10 p.m.-1 a.m.): The absence of Pete Sampras and a minefield of upsets have left the men's draw in a lackluster state. Or is this just the beginning of a new champ's rise to glory?

SUNDAY 1/31 Super Bowl XXXIII (Fox, pregame from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; kickoff at 6:18 p.m.): It's Atlanta's first trip to the greatest annual sporting spectacle in the world, the Super Bowl. Will the Falcons soar over the defending champion Denver Broncos? The game is just one part of an all-day extravaganza. More than 500 dancers will perform to a Caribbean cruise theme; the sounds of Kiss, Cher, Gloria Estefan, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy will add to the sideshow.

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SuperBawl Sunday (AMC, 6 a.m.-12 midnight): For viewers who prefer heartwarming films to championship football games, AMC offers a day-long festival of dramas including "Man in the Gray Flannel Suit," with Gregory Peck and Jennifer Jones; "Imitation of Life," starring Lana Turner and Sandra Dee; and "Love in the Afternoon," starring Audrey Hepburn and Gary Cooper. Pull out those handkerchiefs.

Family Guy (Fox, 10-10:30 p.m.): Animated series about a dysfunctional New England family makes its debut. Created by Seth MacFarlane, the prime-time cartoon isn't as funny or smart as "The Simpsons," but it might score big points because of its time slot, sandwiched between the Super Bowl and "The Simpsons." The show will air regularly in March.

TV Guide Channel (TVG, 12 midnight): TV Guide moves from print to television with the launch of its very own channel. Previously known as the Prevue Channel, it will feature profiles of performers, the latest entertainment news, and up-to-the-minute TV listings.

MONDAY 2/1 TV Guide Awards (Fox, 8-10 p.m.): Yet another "awards" show. Only this time, it's the readers of TV Guide who determine the winners. Readers voted for their favorite TV shows and performers in 14 different categories. Among the shows nominated for favorite comedy series: "Ally McBeal," "Everybody Loves Raymond," "Frasier," and "Friends." Hosted by Christina Applegate and French Stewart.

PICK OF THE WEEK Tom Clancy's 'Netforce' (ABC, 9-11 p.m.): The near-future thriller concerns an attempt to take over the world by a nasty computer genius (Judge Reinhold) and the efforts of Netforce to stop him. The mafia, a prison break-in, and treachery on the homefront make the plot complicated - if still predictable. A handsome design and plenty of star power don't disguise the clichs of the police-thriller genre. Still, all the high-tech virtual reality and X-Files-like effects are amusing, and the cautionary tale about the net and the seven deadlies are fully involving. Stars Kris Kristofferson as a virtual cop. Part 2 airs Thursday at the same time.

I'll Make Me a World (PBS, 9-11 p.m.): Vanessa L. Williams narrates this six-part documentary looking at the history of black artistic achievement in the 20th century. While the series is not a comprehensive encyclopedia of this century's greatest African-American artists, it fulfills the larger social mission of showing the battles that such creative soldiers have had to fight (see story, page 19).

WEDNESDAY 2/3 In Performance at the White House (PBS, 8-9 p.m.): Gospel is on the grow. If you bought one of the 44.6 million units of gospel and contemporary Christian music sold last year, here's a program you'll enjoy. CeCe Winans, the Messiah singers, and composer Phil Driscoll perform for the first family.

FRIDAY 2/5 NBA Basketball (TNT, check local listings): The NBA is back in business. And pro basketball unlocks itself into the unknown: the post-Jordan era. Opening-night features a doubleheader: New York at Orlando; Houston takes on the Los Angeles Lakers.

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