What's On TV:

SUNDAY 12/20

Nagano '98 Olympics (Showtime, 8-10 p.m.): All that glitters is not gold. Bud Greenspan has fascinatingly spotlighted the theme in six previous Olympic films. This, his seventh, is his best yet. These are personal stories of athletes told in a manner that brings a tear at the moment of triumph. It's not about the big stars, but about lesser-known athletes. Profiled are Chinese figure-skater Lu Chen, American speed-skater Kirstin Holum, and Norwegian cross-country skiers Bjorn Daehlic and Thomas Alsgaard, among others.

Hitman Hart: Wrestling With the Shadows (A & E, 9-11 p.m.): A film crew goes behind the scenes and documents a year in the life of Bret "The Hitman" Hart, former World Wrestling Federation champion, and looks at wrestling's growing popularity. (See cover story, page 13). (TV-PG)


In Pursuit of the Shroud (TLC, 10-11 p.m.): The "Shroud of Turin" has always been an object of reverence, controversy, and speculation: Is the image it bears that of a wounded Jesus? In this "Science Frontiers" episode, science and sentiment deepen mystery and curiosity. (TV-G)


The Christmas Box (ABC, 9-11 p.m.): Maureen O'Hara and Richard Thomas star in this sentimental story about a wealthy elderly lady who learns something about joy from a little girl - and then teaches what she has learned to the child's father. Well-written and nicely performed, this rebroadcast was a poignant hit the first time around in 1995. (TV-G)

SUNDAY 12/27

Wildlife Wars: (TBS, 9-10 p.m.): Daryl Hannah hosts this smart documentary about the conflict between man and beast as suburbia encroaches on the terrain of wild cougars, bears, and coyotes. What might at first sound like a typical Western story turns out to be much more widespread - bears have been trashing neighborhoods even in New Jersey.

Season of Joy: The Gift of Sports (Lifetime, 10-11 a.m): The Women's Sports Foundation presents the great achievements of some of the world's most renowned female athletes, such as Cynthia Copper, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Billie Jean King, with a tribute to Florence Griffith-Joyner, including an interview with husband Al Joyner.


Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of Performing Arts (CBS, 9-11 p.m.): Actor and comedian Bill Cosby is honored along with Shirley Temple Black, country singer/songwriter Willie Nelson, classical composer/ conductor Andre Previn.

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