TV

It's Olympic Time

The opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics from Vancouver kick off tonight (NBC, 7:30 p.m.) For you the viewer, it means that a lot of the programming that you would expect to be new will be reruns for the next week or so from the other networks.



I usually prefer the summer games to the winter ones, having lived below the Mason-Dixon line my whole life. I'm not really acquainted with the intricacies of the luge.



I'm also not a fan of the X-Games element brought into the games to make it appeal to a younger audience. Right now, the biggest star of the Olympics is Shaun White.



In general, I'm not a fan of any "sport" that determines its winner by judges. That goes for the X-Games, figure skating or gymnastics. For me, to be a real sport, the scoring system requires the athlete or the team to either score a goal, a point or a run, such as in hockey, or to beat a clock or a fellow athlete in a race, such as bobsledding or speedskating.



That's not to knock the athletic prowess of figure skaters or gymnasts. Clearly, what they do takes a tremendous amount of physical agility. But for me, it can't be a sport if the Russian judge decides to knock of a tenth of a point if someone wobbles.



Anyway, the Olympics make a nice break in the programming season for a lot of people, so enjoy them from the warmth of your own home.



WEEKEND'S BEST BETS: As I said, not a whole lot of new stuff on. "Smallville" (CW, 8 p.m.) has Clark and Zatanna at a comic book convention as a teen gets the power of Warrior Angel, the comic book character Lex showed Clark several seasons earlier that would inspire Superman.



On cable, "Spartacus" (Starz, 10 p.m.) which is turning into a guilty pleasure, is also new.



On Saturday, a new sci-fi thriller, "Survivors" (BBC America, 8 p.m.) debuts. It's about a group of survivors in Britain after a plague decimates the planet. On the one hand, it's got Freema Agyeman in it. On the other hand, I never watch post-apocolyptic stuff.



On Sunday, "The Amazing Race" (CBS, 8 p.m.) begins a new season, including a couple from "Big Brother" as contestants. I hated when "AR" had "Survivor" contestants Rob and Amber on it, so I hope these new reality "stars" don't ruin it.



Fox's comedy lineup is all new, while on cable, there's a new "Big Love" (HBO, 9 p.m.)



Finally, if you like sports but not the Winter Olympics, there's the NBA All-Star Game (TNT, 8:30 p.m.)

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