One of the most awesome spectacle in sports is the opening to the Olympic Games. NBC begins its coverage of the opening ceremonies in London tomorrow beginning at 7:30 p.m.
It's always a spectacle of international flavor to see the countries parade through the stadium bearing their flags, and to see the local flavor the host country adds to it.
Lighting the torch is always the main event, ranging from the spectacular (an archer shooting a flaming arrow into the torch for the '92 Barcelona Games) to the emotional (Muhammed Ali lighting the torch in the '96 Atlanta Games).
Coming Friday, the opening ceremony will be attended by members of the royal family (assuming they and the other guests can make it through the nightmare of London traffic) and will include performances by the likes of Sir Paul McCartney.
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Hopefully, the games will be better organized than what was shown in the hilarious mockumentary "Twenty twelve," though many of the storylines meant for comedy in that series have played out in real life -- traffic nightmares, buses and cab drivers getting lost and not finding a post-Olympics use for the stadium.
As of Wednesday night, U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton was still attempting to convince the International Olympic Committee to hold a moment of silence for the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches murdered by terrorists 40 years ago in the 1972 Munich Games. The governments of the U.S., Germany and Canada have all thrown their support behind this measure, and London Mayor Boris Johnson and other UK officials have also spoken in favor. But I don't see the IOC changing its mind at this late date.
The opening ceremonies kick off more than two weeks of TV coverage of everything from basketball to fencing to swimming, so check local listings or TVGuide.com to see what the schedule is for the day as NBC will use both its main network and its cable affiliates to broadcast events.
RIP MARY TAMM: The former "Doctor Who" companion, who was the first Romana to Tom Baker's Doctor, died today at age 62 after an 18-month bout with cancer.
THURSDAY'S BEST BETS: You know how they run those promos where the announcer says, "If you only see one episode of "____," this is the one to see." Well, that's the case with tonight's "Burn Notice" (USA, 9 p.m.), which has not one, but three game-changing moments as Michael (Jeffrey Donovan) closes in on Anson (Jere Burns) while Sam (Bruce Campbell) must protect the team's slimy accountant Barry from a hit squad. Meanwhile, Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) may have cut a deal with the CIA, but that may not protect her from MI-6, who wants to link her with her former IRA contacts. The episode is followed by a new "Suits" at 10 p.m.
FX airs new episodes of "Anger Management," "Wilfred," "Louie" and "Brand X" from 9:30 p.m.-11 p.m.
On the networks, NBC has a new "Saving Hope" at 9 p.m., while ABC airs a new "Rookie Blue" at 10 p.m. after two hours of "Wipeout."