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EW picks the OTHER TV shows to watch during the Olympics

Ken Tucker offers an unconventional guide to the week’s nonathletic offerings

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EW picks the OTHER TV shows to watch during the Olympics

Unimpressed that Australian swimmer Ian ”The Thorpedo” Thorpe has size 17 feet, as NBC’s various commentators insist on telling us over and over? Can’t crank up excitement to see whether Brandi Chastain will again tear off her jersey at the climax of her soccer match? You, my friend, need an alternative to the Olympics being broadcast on NBC, CNBC, and MSNBC. Here’s an alterna-Olympics guide for the rest of the week.

TUESDAY The ”Dharma and Greg”/ ”Spin City” marathon. Well, two episodes each on ABC this night. See why Michael J. Fox won his Emmy and Jenna Elfman didn’t. More enlighteningly, the PBS documentary series ”P.O.V.” is airing its best entry this season: ”KPFA on the Air,” a galvanizing history of the radical pacifist public radio station that includes real discussions of politics and the public airwaves — a rarity on dull old PBS these days.

WEDNESDAY You can take the low road: a rerun of this past Sunday’s new episode of HBO’s ”Sex and the City.” See why Sarah Jessica Parker probably won’t repeat this year’s Emmy nomination — this season’s scripts are rife with raunch and lacking in last year’s wit. Or take the high road: On ABC, there’s another edition of ”Hopkins 24/7,” the exciting documentary about frenzied life saving at Baltimore’s most famous hospital. It’s like ”ER” without all the tedious soap opera subplots.

THURSDAY Like your Australia more fairy tale than real? TBS is cleverly counterprogramming against the Sydney Olympics with ”Crocodile Dundee,” at 8:05 p.m. You remember ”Dundee” — the goofball comedy adventure that made Paul Hogan an American household name for about a year back in 1988. (And gird yourself for its SECOND upcoming sequel, due in 2001.)

FRIDAY Thank heavens for the WB! Olympics avoiders can actually watch some season premieres. Granted, they’re the premieres of ”Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” (making its network move from ABC) and the ”not as funny as it thinks it is” ”Popular.” But wedged between is the premiere of ”Sex and the City” producer Darren Star’s ”Grosse Pointe,” a highly amusing parody of shows like ”Melrose Place” and ”90210” — shows Star created. Give him a gold medal for world class self parody. P.S., Over on CBS, they’re rerunning some kinda game show called ”Survivor.” Hint: Root for the tubby creep.