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What's On TV

Listings are not necessarily recommended by the Monitor. All times Eastern, check local listings. SUNDAY 1/17 NFL conference finals (Fox, 12:30-4 p.m.): The Minnesota Vikings host the Atlanta Falcons. In the AFC final (CBS, 4-7 p.m.) the defending champion Denver Broncos take on the New York Jets. The next stop? The Super Bowl on Jan. 31. The Wonderful World of Disney - Selma, Lord Selma (ABC, 7-9 p.m.): The plot sounds powerful, but falls flat on screen. The story is seen through the eyes of two young girls who remember the tumultuous times leading up to the signing of the Voting Rights Act by President Johnson in 1965. Clifton Powell portrays Martin Luther King, Jurnee Smollett is a young admirer, and Yolanda King plays a schoolteacher. Dead Man Walking (CBS, 9-11 p.m.): Nominated for four Academy Awards in 1995, this moving drama is based on the true story of a nun in Louisiana who becomes a spiritual adviser to a death-row inmate. Susan Sarandon (who won a Best Actress Oscar) and Sean Penn deliver unforgettable performances. (TV-14, LV) Zoe, Duncan, Jack, and Jane (WB, 9-9:30 p.m.): A teenage "Friends" - four close ones trying to connect with members of the opposite gender, avoid the diabolical dodgeball champion, and relate to goofy parents. The adults, predictably, are either childish or dictatorial. Though the pilot starts poorly, it shows promise. TUESDAY 1/19 Dear Jesse (Cinemax, 6:30-8 p.m.): An open letter to Sen. Jesse Helms (R) of North Carolina from gay filmmaker Tim Kirkman, who can't understand how he's earned so much animosity from someone he's never met. The documentary focuses on the man known as "Senator No" through interviews with Kirkman's family and friends. (TV-PG) State of the Union Address (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, 9-11 p.m.): President Clinton is scheduled to lay out his agenda on Social Security, the 2000 budget, defense spending, education, and health care. WEDNESDAY 1/20 South Georgia Island: Paradise on Ice (PBS, 9-10 p.m.): "The Living Edens" returns with a visit to this frigid paradise near Antarctica that bustles with life . THURSDAY 1/21 Turks (CBS, 9-10 p.m.): Yet another Irish-family cop show. The pilot strains credibility without entertaining. In this episode, one of the Turk family's sons ends up in the hospital, having been mistaken for a criminal. Melodramatic and sometimes overacted, "Turks" may turn out all right once it has a chance to grow. (TV-PG, LV) FRIDAY 1/22 SportsCentury (Fox, 12:30-4 p.m.): The most ambitious project in ESPN history: A 60-hour documentary package (broadcast over 16 months) will profile the top 50 athletes of the century along with six two-hour programs reviewing the greatest sporting events of the century.

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