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"If you're not nervous before an Olympics, before a Super Bowl, before the first game or the first pitch of a World Series or the All-Star Game," said Bob Costas, host of NBC's prime-time Summer Olympic Games coverage, "you should get into another business." But Costas told reporters at a news conference this week that he won't be as nervous as he was in Barcelona in 1992, when he took his first turn as prime-time host of the Olympics.

"The Olympics are unique as a broadcasting assignment because of the scope of it and all the preparation and the history of it," Costas said. "Nearly 11,000 athletes. . . It's the largest global gathering of any kind. Whatever the flaws of the Olympics may be, it brings together something of a tapestry of humanity. There's a texture to the Olympics that you don't find anywhere else. The stories are interesting at least and in many cases fascinating."

While NBC airs the Olympics, Lifetime will try to lure those who prefer synchronized smooching to synchronized swimming. Through Aug. 4, the cable service's Joan Collins Minithon will feature 26 "steamy" miniseries from the 1980s and early '90s, the golden age of that particular subgenre. Collins will host and provide commentary before and during each screening.

She will wear new gowns designed specifically for each miniseries by Nolan Miller, who clothed her so memorably during her Dynasty years. Our three picks: Monte Carlo (1986), starring Collins as a chanteuse/spy (today); I'll Take Manhattan (1987), with Valerie Bertinelli as the Judith Krantz heroine (Tuesday); and Diana: Her True Story (1993), with Serena Scott Thomas as Prince Charles' ex (Sunday).

"I think we have a positive show with a positive message for kids," says Mark Curry, the star of the ABC family comedy series Hangin' With Mr. Cooper, which airs Fridays as part of the network's popular "TGIF" sitcom lineup, but viewers won't be hanging with Mr. Cooper this fall. After four seasons, the comedy has been relegated to midseason replacement status with an order of 13 episodes. In Mr. Cooper, the 6-foot 6-inch Curry plays a fun-loving former basketball star turned high school teacher. Curry, 32, began his career as a stand-up comic. Curry's latest HBO stand-up comedy special airs Aug. 17.

After grabbing The Jeff Foxworthy Show from ABC, NBC plans to recast the wife and other characters on the popular Southern-fried comic's sitcom.

_ Times wire services