Who's going to watch NBC's prime time coverage tonight? Certainly not anyone interested in American Idol, which will air yet another two-hour episode from 8 to 10. This may be NBC's lowest-rated night yet.
Barring bizarre news or scandal, NBC doesn't have much that's compelling on the menu in prime time. Mostly it's a bunch of sometimes-interesting events that Americans have little chance in: women's freestyle aerials, women's slalom, men's parallel giant slalom in snowboarding and women's 3,000-meter relay in speed skating.
The best-known U.S. athletes competing are short track skater Apolo Anton Ohno, racing in his third-best event, the 500 meters, and "Miami Ice," speed skater Jennifer Rodriguez, who has a chance to medal in a deep field in the 1,500.
Meantime, the men's hockey medal round begins, and USA and MSNBC are offering live coverage much of the day. The Americans, who managed to get to the quarterfinals despite three straight losses, play Finland at 11:35 a.m. on USA.
- SHARON GINN, Times Correspondent