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NBC ices 1st skategate pic on April 30

NBC is trying to strike first in the three-way Harding-Kerrigan movie derby, announcing an April 30 airdate for its unauthorized account, “The Tonya & Nancy Story.”

“L.A. Law’s” Alexandra Powers will play Harding, with Heather Langenkamp (“Just the Ten of Us”) cast as Kerrigan and James Wilder as Jeff Gillooly.

The pic will air from 8-10 p.m. on a Saturday, facing a two-hour “Dr. Quinn , Medicine Woman” on CBS.

ABC and Fox Broadcasting Co. are also working on movies regarding the story — Fox’s based on Kerrigan’s rights, ABC’s also based on public-domain material. Dates for those projects have yet to be set, though both have been targeted to the May sweeps.

NBC was first on the air with its Amy Fisher movie, the last time more than two networks were involved in such a race.

Eager to cash in on interest in figure skating from the Winter Olympics, NBC has also scheduled five hours of primetime coverage devoted to the World Figure Skating Championships March 25-27, leading off Friday and Sunday with an hour and turning over the entire Saturday lineup to skating.

Another three hours of skating will air as part of the web’s afternoon sports block that weekend. Several Olympians will compete in the competition.

ABC Sports has reached its own multiyear agreement with the U.S. Figure Skating Assn., effective next year, that will extend its coverage of USFSA events while the network becomes the marketing arm for the organization.

On Wednesday, Harding pleaded guilty to a charge that she improperly held back information regarding the Kerrigan attack. Under that plea bargain, Harding will perform community service.

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