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'The Superstars' premieres

THE SHOW "The Superstars"

WHEN | WHERE Tuesday at 8 p.m. on ABC/7

REASON TO WATCH This updated version of the '70s show could be fun in the sun (it's filmed in the Bahamas).

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Eight pairings of big-name athletes and less-big-name celebs compete in odd athletic events. Tuesday night, we have the "run and ride" (two-person team gets only one bike) and the "Kayak Rapids Relay." In the final act, the three lowest-scoring teams must run the bruising obstacle course - a holdover from the old ABC series - and one team goes home.

MEET THE TEAMS Terrell Owens (Bills wide receiver) and Joanna Krupa (model); Jeff Kent (former Mets second baseman) and Ali Landry (former Miss USA); Robert Horry (former Spurs forward) and Estella Warren ("Planet of the Apes"); Bode Miller (skier) and Paige Hemmis ( "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"); Kristi Leskinen (skier) and Maksim Chmerkovskiy ( "Dancing With the Stars"); Lisa Leslie (former WNBA star) and Dan Cortese (actor); Jennifer Capriati (tennis) and David Charvet (actor); and Brandi Chastain (soccer) and Julio Iglesias Jr. (singer)

THE PRODUCER SAYS "ABC did not want it to be 'Sports Survivor,' " Bob Horowitz explains. "They didn't want controversy for the sake of controversy," but wanted a real competition. An individual athlete "can run the fastest or leap the highest or shoot the most baskets, but that doesn't mean their team is gonna win" because the scores of both team members are added together.

BOTTOM LINE Always easy to sneeze at cheese (or gag on it), but the old "Superstars" was a crowd-pleaser, and this one could be as well.- VERNE GAY

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