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It’s marathon time

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I'm not sure why so many TV programmers have decided that New Year's Day is the perfect time to air marathons — multiple episodes of the same series back-to-back-to-back-to-back . . .

Maybe it was because so many viewers would sit and watch football all day that it seemed non-fans would sit and watch something else all day. Or maybe it's just a cheap and easy programming stunt.

Whatever the reason, today is full of these things. Here are a few to consider:

"The Twilight Zone" (all day, Sci Fi): It's a real marathon — it began yesterday and continues through 8 a.m. Friday.

"Monk" (started at 4 a.m., USA): 17 hours of one of TV's most entertaining series.

"Third Watch" (began at 6 a.m., A&E): 12 hours of rescues, arrests, murder and mayhem.

"Touched by an Angel" (started at 6 a.m., Hallmark): 17 hours (interrupted by a movie from 8-10 p.m.) of made-in-Utah wholesomeness.

"The Wrath of God" (began at 6 a.m., History): 10 hours of Really Bad Stuff — volcanoes, typhoons, fire storms, floods, tornadoes, etc.

"Animal Precinct/Animal Cops" (7 a.m., Animal Planet): A double-marathon of sorts — alternating episodes of these two series until 1 a.m.

"NYPD Blue" (7 a.m., Court TV): 19 hours of Sipowicz, murder, mayhem and bare butts.

"Punk'd" (8 a.m., MTV): Nine hours of cruelty posing as humor.

"MAD TV" (9 a.m., Comedy Central): 13 hours of late-night comedy, mostly in the daytime.

"7th Heaven" (10 a.m., ABC Family): 10 hours with the Camdens and their hectic household.

"Unwrapped" (10 a.m., Food): 16 hours of pop culture/food.

"Mythbusters" (11 a.m., Discovery): 10 hours of proving or disproving urban legends. Well, mostly disproving.

"Roseanne" (11 a.m., Oxygen): Eight hours of the ex-Utahn back when she used to be funny.

"The Fairly Oddparents" (11:30 a.m., Nick): 4 1/2 hours of one of the funniest shows on TV. Really.

"That's So Raven" (1 p.m., Disney): 14 1/2 hours — 29 episodes — of this kid-oriented sitcom. (It's no "Lizzie McGuire," but then what is?)

"Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" (2 p.m., Bravo): 11 hours of makeovers.

"Newlyweds" (5 p.m., MTV): Five hours of air-headed behavior by Jessica Simpson.

"Girls Behaving Badly" (7 p.m., Oxygen): Four hours of women proving they can be just as dopey as men.

"American Chopper" (9 p.m., Discovery): Six hours of motorcycles.

"Trista and Ryan's Wedding" (10 p.m., ABC Family): All three hours of the so-called big event, which is about 2 hours and 59 minutes too much.