January 14, 1985 12:00 PM

CBS (Wednesday, Jan. 9, 8 p.m. ET)

Musical-variety specials start off as exercises in narcissism. The star gets his or her name in the title, on the screen and in TV listings—all that plus center stage too. Barbara Mandrell takes such vid-ego to new heights; she makes Bob Hope, the sultan of specials, look almost humble. Throughout Mandrell’s show, her fans talk about her. “She’s fantastic…super…awesome…the best female entertainer ever.” She signs autographs for them. She sits on the stage of Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium and upstages Roy Acuff and even her father, Irby Mandrell. She shows moments you’re all sure to remember from her variety series, Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters. And she sings: white bread, without the crust.

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