Fine Tuning - Weekly column highlighting music on TV (April 11-18, 2005).
A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY: Country music and comedy will collide Monday night at the 2005 CMT Music Awards, which will be hosted by comedian Jeff Foxworthy. The show looks to be a big 'un, with the likes of Reba McEntire, Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, Big & Rich, Gretchen Wilson, Alan Jackson, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Deana Carter, Montgomery Gentry, Shania Twain, Crystal Gayle, Faith Hill, Wynonna, Loretta Lynn and more on hand.
The show will also feature an appearance by Larry the Cable Guy, which is notable if only because the "Blue Collar Comedy" comedian scored the largest opening sales week for a comedy album in Nielsen SoundScan's 14-year history, putting "The Right To Bare Arms" (Warner Bros.) at No. 7 on The Billboard 200 last week.
Of course, in this day and age, it's not just about the awards show, but the pre-show, and CMT is no different. Beginning at 6:30, an hour-and-a-half before they start handing out trophies, the network will host a pre-event event with Sugarland, Cowboy Troy, Big & Rich and Miranda Lambert.
THE FIELDS ARE GETTING SLIM: There are eight left on Fox's "American Idol," six left on USA Network's "Nashville Star" and nine still standing on the WB's "America's Next Top Model" ... um, oops. I mean, at least that's what I hear...
Seriously though, the ranks are getting slim and the song performances longer in Hollywood and Nashville, as latecomer Nikko Smith lost last week's "Idol" vote and Jenny Farrell didn't cut it for the "Star" fans. We're getting down to it, folks, so you'd better start voting for your favorites if you want to keep them in contention until the end!
WHAT TO WATCH? By now, you should be able to decide what to watch for yourself. But, because I'm wonderful and kind, I'll help you out, again. Just don't tell Mom...
Monday: Last season's "Idol" winner Fantasia shows why she deserved it with a performance on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" (NBC).
Tuesday: Mariah Carey releases her new album with a Times Square closing performance on ABC's "Good Morning America." (FYI-She'll also be on CBS' "Late Show With David Letterman" on Thursday.)
Wednesday: Mario will be the entertainment and the normalizing factor on ABC's "The View," as the rest of the guest list features the train wreck of Suzanne Somers and Bob Dole.
Thursday: The reinvigorated Widespread Panic will be on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" (NBC) while "The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson" (CBS) will feature country music legacy Shooter Jennings.
Friday: It's my guess that Billy Idol doesn't like to wake up early, yet he'll be on ABC's "Good Morning America." It's also my guess that the reunited Dinosaur Jr. has seen a late night or two in its time, so the band will likely be on when it performs on CBS' The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson."
Saturday: Beck... He's long been where it's at. He's also going to be on NBC's "Saturday Night Live," where New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will be the awkward host.
Sunday: The cool videos that Bloc Party likes are cooler than what you like. Don't believe me? Watch MTV2's "Subterranean" for proof.