Fine Tuning - Weekly column highlighting music on TV (Nov. 8-13, 2004).
A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY: The don't call it "country music's biggest night" for nuthin'... On Tuesday, just about anyone who is anyone in country music right now will be seen in Nashville and on CBS as the 38th Annual CMA Awards is broadcast live from the Grand Ole Opry.
The show will be hosted by the duo Brooks & Dunn, and as we've been reporting here at Billboard.com, their will be some pretty stellar performances to go along with the glad handing and back slapping awards presentations.
Look for Tim McGraw to kick off the festivities and Jimmy Buffett and his "friends" Clint Black, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith and George Strait to reprise their rendition of Hank Williams classic "Hey Good Lookin'." Other performances include a duet between Patty Loveless and Alan Jackson and Shania Twain with Billy Currington, as well as Terri Clark, Montgomery Gentry, Martina McBride, Dierks Bentley, Big & Rich, Julie Roberts, Josh Turner, Sara Evans, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, Gretchen Wilson Alison Krauss and Brad Paisley.
DICK'S PICKS: For years, Dick Clark has been showing folks what music the majority of the country is digging. And he's behind Sunday's 32nd Annual American Music Awards, which will air live on ABC. Rather than turning to jaded industry insiders, the show honors music and musicians via polling of music consumers. There's also a helluva show to boot.
Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, this year's event at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles will feature appearances by Bon Jovi, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Sheryl Crow, Carmen Electra, Billy Idol, Toby Keith, Kenny G, Lenny Kravitz, Teena Marie, Michael McDonald, Brian McKnight, OutKast, William Shatner, Gene Simmons, Rod Stewart, Usher, Twista, Switchfoot, Alicia Keys, Macy Gray, Mandy Moore, Jessica Simpson... deep breath now... Ashanti, Nelly, Ying Yang Twins, Lil' Flip, Uncle Kracker, Uncle Kracker, John Mayer, Snoop Dogg, Mercyme, Josh Groban, Maroon5, Kelly Osbourne, Kelly Clarkson, Chingy, Clay Aiken, Nick Lachey, Pharrell, Gwen Stefani, Kanye West, Gretchen Wilson, JoJo and Ciara.
SPANKIN' NEW: Not quite taking a page from Hallmark's creation of meaningless holidays and celebrations, MTV periodically stages its "Spakin' New Music Week." While there's always new music, several times a year, the release schedule gets particularly packed with superstar product, especially now as we head into the winter holiday season.
Each day this week, "TRL" will host big stars and up-and-comers -- Destiny's Child on Monday; Ja Rule, Ashanti, Simple Plan and Chingy (Tuesday); Blink 182, Fabolous and Omarion (Wednesday); Lil Jon and Ryan Cabrera (Thursday); Ludacris and Gwen Stefani (Friday).
MTV2 also gets in the act with excerpts of forthcoming performance DVDs from the likes of Nirvana and Evanescence, among others.
REUNITED... and occasionally it feels so good. Even when it's not, it's made for interesting, if not contrived, viewing on VH1's "Bands Reunited." New episodes this week feature attempts to bring back together the members of Scandal (Monday) and Vixen (Tuesday), while a Thursday "Backstage Pass" clip show features clips from the show's first two seasons.
YAHOO! MORE TV! I love it and you love it... So keep one hand in the snack bowl and the other on the remote to catch these music highlights:
Monday: Wee hours: Nelly on Letterman (CBS) and Wilco on Leno (NBC).
Tuesday: Eye opener: Avril Lavigne on ABC's "Good Morning America."
Wednesday: Comfortably mid-morning: Vanessa Carlton on "The View" (ABC) and Alicia Keys on "Live With Regis & Kelly" (syndicated).
Thursday: Prime time: John Mellencamp on "A&E's Live by Request."
Friday: All morning: Fantasia on "Good Morning America" (ABC) and jazz great Nancy Wilson on "The View" (ABC).
Saturday: Shady Spree: Eminem and pals at the "Shady National Convention" (MTV); the Polyphonic Spree and Ozomatli on PBS' "Austin City Limits."
Sunday: Dreamland: Fantasia appears as Aretha on "American Dreams" (NBC).