A Closer Look At Music & Television This Week (Aug. 30-Sept. 5)

Fine Tuning - A weekly column highlighting music-related television programming (Aug. 30-Sept. 5, 2004)

Well, the Olympics are over... Watching the closing ceremonies and the MTV Video Music Awards was a challenge, but I was up for it. I have to say, I'm going to miss being able to turn on the TV at almost any time of the day to catch some international sporting competition. At least it's only a two-year wait until the winter games in Torino, Italy.

In the meantime, maybe we can get someone to revive "Battle of the Network Stars." If not, there's always tons of music to catch.

I'M A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY: Country music is huge. People everywhere did the modern country sounds, and one of the events that celebrates it is the annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards. On Monday morning, the final list of nominees will be announced. You can catch Kris Kristofferson taking part on CBS or tune into CMT where Big & Rich and Gretchen Wilson will be on hand for the big unveiling.

Not enough country for ya? On Tuesday night, check out Tim McGraw on Leno (NBC) and the Clarks on Letterman (CBS), and on Saturday, Vince Gill will be up early for a visit to the weekend edition of "Today" (NBC).

LATIN LOVE: Some say the Grammys are the biggest night of music on television. So, it would be logical that the Latin Grammy Awards are the biggest night of Latin music on TV, right? Find out for yourself on Wednesday when the fifth annual event is broadcast live on CBS from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

Comedian/actor George Lopez will again host the show, which will also feature performances by Carlos Santana and Los Lonely Boys, Bebo Valdes, Cafe Tacuba, Paulina Rubio, Marco Antonio Solis, Incubus, Ozomatli and the Black Eyed Peas, among others.

MORE, MORE, MORE... How do you like it? You like it packed with musical highlights, that's how. Here's the pick of the litter for this week:

Monday: LL Cool J visits Letterman (CBS) and Bonnie Raitt joins Toots & the Maytals on Leno (NBC).

Tuesday: Hoboken's finest, Yo La Tengo, drop in on CNBC's "McEnroe."

Wednesday: Fresh from a winning visit to Miami for the MTV VMAs, Usher wings his way west to perform on Leno's show.

Thursday: Snow Patrol will be in New York for an episode of Letterman's show.

Friday: Go on the road with CMT as the network puts you in the "Greatest Tour Buses, where you'll see how the likes of George Jones, Kid Rock, LeAnn Rimes and Rascal Flatts travel.

As if that wasn't enough, "CMT's Greatest Road Trips" will hit 10 of the best, including Graceland, the grave of Hank Williams and a giant ball of twine. Among those appearing will be Kenny Chesney, Uncle Kracker, Brad Paisley, Montgomery Gentry, Chris Cagle and the Derailers.

Saturday: Dee Snider visits a motorcycle enthusiast's paradise on VH1 Classic's "All Roads Lead to Sturgis '04."

Sunday: No matter how you feel about contrived reality shows, any house that boasts Charo and Flavor Flav as residents is worth visiting, at least once. You can see the shenanigans on "VH1's Surreal Life."