Fine Tuning - A weekly column highlighting music-related television programming (Dec. 8-14, 2003).
Put down the remote!
This is the week of the 2003 Billboard Music Awards. You can forget all other programming, really. Nowhere else are you going to find performances by R. Kelly, Pink, Century Award honoree Sting, No Doubt, Beyoncé, Clay Aiken, Foo Fighters, Shania Twain and Evanescence all in one place.
Nowhere else will you find "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest, well, hosting, at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena.
And nowhere else will you find non-performance appearances by the likes of OutKast, the Black Eyed Peas, Audioslave, J.C. Chasez, Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz, Fabolous, Trapt, 3 Doors Down, Jessica Simpson, Nick Lachey, Dave Navarro, Kelly Clarkson, Celine Dion, Chingy and LL Cool J.
And, nowhere else will you see music legend Stevie Wonder present the Century Award, Billboard magazine's highest honor, to the very deserving Sting.
Not enough? How about Adam Brody, Ben McKenzie and Mischa Barton from the Fox show "The O.C.," Carmen Electra (who will join new husband Navarro on stage), Kathy Griffin, Shaun Morgan, Carmen Electra and, yes, the one and only, Triumph The Insult Comic Dog? They are all scheduled to make appearances during the obviously star-packed show.
Shameless self-promotion? Maybe. A music spectacular worth watching? Definitely.
Oh sure, there's other music on television this week, and sure, some of it is worth watching. But, just make sure you watch the BMAs on Wednesday night, OK? Good.
Highlights for the rest of the week include:
Alicia Keys on Monday's "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" (Syndicated).
Kelly Rowland co-hosting "The Sharon Osbourne Show" (Syndicated) on Monday, along with Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz and the Ying Yang Twins performing "Get Low" and an interview with Master P and Romeo.
Method Man co-hosting ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" all week.
Get soapy on Tuesday as Musiq performs "dontchange" at Jessica and Ben's wedding on "As the World Turns" (CBS).
MTV's "Osbourne Family Christmas Special" on Thursday night. Guests include Marilyn Manson, OutKast, DMX, Rob Zombie, Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson and, of course, that loveable mutt Triumph.
Sting will celebrate his Billboard Century Award honor on Thursday night's "Tonight Show With Jay Leno" (NBC). 2001 honoree Randy Newman will perform Friday night on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" (NBC).
Great American Country's "Grand Ole Opry Live" on Saturday will catch a salute to the Louvin Brothers. Terri Clark, Del McCoury, Jon Randall, Rhonda Vincent, Joe Nichols, Rebecca Lynn Howard and Dierks Bentley are all expected to take part.
If you've been enjoying Jet's "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" on those Apple iTunes commercials, check out the band live on NBC's "Saturday Night Live," which will be hosted by that loveable hobbit Frodo (aka. Elijah Wood).
Sunday brings yet more country voices with a star-packed "King of the Hill." George Strait, Travis Tritt, Trace Adkins, Deana Carter and Brad Paisley will all guest on the animated Fox series.
How about some holiday highlights?
Friday's country night as Vince Gill and Amy Grant drop in on A&E's "Holiday at Pops!" to join Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Orchestra to perform seasonal favorites.
Sunday will showcase "Christmas in Washington" (TNT) with Kenny Chesney, Hootie & The Blowfish, Ashanti, Renee Fleming, Joss Stone, Ian Fraser conducting the Christmas in Washington Orchestra, the American Family Choir (under the direction of Joyce Garrett), the U.S. Naval Academy Glee Club and the U.S. Army Band Herald Trumpets.
Need something a little less wholesome? Close out your week with "A Kid Rock Christmas" on VH1. A concert performance and much more from the Motor City, Rock will be joined by Carmen Electra, Hank Williams Jr. and LeAnn Rimes as he celebrates the holiday season.
And don't forget to watch the 2003 Billboard Music Awards Wednesday night on Fox!