A Closer Look At Music On Television This Week

Fine Tuning - Weekly column highlighting music on TV during the week of Nov. 10-16, 2003.

The one thing I'm guaranteed to watch this week will be "The Johnny Cash Memorial Tribute." I've got all sorts of personal reasons for tuning in, but above all, the songs and the legacy will be the star of this one, Saturday night on CMT.

That's not to mention the fact that they'll be performed by the likes of Willie Nelson, Dwight Yoakam, John Mellencamp and the man in black's daughter, Rosanne Cash. Also set to appear are Brooks & Dunn, Sheryl Crow, Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, Larry Gatlin, George Jones, Kid Rock, Kris Kristofferson, Marty Stuart, Travis Tritt and Hank Williams Jr. Tim Robbins will host the event, which will be taped Nov. 10 in Nashville.

Two awards shows will be vying for your eyeballs this week. The first is The Source Hip-Hop Music Awards on Tuesday night's BET. All sorts of top talent was on hand at the Oct. 13 event in Miami, including Erykah Badu, Kurtis Blow, Run-DMC, P. Diddy, the Neptunes and Nelly, just to name a few.

The other is Sunday's 31st Annual American Music Awards on ABC. Comedian Jimmy Kimmel will host the affair, which is sure to be packed with all sorts of music stars, from Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard to the Smothers Brothers and Rod Stewart.

It's MTV2's "Spankin' New Music Week," so there will be plenty of folks on hand to visit Carson Daly on "Total Request Live" each afternoon in New York's Times Square. Check out this lineup:

• Monday: Britney Spears and Nelly, as well as that big "Elf" Will Ferrell.
• Tuesday: Blink 182, Jay-Z, Kid Rock and Puddle Of Mudd.
• Wednesday: Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, Pink and Good Charlotte.
• Thursday: P.O.D., Alicia Keys, 50 Cent and G-Unit.
• Friday: Enrique Iglesias, Jay-Z, Beyoncé Knowles, Nick Lachey and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.

Not enough for ya? There's also bunch of specials showing clips of new DVDs from Jane's Addiction (Monday, MTV), Dave Matthews Band (Thursday, MTV2) and Linkin Park (Saturday, MTV), as well as a G-Unit special (Sunday, MTV2) and a Thursday special (Sunday, MTV).

MTV will also boast "Britney: In the Zone & Out All Night" on Saturday. The special follows Spears through a series of blitzkrieg performances in and around New York where she unveils songs from her new album. But before you watch that, she'll be sitting down with Diane Sawyer for an hour-long interview on ABC's "Primetime Thursday."

That one promises lots of soft focus and heart wrenching answers about the lasting effects of the breakup with Justin and the freedom of being a 21-year old international pop star. That same night Spears will also be a guest on the network's "Jimmy Kimmel Live."

Look for Steadman guest-starring on NBC's "American Dreams" as the Dave Clark Five. Also in the guest realm, the same network's "Whoopi" will see Phil Collins and Keith Richards drop in on Tuesday night.

Talk show highlights: Madonna Tuesday on Letterman (CBS), OutKast Thursday on Leno (NBC) and Sarah McLachlan Friday on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" (syndicated).

And lastly, if you need a shot of country patriotism, tune into the Food Network's "Emeril Live" Sunday night. The celebrity chef host will be cooking a Thanksgiving dinner with the troops at New Jersey's McGuire Air Force Base, where Trace Adkins will be on hand to perform.