A Closer Look At Music On Television This Week

Previewing music-related television for the week of May 12-18, 2003.

Now, what high school boy wouldn't want Whitney Houston to accompany him to the prom? One lucky kid on Fox's "Boston Public" will get the chance on this Monday's episode of the show. Unfortunately, her presence there gives Tamyra Gray's character stage fright, but look for Whitney to save the day with a performance of "Try It On My Own."

Also keep an eye out for Ms. Houston on Friday's "50 Greatest Women of the Video Era" on VH1. Tons of stars from the earliest days of MTV through to today will be celebrated on the show, which will be hosted by Julianna Margulies ("ER").

Now, don't think that Whitney's the only one breaking into sitcoms and dramas this week. Not by a long shot.

On Thursday, Deborah Harry will show up, along with Harry Connick Jr. in his recurring role on the season finale of NBC's "Will & Grace." If that's not enough, actors Minnie Driver and Nicolette Sheridan also guest star.

Come Sunday night, Kelly Rowland and Stacie Orrico will guest on NBC's nostalgia trip "American Dreams." Both will perform, as Rowland portrays Martha Reeves of Martha & the Vandellas and will sing their classic "Nowhere to Run," while Orrico will appear as Peggy Santiglia of the Angels and sing "My Boyfriend's Back."

But don't think that Kelly's the only Destiny's Child member on the tube this week. The night before, Beyonce will be the musical guest on "Saturday Night Live," with host and SNL vet Dan Akroyd.

Tuesday night Jane Pauley will wave goodbye to NBC, and "Dateline NBC" is looking back at her 27-year career with the network. Among those wishing her well or seen in past interviews will be Garth Brooks, Cher, and Naomi Judd.

Speaking of NBC, the network's "Today" show doubles up on live performances this week. On Friday, look for Sugar Ray performing on the plaza outside the show's studios in New York's Rockefeller Center. On Saturday, the weekend edition of the show welcomes bluegrass maven Ricky Skaggs.

Lookout country fans, Montgomery Gentry's on the hunt. The musical duo went on an elk hunt a few months ago, and this week cable's Outdoor Channel will be airing its footage of the outing. Look for it Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday - check your local listings for exact times.

Of course, for millions, the biggest thing to watch will be the Tuesday and Wednesday editions of "American Idol" on Fox. It's down to three: Clay Aiken, Kimberley Locke, and Rueben Studdard. It's getting more exciting and more tense as the competition winds down, and the performances only continue to get better.

And if you just can't get enough of "Idol," tune into NBC's "Tonight Show With Jay Leno" on Monday to catch an interview with judge Simon Cowell. Incidentally, that show will be turned on its head as "Today" anchor Katie Couric is hosting, having flip-flopped roles with Leno, whose hosting the morning show on Monday. Got that?