A Closer Look At Music On Television This Week (Dec. 27, 2004-Jan. 2, 2005).

Fine Tuning - Weekly column highlighting music on TV (Dec. 27, 2004-Jan. 2, 2005).

HAPPY NEW YEAR! For many years I have lived by a rule that has kept me safe within the walls of my home or that of a close friend on New Year's Eve. It's one of those holidays where a bottle of good champagne with good friends is a lot more enjoyable than fighting a crowd somewhere to score a glass of whatever bubbly is being handed out and still find your sweetie in time for a smooch as the bell tolls in the new year.

On top of that, it's amateur night out there on the roads, so take my advice and stay in with friends and loved ones and watch one or all of the festivities populating your TV this year:

• "NBC's New Year's Eve With Carson Daly," with music from Duran Duran, Avril Lavigne and Maroon 5, plus a host of the network's stars.

• "MTV's Iced Out New Year's Eve 2005" has an action-packed lineup with Blink 182, Fat Joe, Green Day, Jimmy Eat World, Destiny's Child, Ja Rule, Jennifer Lopez, Ying Yang Twins, Good Charlotte, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, Fabolous, Simple Plan, Ryan Cabrera and Lindsay Lohan.

• "106 & Party: New Year's Eve Special" on BET will boast Ashanti, Avant, Ludacris, Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz, Jadakiss, Noreaga, Lloyd Banks, Young Buck and Ciara.

• Even CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360° - New Year's Eve Special" will feature music from Celine Dion to Green Day, the Roots and Jerry Jeff Walker, as well as a chat with New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who should be busy in Times Square, where this show will originate.

• And so will "New Year's Eve: Live From Times Square With Ryan Seacrest" on Fox where you can see footage of performances from this year's Billboard Music Awards including Usher and Evanescence, as well as a performance by Hoobastank.

• "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" on ABC won't actually be hosted by Dick, as he's recuperating from a mild stroke, so he's asked Regis Philbin to fill in. Watch for performances from Earth, Wind & Fire, Billy Idol, Kenny G, Good Charlotte, Fabolous, Simple Plan, Big & Rich, Ashlee Simpson and Ciara.

SHOULD ALL ACQUAINTANCE BE FORGOT... You'll still have TV to watch:

Monday: 35th Annual GMA Music Awards on PAX... They happened in April, but didn't make it to the screen until now.

Tuesday: "Nokia Presents: Best of Hard Rock Live" will have highlights from a year of shows on MTV2.

Wednesday: Gov't Mule stops by "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" on NBC.

Thursday: Mos Def stops by "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" on NBC.

Friday: And once you've partied in the Eastern Time Zone, tune into, yes, "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" on NBC, because he annually helps the oft forgotten Central Time Zone celebrate the New Year. Plus, the Ditty Bops are performing and that's just fun.

Saturday: If you're not hung over, or not yet in bed, watch Sarah McLachlan on NBC's "Today, Weekend Edition."

Sunday: If skating's your bag, you know Katarina Witt is one of the best. She'll be swirling and twirling to the sounds of Patti LaBelle, Jo Dee Messina and Hayley Westenra on the NBC special "Katarina Witt & Friends."