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A Closer Look At Music On Television This Week

Fine Tuning - A weekly column highlighting music-related television programming (Dec. 22-28, 2003).

Christmas is a holiday that is almost instantly associated with music. And it's fitting that the days leading up to Christmas Day on Thursday will be filled with the sounds of the season.

On Monday, Stacie Orrico will perform holiday music on NBC's "Today" and the Brian Setzer Orchestra will do the same on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" on the same network.

On Tuesday, the ante is upped as "Today" will feature seasonal music by Jim Brickman and Kristy Starling and Leno will boast Kirk Franklin & the Family, while CBS will present the multi-artist special "Home For the Holidays" and "Late Night With David Letterman" with guest Darlene Love.

Presented in association with the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and the Children's Action Network, "Home" will boast performances by a slew of talent, including Mary J. Blige, Sheryl Crow, Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Enrique Iglesias, No Doubt, Train singer Pat Monahan and Mya. Lauren Holly, Jamie Foxx and Rene Russo will also be on hand for this moving special centering on adoption.

Wednesday brings Christmas music from Michael Bolton on CBS' "The Early Show" and Michael Feinstein on "Today," while the Beach Boys and Michelle Williams on the syndicated "Live With Regis & Kelly" and Kelly Rowland and Ruben Studdard on "The Sharon Osborne Show," also syndicated.

If that weren't enough, cable outlet Trio will present the holiday-themed "Sessions at West 54th" featuring Jewel and special guest John Hiatt, as well as a classic in "The Judy Garland Christmas Show," with Mel Torme, Jack Jones and Liza Minnelli joining Garland.

On Christmas Day, wake up to Andrea Bocelli on "The Early Show" and Aaron Neville, Harry Connick Jr., Ashanti and the Blind Boys Of Alabama all on "Today." You can also check out Enrique Iglesias, Raven Symone, LeAnn Rimes, Carlos Ponce, Jessica Simpson and Clay Aiken during ABC's broadcast of the Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade.

And while that wraps up the seasonal fare, there's yet more music to see and hear on TV.

On Christmas night, Fox will present the competition episode of "World Idol." Tune in to see how inaugural "American Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson measures up against the rest of the world, including the U.K.'s Will Young, Poland's Alicja Janosz and Australia's Guy Sebastian, among others.

On Friday, CBS will present "The 26th Annual Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts." This highly classy event will feature a cavalcade of celebrities who were on hand to honor James Brown, Carol Burnett, Loretta
Lynn, Mike Nichols and Itzhak Perlman.

Earlier in the week, ABC's "Monday Night Football" will recap all of the artists who have chimed in on the "Are You Ready for Some Football?" theme with Hank Williams Jr.: Aerosmith, Toni Braxton, Britney Spears, Ashanti, Snoop Dogg, Ashanti and Chingy.

And the week also brings a pair of worth watching reruns: Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band on "Letterman" on Friday and Jack Black hosting "Saturday Night Live" on NBC.

Here's hoping Santa treats you well...