A Closer Look At Music-Related Television This Week

Fine Tuning - Weekly column highlighting music on TV during the week of Sept. 15-21, 2003.

A new talk show hosted by Sharon Osbourne undoubtedly means more music on your TV, but don't freak out, cuz it won't be all Ozzy all the time! On the premiere episode, the syndicated show (check local listings) will feature such unlikely guests as Wynonna and Justin Timberlake, while Wednesday's episode will boast N Sync's Lance Bass and Becky. (FYI - Becky features "Real World" cast member Rebecca, as well as Keanu Reeves on bass).

Aside from watching her language, Sharon has to watch her back, too. She's got stiff competition this week as the queen of the daytime talk show, Oprah, returns with new episodes. And that Oprah has got some pull, too... Her season premiere on Monday will boast Beyoncé, as well as California governor wannabe Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife Maria Shriver!

Not enough for you? How about a whole hour with Oprah and Madonna on Tuesday? Yeah, that's what I thought. Winfrey will discuss Maddy's burgeoning career as a children's author.

But don't forget about plucky newcomer Ellen DeGeneres. She's got Thicke on her syndicated show on Tuesday and Seal on Friday. Or how second seasoned Wayne Brady, whose syndie has Hear performing on Thursday's show. And, what about Regis Philbin, who has been on the air longer than any of them? He and co-host Kelly Ripa will entertain Erykah Badu on Wednesday.

Also new this week will be "Eve." Thankfully, it's not a talk show starring the hip-hop princess. Instead, it's a Monday night sitcom on UPN. Set in Miami, the series will feature Eve playing Shelly, whose best friends will be portrayed by Ali Landry ("Spy TV") and Natalie Desselle ("For Your Love"). The show will also feature Eve's "Barbershop" co-star Jason George and Brian Hooks ("The Chatroom").

Set your alarm and wake up early because the morning shows will dish out even more live music than usual over these five working days. Start the week off with a pair of songs performed by Simon & Garfunkel Monday on ABC's "Good Morning America."

On Thursday, David Bowie will rock New York's Rockefeller Plaza on NBC's "Today." The next day, Matt Lauer and Katie Couric will welcome country star Alan Jackson for a free concert on their outdoor stage.

And then there's your late nights. If you ask me, you can't get better than Liz Phair. No really. You can't. It's a plus that she'll be on the episode of HBO's "Real Time With Bill Maher" that repeats on Wednesday (in case you missed it last Friday night).

Other late night goodies include the Raveonettes Tuesday night on NBC with Carson Daly, Cheap Trick and Donny Osmond both visiting Craig Kilborn Tuesday on CBS, Thrice with ABC's Jimmy Kimmel on Thursday, and a repeat of NBC's "Saturday Night Live" with the Foo Fighters (and a surprise appearance by Britney Spears during the "Weekend Update" segment; plus Christopher Walken is the host... you can't go wrong).

I've got two sure bets for the week: Funkmaster Flex customizing Queen Latifah's car on his Spike TV show Saturday night and Sonic Youth and Wilco on PBS' "Soundstage" (check local listings).

Lastly, if you simply can't get enough of that Clay Aiken fellow, check out the 2003 Miss America Pageant Saturday night on ABC. He'll be on hand to sing his single "This is the Night."

And this just scratches the surface, it's almost more music than you deserve. But not quite...