A Closer Look At Music-Related Television This Week

Fine Tuning - Weekly column highlighting music on TV during the week of July 14-20, 2003.

The middle of July is always significant for one thing: Major League Baseball's All-Star Game! It's something you can count on, and American tradition. It's like Mom, apple pie and, well, baseball!

And just because it's baseball, doesn't mean there won't be music. For this year's 74th annual contest between the National League and the American League on Fox, there will be a trio of artists on hand to perform patriotic tunes. Vanessa Carlton will deliver the National Anthem, while Michael Buble will perform the Canadian national anthem. And come seventh-inning stretch time, this year's festivities won't hear singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," but "God Bless America" by Amy Grant.

For some real fun, tune in the night before for Fox's broadcast of "MLB RadioShack All-Star Celebrity & Legends Softball Game." There you'll find the likes of Ice Cube, Brian McKnight, Outkast's Big Boi and Ms. Jade playing with the baseball hall of famers like Ozzie Smith and Dave Winfield, as well as celebrities such as Shannon Elizabeth, Howie Long, and Jimmy Kimmel.

If you've been asking yourself, isn't it about time for a weekly network show devoted to pop music? Well, yes it is. And that's why the WB is rolling out "Pepsi Smash" on Wednesday night. Overlook the blatant product tie-in and tune in for the music. There's a stellar lineup of talent set for the inaugural episode with Monica, Black Eyed Peas, the Ataris, Evanescence and Gavin DeGraw all due to appear. Plus, it's hosted by much talked about actress-of-the-moment Amanda Bynes.

Not letting the summer slip away without some theme programming, MTV's staging "Backstage Pass Week." Look for daily blasts of live performance by Sum 41 (Monday), All American Rejects (Tuesday), the Roots (Wednesday), Rooney (Friday). In addition Fat Joe will be on "Backstage Pass Week: Posse" on Thursday, and a Saturday show will focus on "Hip Hop Superstars" such as Jay-Z, Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, Eminem, 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg.

If you're up late, tune into ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" to catch guest co-host Jack Osbourne. It's bound to make for a midnight foul-mouthed fun-fest so be sure to catch at least one episode. Tuesday night you'll catch rapper Roscoe and on Thursday Jimmy and Jack will welcome the heavy, heavy sounds of Powerman 5000.

Finally, if PBS's new "Soundstage" series isn't yet on your radar, make it so. This week's guest will be Alison Krauss & Union Station, and that's one stellar slice of bluegrass.