WORTH NOTING ON TV

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TUESDAY

American Bandstand's Teen Idols (NBC, 8-9 p.m.): It wasn't America's longest-running TV variety show for nothing. From its start in 1957 and for 32 years, ``American Bandstand'' showcased thousands of young performers, some of whom later led the country through the changing rock era. The show's original podium and backdrop are now on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

So it's only natural that a look at today's and yesterday's teenage idols should be presided over by that show's host, the almost eerily unchanging Dick Clark. He offers performance footage, brings on an array of artists to perform on stage, and displays a few items from his personal trove of rock-and-roll memorabilia - the world's most extensive collection, naturally.

Recommended: Default

WEDNESDAY

Against the Odds: The Artists of the Harlem Renaissance (PBS, 10-11 p.m.): This special deals with one of American history's least known and most striking examples of how African-American creativity has been resisted by the society at large. During the Harlem Renaissance - an explosion of artistry during the 1920s and '30s - black painters, sculptors, and photographers produced a diverse profusion of works that simply could not find an outlet in most mainstream galleries and museums. The artists did get some exposure through the Harmon Foundation, but when that closed down, they were largely overlooked.

This special gives viewers a rare look at many of the compelling works and traces the Harlem movement through interviews, archival clips, and first-hand accounts by three of the surviving artists: Allan Crite, James Wells, and Lois Mailou Jones.

Lots of big questions are raised during the documentary, especially whether there is - or should be - such a thing as ``black'' art, and what happens to artists if they try to deliver a political message.

House of Representatives

(C-Span, 10 a.m. EST to conclusion): The channel's regular coverage.

Please check local listings for these programs.

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