WORTH NOTING ON TV

* TUESDAY

20th Annual People's Choice Awards (CBS, 9-11 p.m., EST): Yes, it's another awards show, but with a difference: Instead of being chosen by industry members or other insiders, the winners are determined through a national Gallup poll. Those polled are not limited to nominees but can pick anyone who comes to mind in 18 categories. It's also multimedia - the categories cover TV, film, and music (country and rock).

Beyond that, the event often looks and sounds a lot like your standard glittery awards show, with an array of celebrities. Aired live (delayed in the Pacific zone) from Stage 30 at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, Calif., this year's edition features a tribute and what the producers call ``some surprises'' in recognition of the show's 20-year mark.

Actor Paul Reiser is the host. * WEDNESDAY

Queen of the Elephants (The Discovery Channel, 9- 11 p.m.) A memorable and revealing elephant ride through part of India. (See review in Feb. 25 Monitor.)

Evening News From Moscow (C-Span, 6 -6:30 p.m. EST): A report in Russian with simultaneous English translation.

Washington: Our Nation's Capital (PBS, 8-9:05 p.m.): It may look like a travelogue, replete with lingering views of famous places, but this show represents a small step toward TV's future: It was shot using High Definition Television (HDTV), a technology that produces images whose clarity rivals 35mm films.

Americans won't start getting HDTV until about 1995, but a small number of Japanese viewers already have it, and they'll be seeing the show - in its full technological dazzle - after its PBS airing.

For Americans, the show is a feast of familiar Washington sights (everything from the the White House to city parks), a visually gorgeous excuse for using HDTV. The sometimes gushing narration (delivered by Jason Robards) pauses here and there to let viewers soak up the atmosphere, and occasionally it offers a nicely turned phrase: Americans come to the Lincoln Memorial, for instance, ``to touch base with their nationality.'' Please check local listings for these programs.

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