WORTH NOTING ON TV

* THURSDAY

American Film Institute Salute (CBS, 10-11 p.m.; check local listings): It's Jack Nicholson's turn to receive the accolades of his peers, in the 22nd edition of these tributes. The event differs notably from awards evenings like the Oscars and Emmys in that prizes aren't handed out to an endless parade of winners. The focus is on the career of a single person, always one of stature in the industry.

In the past it's gone to people like James Cagney, Lillian Gish, Bette Davis, Alfred Hitchcock, James Stewart, Fred Astaire, Frank Capra, and Orson Welles.

Nicholson is the first to be honored since an important change in the rules: Those chosen must be professionally active, with strong future prospects. In those terms Nicholson certainly qualifies, and his past speaks for itself: He is a two-time Oscar winner - Best Actor for ``One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'' (1975) and Best Supporting Actor for ``Terms of Endearment'' (1983). A maverick in both his choice and playing of roles, he's made close to 50 films, writing, directing, and co-producing some of them.

Among the guests are Michelle Pfeiffer, Sean Penn, Candice Bergen, Danny DeVito, Michael Douglas, Faye Dunaway, Jessica Lange, and Mike Nichols. * FRIDAY

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

Great Performances (PBS, 9-10 p.m.; schedules on public TV stations vary widely during March pledge period, so please check local listings): Even if you don't agree that he was the greatest pianist of the century, or even of his time (many would name Artur Rubinstein, among other contenders), there's no doubting Horowitz was a spell-binding musician.

``Vladimir Horowitz: A Reminiscence'' is a fascinating new portrait that reminds you of the magic of his playing and of how much fun he was in conversation. You may have seen some of the footage before, but there's lots of new material, including concerts, home movies, and Horowitz's comments on works by Clementi and Scriabin, both of which he plays.

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