WORTH NOTING ON TV

* WEDNESDAY

1995 Billboard Music Awards (FOX, 8-10 p.m.): The annual countdown to the year's No. 1 recording artists specially honors Joni Mitchell and Janet Jackson, and includes performances by Hootie & the Blowfish, Tina Turner, and Shania Twain.

A Christmas Tradition With Tommy Makem (PBS, 10:30-11:30 p.m.): A Victorian Christmas comes alive as the Irish folk singer and storyteller performs traditional holiday carols, stories, and poetry.

* FRIDAY

Due South (CBS, 8-9 p.m.): After dismal Friday-night ratings this fall, CBS presents a revamped Friday lineup. First is ''Due South,'' an acclaimed buddy-cop show that made its debut last year but did not return for CBS's original '95 fall schedule. This season premiere tells the tale of a foiled bank robbery.

Diagnosis Murder (CBS, 9-10 p.m.), a lighthearted whodunit starring Dick Van Dyke as a teaching physician, also returns for a third season. And moving back to its original time slot is

Picket Fences (CBS, 10-11 p.m.), with a new, sure-to-be-controversial episode - the first to be penned this season by David E. Kelley, who earned kudos for the series but has moved on to other projects. When Pope John Paul II (played by Eugene Greytak) visits Rome, Wis., his welcoming parade is marred by a homicide - which only the pope witnesses. He's called to testify, and the sparks fly when attorney Douglas Wambaugh (Fyvush Finkel) questions the pope about his religious views toward the defendant, a homosexual. It's rare that a series tackles such sensitive material.

Making Money With the Beardstown Ladies (PBS, 9-10 p.m.): Don't know enough about stocks to make a good investment? A women's investment club in Beardstown, Ill., proves you don't have to be a financial whiz to have a sharp portfolio. Formed in 1983 by women of diverse backgrounds, the club is now ranked among the top 10 in the country. This program shares their secret: education, enrichment, empowerment.

Please check local listings for these programs.

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