WORTH NOTING ON TV

* WEDNESDAY

38th Annual Grammy Awards (CBS, 8-11 p.m. EST): With new talents like Alanis Morissette and Joan Osborne nominated last month for major Grammy Awards, the buzz is that the Grammys may be shedding their stodgy image. The true test comes when the winners are announced Wednesday evening at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Hosted by comedian Ellen DeGeneres, the awards show has scheduled performances by all five nominees for Record of the Year: Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men (''One Sweet Day''), Coolio (''Gangsta's Paradise''), Joan Osborne (''One of Us''), Seal (''Kiss From a Rose''), and TLC (''Waterfalls''). The Lifetime Achievement Award honors Motown legend Marvin Gaye.

Sailing the World Alone (PBS, 9-10:30 p.m.): At 27,000 miles, the BOC Challenge is the longest race in the world. This documentary follows the 1994-95 around-the-world race, in which each skipper solo-navigates a sailing yacht and grapples with challenges. A point made early in the program - that advancements in the age-old art of sailing can only go so far - is illustrated by the juxtaposition of high-tech navigational equipment and the immense, unchanging sea.

The skippers themselves filmed footage of the race with remote-controlled cameras mounted on the yachts. The program is narrated by actor Hal Holbrook, an accomplished offshore sailor.

* THURSDAY

Rediscovering America With David Hartman (Discovery, 10-11 p.m.): Statesman, diplomat, civic leader, scientist, inventor, publisher, educator: These appellations and more describe the lifework of Benjamin Franklin. This episode of the American heritage series, entitled ''The Real Ben Franklin,'' focuses on the rich contributions of the 18th-century American that still have impact today.

Please check local listings for these programs.

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