Worth Noting on TV

WEDNESDAY

The 1996 Video Music Awards (MTV, 8-11 p.m. EDT): Comedian Dennis Miller hosts this musical evening, where Hootie & the Blowfish, the Cranberries, and Alanis Morissette are scheduled to perform. Nominees include Brandy and Smashing Pumpkins. Making the show from New York's Radio City Music Hall more colorful will be guest presenters, such as actress Susan Sarandon and flamboyant NBA star Dennis Rodman.

Star Trek: Voyager (UPN, 9-10 p.m.): The season premire of the third Star Trek spinoff finds optimistic Captain Janeway and her crew struggling to survive on a primitive plant where Kazon shipnappers deposited them in the last episode.

THURSDAY

The Muppet Movie (Disney, 7-8:35 p.m.): Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, and other Jim Henson creations head for Hollywood in this 1979 movie. Its star-studded human cast includes Steve Martin and Mel Brooks. Kermit and the gang are on the road again in the 1981 film The Great Muppet Caper (Disney, 8:40-10:20 p.m.). Here they are trying to solve a jewel heist in London. Also starring are Charles Grodin and John Cleese.

FRIDAY

The Merrow Report: Early Learning (PBS, 10-11 p.m.): Four new reform programs - created by E.D. Hirsch, James Comer, Robert Slavin, and Henry Levin - that aim to raise the learning of grade-school children are examined in this documentary. The abilities of children in California, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington are documented from the beginning of the school year to the end. The improvement of many of the children leads to the program's point: that children considered "at risk" and "unteachable" are not only capable of learning, but also of learning at high levels.

*Please check local listings for these programs.

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