The Grammys (CBS, 8-11 p.m., ET - delayed PT): The recording industry's big night will be carried live from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. During an awards-ceremony heavy with young musicians, the person to watch may be a 47-year-old guitarist who 30 years ago teamed up with the Yardbirds and then formed the trio Cream five years later. Eric Clapton enters the finals with the most nominations (nine), many for acoustic music. In various categories he faces competition from such talent as U2, k.d. l ang, Vanessa Williams, Annie Lennox, and Billy Ray Cyrus, whose megahit `Achy Breaky Heart' is riding the crest of a country music boom. Lots of other music will be represented, of course, with some 13 numbers being performed before the evening is over.

The New Explorers (PBS, 8-9 p.m.): For 30 years dolphins have been used in naval and scientific research, but crucial aspects of the operation have been largely secret. `Declassified: US Navy Dolphins' is the first major documentary allowed to cover the remarkable project in such public detail. It reveals how the highly intelligent sea mammal's echo-location sonar system is an impressive `high-tech' tool. (This show precedes the March 28 opening of the worthwhile series' third season. Another special, on

endangered species, is planned for the end of next summer).

Please check local listings for all programs, especially those on PBS.

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