People's Choice Awards (CBS, 9-11 p.m., ET): At heart, this is your regulation awards show, complete with an endless string of celebrity `presenters,' a maze of categories, and a parade of winners whose reactions range from dazzled to blase. But in this case, the winners are determined by a Gallup poll, not by the peer vote typical of Oscars, Emmys, and Grammys. So when the top name is announced from a category like `Favorite TV Dramatic Series,' it really is the favorite. (This year's nominees: `In the

Heat of the Night,' `Knots Landing,' and `L.A. Law'). It's also the only awards show of its kind that's multimedia, with names chosen throughout TV, film, and music. This 19th edition, to be aired live from Universal Studios in Los Angeles, will be hosted by Jane Seymour and John Ritter (whose own `Hearts Afire' on CBS is up for `Favorite New TV Comedy Series').

Elton John - Live! (PBS, 10-11 p.m.): Please forgive the title's exclamation mark - a bit of built-in hype - and also the title's reference to `live,' which easily could be misleading if you didn't know it meant that this concert was live when it was recorded in July 1992. Yet it still should make a feast for Elton John fans, being his first concert to be recorded in some six years. Taped in Barcelona when he was on a successful world tour, it's part of PBS's `In the Spotlight' series of pop music and oth er goodies, offered during Pledge Month. Elton's image on this occasion is an almost conservative, British- schoolboy look - quite a departure from his once wild clothes and giant glasses. The program also offers a reflective interview with John.


Encounters With Whales (PBS, 8-8:45 p.m.): PBS fans have done a lot of whale-watching, but it's a pursuit that's hard to get tired of. This special takes you into Australia's Platypus Bay on board the 200-year-old `Anna Kristie' for some rare glimpses of the region's humpback whales, under the guidance of wildlife specialist Tina Dalton and a group of underwater specialists. Please check local listings for all programs. PBS Pledge Month schedules vary widely from station to station.

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