The 28th Academy of Country Music Awards (NBC, 8-11 p.m., E.T.): Country music has long since "crossed over" into the broad - and profitable - popular-music category, and the length of this live broadcast is one more sign of its acceptance. The first country-music-awards show to fill three prime-time hours, it may have as much trouble justifying its marathon length as any other awards program, but it is trotting out big names like Garth Brooks, Wynonna Judd, Reba McEntire, and Alabama.

Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: America's Folk Religion (PBS, 10-11 p.m.): The false stereotype of the evangelical leader - shouting, self-righteous, perhaps secretly dissolute - is debunked in this careful three-part documentary that goes on location throughout the United States to demonstrate that evangelists are as hard to classify as the country itself. Four congregations are visited in the opening program: a modern church in suburban Chicago, a black Mississippi Pentecostal church, a California funda mentalist with roots in the "Jesus Freak" movement of the late 1960s, and a traditional camp meeting in West Virginia. The guide through this first show is Randall Balmer, professor of American religious history at Columbia University and author of the book from which this miniseries takes its title. * WEDNESDAY

Mark Russell's Irish Fling (PBS, 8-9 p.m.): They don't traditionally go together, but scenery and laughs are two inevitable ingredients of any documentary that follows an American political satirist around the Emerald Isle. Dublin, Galway, Limerick, the incomparable countryside, and other places are visited by the popular Mark Russell, who for 18 years has been seen periodically on PBS standing at his piano and belting out songs that skewer politicians. Irish guests appear here and there, including Dermo t Morgan, Ireland's own political satirist, who was voted his country's 1992 Entertainer of the Year. Russell also chats with more scholarly types, and we see a tape of his Dublin performance at the historic Olympia Theatre.

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

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today