House of Representatives (C-Span, 10 a.m., to conclusion, EST.): The channel's regular coverage.


The Tenth Annual Soap Opera Digest Awards (NBC, 9-11 p.m.): Two hours of prime time, with a top prime-time star (Kelsey Grammer) as a host prove that soap-opera awards get the same high-profile treatment these days as Oscars and Emmys. If any further proof is needed of how this TV genre sustains its appeal when moved from its familiar afternoon hours into the evening, note that when NBC aired this awards show last February, the network scored its highest-rated Friday since May 1992 - a 12.9, or roughly 12 million homes.

Grammer's cohost is Lisa Rinna, who is also a nominee for Outstanding Female Newcomer for her performance as Billie Reed in NBC's ``Days of Our Lives.'' Deidre Hall, from the same soap opera, will introduce a roundup of highlights from previous soap-awards telecasts.

Those craving even more soap opera can watch a special prime-time ``Days of Our Lives'' airing the same evening from 8-9 p.m. on NBC. Called ``Winter Heat,'' it has a marathon storyline involving Billie Reed, a glamorous mountain resort, a ``dangerously attractive'' man, and people marooned on a deserted island.

Mark Russell's Alaska (PBS, 9-10 p.m.): Alaska? Doesn't ``the bard of the Beltway'' belong in a well-warmed theater, standing at the piano as he plays and sings political parodies aimed at a sleek audience of government and business types? What's he doing so very far outside I-495?

He's doing the same thing he did in his two previous travelogue-performance specials: ``Mark Russell's England'' (1991) and ``Mark Russell's Irish Fling'' (1993). He's poking around - this time in places like Juneau, Fairbanks, and Nome - chatting with locals and performing comedy routines that include the familiar Russell jibes. Sample: ``Many people up here were the black sheep of their families.... You came here because Alaska is where you belong.''

Please check local listings for these programs.

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