A GUIDE TO NOTABLE PROGRAMS BY BRUCE FRETTS.(TIMES ARE EASTERN DAYLIGHT AND ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE)
29 Wednesday Beverly Hills, 90210 (Fox, 8-9 p.m.) Rush Week turmoil: Steve (Ian Ziering) and Brandon (Jason Priestley) have a falling-out over fraternities, Andrea (Gabrielle Carteris) ponders whether to join a sorority, and late-night radio cohosts David (Brian Austin Green) and Donna (Tori Spelling) hit a snag in their romantic relationship.
The 27th Annual Country Music Association Awards (CBS, 8-11 p.m.) Vince Gill and Clint Black emcee this year’s ceremony live from Nashville’s Grand Ole * Opry House, with performances by Reba McEntire (”Does He Love You?”), George Strait (”Easy Come, Easy Go”), and Dwight Yoakam (”Fast As You”).
Melrose Place (Fox, 9-10 p.m.) The show’s nearly invisible gay character, Matt (Doug Savant), gets a rare romantic subplot, but it’s not exactly a breakthrough: A female coworker develops a crush on him. Also: Jake (Grant Show) sees his motorcycle shop burn down in a suspicious fire, and Alison (Courtney Thorne-Smith) starts to drink on the job.
The Larry Sanders Show (HBO, 10-10:30 p.m.) Irritated by corporate meddling, Larry (Garry Shandling) switches networks-and coasts-in an episode guest- starring New Yorkers Howard Stern and Chris Farley (Saturday Night Live).
30 Thursday The Simpsons (Fox, 8-8:30 p.m.) Homer reveals his musical background as one of the Be Sharps, a Beatlesesque mid-’80s barbershop quartet. Ex-mop top George Harrison and fellow aging rocker Da-vid Crosby provide guest voices.
Stage: Linda McCartney-behind the lens (A&E, 9-10 p.m.) More Fab Four nostalgia: Paul’s missus talks about marriage and vegetarianism and shows off her photos of such dead ’60s pop stars as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, and Jim Morrison.
Seinfeld (NBC, 9:30-10 p.m.) The Emmy-winning sitcom continues to explore the limits of nothingness as George (Jason Alexander) loses his glasses after taking a swim at his health club and Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) fears she has contracted rabies after being bitten by a dog.
1 Friday Against the Grain (NBC, 8-9 p.m.) Shades of Evening Shade: This new drama series concerns an ex-gridiron hero (John Terry) who coaches a high school football team in a tiny Texas town. In the premiere, the coach names his son, Joe Willie (Ben Affleck), the squad’s new starting quarterback.
Bill Nye The Science Guy (syndicated, check local listings) The latest Mr. Wizard wannabe goes after the Jurassic Park crowd with an episode devoted entirely to dinosaurs, including a ”Life-styles of the Big and Extinct” segment hosted by Robin Leach and prehistoric factoids delivered by Cheers know-it-all John Ratzenberger.
2 Saturday Drew Carey: Human Cartoon (Showtime, 10:35-11:05 p.m.) Crew-cut comedian Carey opines on such mundane topics as auto parts, football, and high school reunions in a concert taped in Cleveland, his hometown.
Tales from the Crypt (HBO, 10-11:30 p.m.) The spooky-funny anthology series returns with a terror trilogy: ”Death of Some Salesmen,” starring Ed Begley Jr. and Tim Curry; ”As Ye Sow,” directed by Kyle MacLachlan; and ”Forever Ambergris,” with Roger Daltrey and Reservoir Dogs’ Steve Buscemi.