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Evening News From Moscow (C-Span, 6-6:30 p.m., E.T.): A Russian broadcast with simultaneous English translation. * WEDNESDAY

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27th Annual Country Music Association Awards (CBS 8-11 p.m., E.T.): Having long since crossed over to the pop mainstream, country music boasts an awards night like the other high-profile show-business forms: a glittery production, celebrity hosts and presenters, winners overcome with delight. And it's all carried live during prime time, in this case from the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.

One of this edition's highlights will be Willie Nelson's induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame - as if he needed that. His citation - in somewhat understated terms - calls him a ``noteworthy individual who has made outstanding contributions to country music.'' Three of today's big country stars - Reba McEntire, Dwight Yoakum, George Strait - will perform, along with an impressive list of other names performing or appearing, among them Garth Brooks, Billy Ray Cyrus, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Tanya Tucker, Tammy Wynette, Wynonna Judd, and Trisha Yearwood.

The hosts are Vince Gill and Clint Black, who have both won several CMA awards.

NOAHS: Keepers of the Ark

(PBS, 8-9 p.m.): Veterinarians and other animal-helpers with a special dedication to their calling always seem to be dubbed Noah. In the mid-1950s, for instance, a short-lived Jack Webb series about two veterinarians was called ``Noah's Ark,'' and the name has popped up in similar contexts.

This ``New Explorers'' special focuses on NOAHS, an acronym for New Opportunities in Animal Health Sciences at the Smithsonian's National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C. ``Noahs'' also poetically defines the zoo's world-hopping scientists as they take steps - sometimes rather heroic ones - to save endangered species. We follow them in planes, jeeps, and helicopters, and at one point they collect and freeze wild-lion semen to help zoo lions avoid dangerous inbreeding.

Please check local listings for these programs.

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