The Kennedy Center Honors (Wednesday, 8 p.m., CBS) is a special occasion for the arts world and a must-see holiday TV treat. This year’s show, which was taped Dec. 2 and hosted by Caroline Kennedy, salutes a diverse and dynamic party of five: director Martin Scorsese, singer Diana Ross, comedian Steve Martin, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys and pianist Leon Fleisher. They are saluted by friends and colleagues including Cameron Diaz, Francis Ford Coppola and Robert De Niro for Scorsese; Smokey Robinson and Terrence Howard for Ross; Steve Carell, Kristin Chenoweth and Earl Scruggs for Martin; Art Garfunkel and Lyle Lovett for Wilson; and Yo-Yo Ma for Fleisher.
Kennedy Center Chairman Stephen A. Schwarzman says. “Leon Fleisher is a consummate musician whose career is a moving testament to the life-affirming power of art. Steve Martin is a Renaissance comic whose talents wipe out the boundaries between artistic disciplines. Diana Ross’ singular, instantly recognizable voice has spread romance and joy throughout the world. Martin Scorsese is a visionary filmmaker and a fearless artist, and Brian Wilson led not only a spectacularly popular rock group but also an era-defining transformation of the sound of music.”