As the commercial networks wind up their holiday offerings of low-budget blooper specials and celebrity-heavy quiz shows, regular programming slowly returns. However, things don’t really get back to “normal” until next week.

NHK, which — “Kohaku Utagassen” notwithstanding — can be counted on for more compelling yearend fare, provides an intimate look into a year in the professional and private life of Japan’s most famous artistic export, conductor Seiji Ozawa, on its “NHK Special.” (Jan. 5, NHK-G, 9:15 p.m.) The past year was a particularly auspicious one for the maestro. It started out with his triumphant New Year’s Concert with the Vienna Symphony, a show that not only wowed the usually skeptical European critics, but also produced an album that became one of the biggest selling classical CDs of 2002, both in Japan and worldwide.

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