TV booking wars--the brutal behind-the-scenes fight for exclusive bookings for top stars--are back. But while it was once David Letterman and Jay Leno battling over guests, the war is now between the Grammys and American Music Awards.

The rival shows, which air on rival networks less than a month apart, are using stong-arm tactics keep artists from appearing on the other program. That means chart-topping singers and multiple Grammy nominees Toni Braxton and LeAnn Rimes won't be allowed to perform at the Grammy ceremony because they've already sang on the American Music Awards, according to USA Today. Other nominees, like country stars Brooks & Dunn and Alan Jackson and rapper Nas, are also in the same boat.

"Why, with all the wealth of talent, would we ever put on an act that the public had just seen?" asks Grammy czar Michael Greene, the Recording Academy president, in USA Today. "It's not good television."

In the past, Grammy producers had asked Dick Clark, who produces the AMAs, to move his show to November, thereby avoiding a "copycat" list of performers. Clark and ABC refused. The AMAs took place on January 27, notably short on stars (Pat Boone and Motley Crue were among the bigger draws). The Grammys will be handed out February 26 on CBS.

There was, according to USA Today, an unwritten rule this year requiring performers to turn down an AMA slot if they wanted a shot at a Grammy appearance before they even knew if they captured a Grammy nod. For instance, Grammy producers told Celine Dion that she wouldn't sing on their show if she sang on the AMAs. Dion opted for the Grammys.

In the past, the Grammy show was considered boring compared to the AMAs, which are geared to the young record-buying public. The AMAs usually pulled a bigger audience. But as the Grammys have fumbled toward hipness in recent years, the Nielsen competition has tightened. This year, however, the AMA show struggled to a record-low 13.2 rating.

Both Clark and Greene were traveling and unavailable for comment today.

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