Past-their-prime suspects fill weekend

What do brash young comics do when they're no longer young -- when they reach the age when brash seems brittle? "Saturday Night Live" has been around for so long that we've been able to see at least two generations of performers mature before our eyes. Not all of them got older or better.

Chris Rock begins his "Never Scared" (9 p.m. today, HBO) concert with a rather frank admission of his elder-statesman status. He extols the joys of fatherhood and admits to being all of 39 years old. Or, as he puts it, to delirious shouts of recognition, "'New Jack City' is a long time ago!"

  • No actress is better, or braver, at portraying a "woman of a certain age" than Helen Mirren. She lent great intelligence, and no small erotic charge, to recent television films like "The Passion of Ayn Rand" and the adaptation of Tennessee Williams' "The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone."

Mirren returns to her best-known character, police inspector Jane Tennison, in "Prime Suspect 6: The Last Witness" on "Masterpiece Theatre" (8 p.m. Sunday, PBS). The opening scenes juxtapose the grisly discovery of a young woman's corpse with Tennison undergoing the indignities of a full physical exam at the behest of her bosses, who want to put her out to pasture because she has turned 54.

  • Series creator Matt Groening appears as himself on "The Simpsons" (7 p.m. Sunday, Fox) when Bart visits a comic book convention.

Today's highlights

  • A tomboy FBI agent (Sandra Bullock) goes undercover at a pageant in the 2000 comedy "Miss Congeniality" (7 p.m., CBS):
  • Brendan Fraser stars in the 2001 sequel "The Mummy Returns" (7 p.m., ABC).
  • Jamie Foxx portrays a gang leader nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to educate young people in the 2004 drama "Redemption" (7 p.m., FX).
  • Drew Barrymore is host of "Saturday Night Live" (10:30 p.m., NBC), featuring musical guest Kelis.

Sunday's highlights

  • Scheduled on "60 Minutes" (6 p.m., CBS): an interview with Bob Woodward and a repeat profile of Mary J. Blige.
  • Goran Visnjic ("ER") stars in the four-hour miniseries "Spartacus" (7 p.m., USA, concludes Monday).
  • Morgan Freeman stars in the 2001 thriller "Along Came a Spider" (8 p.m., CBS).
  • Palmer orders Jack to carry out a thankless task on "24" (8 p.m., Fox). Postponed by the president's Tuesday night news conference.


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