Prime time turns to old variety shows

Nostalgia overload alert! Viewers can spend three solid hours tonight watching network television and never encounter anything newer than the Jimmy Carter era. CBS offers a repeat of "The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited" (8 p.m.), followed by a second helping of "The Carol Burnett Show: Let's Bump Up the Lights" (9 p.m.). Over on ABC, you can watch "The Nick & Jessica Variety Hour" (8 p.m.).

In the latter special, first aired on Easter Sunday, 20-somethings Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson try their darnedest to imitate the laugh-track patter and song-and-dance moves of Sonny and Cher. "Nick & Jessica" is not so much a television show as an imitation of a TV variety hour that you might see staged in one of a thousand high school gyms or church basements.

  • For those looking for slightly more contemporary fare, there's the TV debut of the 2003 feel-good, coming-of-age soccer comedy "Bend It Like Beckham" (9 p.m. today, Cinemax).
  • Glenn Close and Patrick Stewart star in the new adaptation of "The Lion in Winter" (6:30 p.m. Sunday, Showtime). The script by William Goldman turns the battle to succeed England's King Henry II in 1183 into a real family ruckus. "The Sopranos" have nothing on the scheming Plantagenets.
  • Based on Scott Turow's legal thriller, the two-part miniseries "Reversible Errors" (8 p.m. Sunday and Tuesday) allows viewers to watch husband-and-wife acting team William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman in action. That's a good thing. It also lets us see Tom Selleck as a hard-boiled cop. Perhaps the old P.I. should stick to the Westerns he's come to like so much.
  • "The Simpsons" (7 p.m. Sunday, Fox) wraps up its season with a timely crack at media mergers and maniacal monopolists.

Today's highlights

  • Walter Cronkite ponders life in space on the 1967 science showcase "The 21st Century" (7 p.m., Science Channel).
  • "Saturday Night Live" (10:30 p.m., NBC) presents "The Best of Christopher Walken."

Sunday's highlights

  • Scheduled on "60 Minutes" (6 p.m., CBS): former Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni analyzes the current military crisis in Iraq; a former gang leader tries to help inner city kids from inside Death Row.


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