NBC's "Saturday Night Live" marks its 25th season of comedy, satire and music with a party Sunday at 9 featuring former cast members, hosts and musical performers. (Never mind that the party is a year early -- "SNL" debuted in 1975.)
Lorne Michaels begins his 20th season as executive producer; music director Cheryl Hardwick has been aboard for 24.
The first-season cast members were Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Garrett Morris, Laraine Newman, Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin and Michael O'Donoghue. This year's repertory group includes Jimmy Fallon, Will Ferrell, Ana Gasteyer, Darrell Hammond, Chris Kattan, Tim Meadows, Tracy Morgan, Cheri Oteri, Chris Parnell, Colin Quinn, Horatio Sanz and Molly Shannon.
A SONG FROM THE HEART
Sunday at 9 on CBS
Amy Grant makes her acting debut as a blind concert cellist who falls for a self-centered pianist, not realizing that the widowed father of her cello student could be the love of her life. D.W. Moffett plays the pianist. Keith Carradine and Alexandra Purvis co-star.
FOOLING WITH WORDS
Sunday at 9 on PBS
Washington bookstore owners say poetry sells well in this area, part of a nationwide resurgence in interest in that genre. This two-hour Bill Moyers special focuses on last year's Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival in Waterloo, N.J., which drew more than 12,000 fans to hear a contingent of poets including Amiri Baraka, Marge Piercy and Robert Pinsky.
Monday at 9 on MPT, 10 on WETA
This four-part series looks at Soviet spies (traitors to the West, heroes to the U.S.S.R.); athletes (Olga Korbut and Larisa Latynina, gymnastics; Anatoly Firsov, hockey; and Igor ter Ovanesyan, long jump); its space program, including its mastermind, Sergei Pavlovich Korolev; and its propaganda machine, with observations by Russian television journalist Vladimir Pozner, former U.S. Secretary of State Alexander Haig and Vietnam veteran Jan Scruggs.
"John Paul II: The Millennial Pope"
Tuesday at 9 on PBS
After the deaths of two popes within months in 1978, the election of Karol Wojtyla -- John Paul II -- as the first non-Italian pope since the 15th century seemed promising. A physically vigorous man, he enjoyed athletics, poetry and acting. During his two decades as pontiff, John Paul II has traveled farther than any of his predecessors to visit his flock, but at times has seemed at war with the 20th century. This profile is by award-winning producer Helen Whitney, who also made "The Choice '96," a look at presidential candidates Bob Dole and Bill Clinton.
IN THE LIFE OF CHRIS GAINES
Wednesday at 8 on NBC
Country music's top-selling solo artist expands his repertoire by exploring pop and rock songs through a fictitious character, international pop/rock superstar Chris Gaines, whom Brooks is creating for a feature film project. The special includes tracks from Brooks's album, out this month.
PRIME-TIME SERIES PREMIERES
Third Watch Sunday at 8 on NBC
Snoops Sunday at 9 on ABC
Jack & Jill Sunday at 9 on WB
Ally Tuesday at 8 on Fox
Popular Wednesday at 9 (with part two
on Thursday at 8, its normal timeslot)
Work With Me Wednesday at 8:30 on CBS
Shasta McNasty Thursday at 9:30 on WB
PRIME-TIME SEASON PREMIERES
King of the Hill Sunday at 7:30 on Fox
The Simpsons Sunday at 8 on Fox
Touched by an Angel Sunday at 8 on CBS
Felicity Sunday at 8 on WB
Futurama Sunday at 8:30 on Fox
The Practice Sunday at 10 on ABC
That '70s Show Tuesday at 8:30 on Fox
Frontline Tuesday at 9 on PBS
Cosby Wednesday at 8 on CBS
7 Days Wednesday at 8 on UPN
Anyplace Wild Wednesday at 8 on PBS
Dawson's Creek Wednesday at 8 on WB
Mystery! Thursday at 9 on PBS
Charmed Thursday at 9 on WB
ER Thursday at 10 on NBC
Saturday Night Live at 11:30 on NBC