EW Online's guide to this week's notable sweeps shows

By Craig Seymour
Updated April 27, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT
The Simpsons

As if he weren’t animated enough, Kid Rock makes his cartoon debut on ”The Simpsons” Sunday night (8 p.m., Fox) playing himself. Here’s the deal: TV’s longest running family takes a vacation to Florida, and through a string of typically inexplicable events, Homer winds up on stage with Rock and sidekick Joe C., who perform ”Bawitdaba.” Rock — who joins the show’s esteemed list of guest rockers, including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sting, Sonic Youth, and, er, Britney Spears — is releasing ”The History of Rock,” his album of new and previously unissued songs on May 30. But so far no duets with Homer are planned. ”D’oh!”

Here are EW Online’s picks of notable sweeps’ specials, story lines, and star-studded guest spots for the coming week:

  • ”Friends” (8 p.m., NBC)
    Mr. Bruce Willis, you’ve just starred in the Oscar nominated ”The Sixth Sense, ” what’s next for you? A three-episode sitcom stint, of course.

  • ”Cosby” (8:30 p.m., CBS)
    It’s the series finale. Networks do the darnedest things.

    ”Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (10 p.m., NBC)
    No, it’s not turning into ”Cop Rock,” but Tony-winning chanteuse Audra McDonald stops by as a police psychologist.

  • ”Wanna Be A VJ 3 Finals” (2 p.m., MTV)
    Who’ll be the next Thalia? Who was the first Thalia? Just the thought of it all makes us almost miss Jesse Camp.

    ”MAD TV” (11 p.m., FOX)
    David Arquette makes one last plug for the body-slammed ”Ready to Rumble.” Lord, can’t Courteney put him in a hammer lock to keep him home?

  • ”Arabian Nights” (8 p.m., ABC)
    Four hours of digital-effect dragons, fake-looking magic carpets, and a genie who whines about having a headache — who wished for this? (concludes Mon., May 1, at 9 p.m.)

    ”The X-Files” (9 p.m., FOX)
    David Duchovny brings the wife (Téa Leoni) to work with him for this episode he directed in which Leoni and Garry Shandling play Hollywood versions of Scully and Mulder.

    ”The ’70s” (9 p.m., NBC)
    A decade-honoring miniseries featuring Brad Rowe (the poor man’s Brad Pitt) and Vinessa Shaw (the poor man’s Julianne Moore). Also featuring polyester (the poor man’s fabric).

    ”Take Me Home: The John Denver Story (9 p.m., CBS)
    Mr. Hilary Swank (Chad Lowe) dons round glasses and blond bangs to live out the darkest surprise story this side of Teena Brandon’s.

  • ”Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” (Mon.-Wed., 8 p.m.; Thu., 9 p.m.; ABC)
    Separate the smart celebrities from the dumbasses on this weeks’ star-studded set of shows, featuring N Sync’s Lance Bass, David Duchovny, Rosie O’ Donnell, and more.

    ”Ally McBeal” (9 p.m., Fox)
    Here’s a novelty: a ”McBeal” episode that actually gives Lisa Nicole Carson something to do. Tonight her character Renee battles Elaine in singing ”Happy Birthday” to a just-turned-30 Ally.

  • ”Buffy The Vampire Slayer” (8 p.m., WB)
    Oz (Seth Green) returns to proclaim his wolfman love to Willow — but what about her Sapphic spell-buddy Tara?

    ”Angel” (9 p.m., WB)
    Buffy joins Angel in L.A. for the very first time… since November sweeps. And Buffy’s nemesis Faith is back to battle the Buffster for the first time since… you guessed it, February sweeps.

    ”Will & Grace” (9 p.m., NBC)
    ”SNL”’s Molly Shannon returns as Grace’s annoying neighbor and hopefully doesn’t do that whole ”supa-star” thing.

  • ”Academy of Country Music Awards” (8 p.m., CBS)
    Country radio won’t touch her, but apparently she’s fine for TV: Dolly Parton hosts with appearances by Reba McEntire, Alan Jackson, George Strait, and the ubiquitous Faith Hill.

    ”Party of Five” (8 p.m., FOX)
    ”Scream” all you want, but the sad sack Salingers are out of here. No word on how the series will end, but Neve Campbell’s idea involved simply ”a Mack truck.”

    ”Dawson’s Creek” (8 p.m., WB)
    The network calls this the ”best and most significant episode of the season,” which means people won’t have anything similar to compare it to.

  • ”ER” (10 p.m., NBC)
    Countdown before Margulies bails: Two more shows. We miss her already.

  • ”Boy Meets World” (8 p.m., ABC)
    Or rather, goodbye cruel world! Tonight marks the show’s end. Like you care.

    ”Now and Again” (9 p.m., CBS)
    What would sweeps be without wrestlers? The WWF’s Mankind (Mick Foley) appears in what could be the lauded show’s final episode.

    ”Nash Bridges” (10 p.m., CBS)
    What would sweeps be without wrestlers II: Stone Cold Steve Austin plays a renegade cop in the show’s 100th episode.

  • ”Early Edition” (8 p.m., CBS)
    What would sweeps be without wrestlers III: Extreme Championship Wrestlers Tommy Dreamer and New Jack play themselves in a barroom brawl.

    ”Jaws” (8 p.m., ABC)
    Great news, commercial fans: Instead of buying the 25th anniversary DVD edition of ”Jaws” (released July 11), you can watch this commemorative airing with behind-the-scenes footage and lots of 30-second interruptions.

  • ”Geppetto” (7 p.m., ABC)
    Drew Carey plays Pinocchio’s pop in this Disney musical with R&B singer Usher Raymond and ”Star Trek”’s Brent Spiner.

    ”The X-Files” (9 p.m., FOX)
    Not quite the Doublemint twins: Kathy Griffin plays two women conceived from the same scrappy sperm donor in this homage to ”Fight Club.”

    Dawson's Creek

    • TV Show
    • 6
    • Kevin Williamson
    • WB