Samuel L. Jackson
Credit: Samuel L. Jackson: Tama Herrick/ZUMA Press/NewsCom

Here in New York, where the torrential rain that has deluged us all week is expected to continue throughout the weekend, I don’t need an excuse to stay indoors all weekend. But if I did:

-Tonight at 9 p.m., Comedy Central begins its 25-episode countdown of Cartman’s greatest hits, a three-night marathon of South Park episodes as ranked in a viewer poll. Chris Noth, accompanied by brainy new partner Annabella Sciorra, is back on duty Sunday night on Law & Order: Criminal Intent (9 p.m., NBC). And I’m hoping guest star Samuel L. Jackson (left) can liven up HBO’s Extras, an intermittently funny show that otherwise puts the dead in deadpan (Sunday at 10:30 p.m.).

Arrested Development plug No. 273: Season Two is out now on DVD.

Grey Album mixmaster Danger Mouse teams with rapper MF Doom for The Mouse and the Mask, a CD paying homage to Cartoon Network’s ”Adult Swim” heroes like Space Ghost.

-Turn off your TV and stereo and curl up with a good book: Walter Kirn’s Mission to America, a satirical novel about two missionaries from a Montana sect who search for brides and fall in love instead with reality TV and other all-American kitsch.

-Even if you do get out of the house and into the multiplex, the best new art-house movies this week have a small-screen connection. Where the Truth Lies stars Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth as a 1950s TV-and-nightclub comedy duo (think Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis) who share an NC-17-worthy private life. Tube fixtures Ian McShane and Amy Brenneman join Robin Wright Penn, Glenn Close, Holly Hunter, and Sissy Spacek in Nine Lives, a set of vignettes that have each been shot in a single 10-minute take. And Forty Shades of Blue stars ’90s TV icons Rip Torn (The Larry Sanders Show) and Darren Burrows (who played Ed on Northern Exposure) in a triangle involving a country music producer (Torn), his much younger wife (Dina Korzun), and his estranged son (Burrows). By the way, if you can find it, rent Payday (1972), another drama centered on an unforgettable performance by Torn as a country music insider.

addCredit(“Samuel L. Jackson: Tama Herrick/ZUMA Press/NewsCom”)