Showtime (Sat., June 17, 11 P.M. ET)
Those who pine for variety shows, from Toast of the Town to Carol Burnett, take heart. The format isn’t dead; it has just evolved. This edition of Showtime’s intelligent, hour-long series features delicious music by such eclectic artists as Texas troubadour Lyle Lovett and New Orleans pianist-singer Harry Connick Jr., the thinking man’s Michael Feinstein. In a salute to songwriters, Carole King performs in fiery fashion, backed by daughters Sherry and Louise Goffin. On tap, too, are Linda Ronstadt, Kenny Loggins and Jimmy Webb. Composer Barry Mann adds a charged-up version of his (and wife Cynthia Weil’s) “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” with Michael Bolton.