Jerry Seinfeld and his <i>Seinfeld</i> co-stars provide plenty of laughs for new and old fans.

Jerry Seinfeld and his Seinfeld co-stars provide plenty of laughs for new and old fans.

FREE TO AIR

Seinfeld, GO!, 3pm

THIS is what the summer schedule is all about. There may not be a lot of first-run dramas about, but we thankfully get a few mini-marathons of classics, such as this three-episode run of Seinfeld. The three, ''The Doorman'', ''The Jimmy'' and ''The Doodle'', are all from season six, which first aired in the mid-1990s. The first is one of the true Seinfeld classics as Kramer (Michael Richards) invents the Manssiere. A reminder of just how good this show was.

Who Do You Think You Are? Kevin Whatley, SBS One, 5.30pm

IT'S always fun to watch famous faces take a trip through the branches of their family tree and turn up unexpected surprises (Nigel Lawson's embarrassingly thieving forebear springs to mind), but what is even better is when we see the lesser-known faces take up genealogy for the cameras and find they're not quite so ordinary after all. Kevin Whatley, for example, is best known in Australia for playing Lewis, the cop who trailed along in the wake of Inspector Morse. He's not exactly A-list material and most of his story is found with little travel, but his story is brilliant. What he discovers as he delves back through the years is a long list of ancestors who really were the movers and shakers of their time. To say he's a bit chuffed is an understatement.

David Attenborough: The Life of Mammals, Channel Ten, 6.30pm

''MEERKATS in the Kalahari Desert,'' David Attenborough says, laying on the sand with a dozen of the aforementioned animals standing around (and in some cases on him), ''spend the night in burrows, they find all the food they need on the ground, they are swift and expert runners, but oddly enough they also climb and they have very good reason for doing so.'' And so begins an interesting and entertaining lesson on the animal best known as the inspiration for office workers who pop up to see what's going on. Put simply, no one does nature documentaries better than Attenborough, and this is another fascinating effort. And it has monkeys - what's not to love?

SCOTT ELLIS


PAY TV

Smart Cookies, Universal, 8.30pm

A SWEET and amusing telemovie in which Jessalyn Gilsig (Glee) plays a workaholic real estate agent named Julie who learns about the important things in life from a troop of misfit girl scouts. Julie is aghast when her boss (Home Improvement's Patricia Richardson) instructs her to lead the troop for 90 days as a kind of community service. ''I'm not comfortable with children,'' she protests. ''They're messy and distracting!'' She's even less impressed when she meets her troop of no-hopers who have not been allowed to join the super-competent troop run by the Sue Sylvester-like Hazel (Samantha Ferris). Julie is lumbered with the juvenile-delinquent girl, the nerdy but boy-crazy one, the one who's too shy to talk, and the conscientious Daisy (terrific young actor Bailee Madison). The story runs to formula, right down to the nascent romance between Julie and Daisy's hunky father (Ty Olsson), but it still has a winning charm.

Ade in Britain, BBC Knowledge, 7.30pm

THE softly spoken Adrian Edmondson heads to the Fens, the part of eastern England where the draining of natural marshlands centuries ago provided Britain with much of its most fertile farming land. He learns the ways of the place from locals who still eke out a living in such traditional occupations as ferreting and eel trapping. Edmondson is a wan presence, but that in itself is a respite from all those other presenters who are always pretending to be jumping out of their skins in excitement at everything.

Abalone Wars, Discovery, 7.30pm

Compelling series in which abalone divers brave the risk of attack by great white sharks off South Australia's Eyre Peninsula.

Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction, LifeStyle Food, 4pm

American chef Bobby Flay fires up the barbie, with mouth-watering results.

Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, TLC, 8.30pm

The New York chef heads to Provence to sample the local cuisine.

BRAD NEWSOME


MOVIES

Hot Rod (2007), One, 8.30pm

EVEN now he's in his 30s, American comic Andy Samberg looks like an oversize Jewish-American kid from the suburbs, complete with a rubbery face that screws up into oddball shapes in a bizarre version of emoting. The idiocy of youth is one of his recurring subjects and once he'd established himself on Saturday Night Live, along with his writing partners in the Lonely Island trio - Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone - it was just a short leap to the movies for the three of them with this deadpan farce about a young man whose efforts to prove himself are founded in absurd leaps of logic. Samberg's Rod Kimble wants to be like his late father, a stuntman, but his own efforts are decidedly pedestrian, despite his intent. He also needs to raise money to help pay for the heart transplant his stepfather (Ian McShane) needs; he wants to keep him alive so he can beat him in a fight.

The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), Channel Seven, 6.30pm

DEFINITELY a lesser James Bond film, despite Christopher Lee's performance as the assassin Scaramanga, with too much of the diminutive Herve Villechaize and Britt Ekland.

Goodfellas (1990), GO!, 9.40pm

MOST lists of epic Academy Award failures feature Kevin Costner's western fantasy Dances with Wolves beating Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas for best picture in 1990. Time has only accentuated the slight; have you tried watching Dances with Wolves lately? The source for this movie was Wiseguy, a non-fiction book by Nicolas Pileggi that opened up the life of a New York Mafia associate turned state's witness named Henry Hill, and Pileggi wrote the screenplay with Scorsese, showing Hill's rise and fall as one epic movement through four decades. Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci memorably play Hill's associates, and he's self-aware enough to realise their insular, violent world has no way out, even as it is seducing him. Various scenes are now ensconced in popular culture, particularly Pesci's terrifying ''funny, how?'' monologue, but it's worth experiencing the movie again to see how seamlessly it moves, and how it reflects Scorsese's fascination with violence and redemption.

CRAIG MATHIESON