If you missed ”The Simpsons” April 30, you missed Kid Rock and Joe C. in the first musical stunt casting of May sweeps. Do such ”very special guests” make a difference in a show’s ratings? You be the judge: The ”Simpsons” episode featuring the Grammy winning rapper was seen by 12.9 million viewers to rank No. 24, while the previous week’s ”Simpsons” ranked No. 47, with 9.8 million viewers.
But can these musicians ACT? EW Online tells you which vocalist will be guesting where, how they earned their thespian props – and our two cents on the whole deal.
SINGER Don Henley
SHOW ”Just Shoot Me,” airing on NBC, 9:30-10 p.m.
ROLE He appears as himself, talking about how Nina Van Horn broke up the Eagles, in a parodic ”A&E Biography” episode
ACTING CRED He played Benji in the unknown 1970 Western ”Cry Blood, Apache.”
OUR TWO CENTS Stick to ”Storytellers,” Don.
SINGER k.d. lang
SHOW ”Dharma & Greg,” ABC, 9-9:30 p.m.
ROLE She plays herself, seeking legal advice from Greg and performing the debut single from her album ”Summer” (due in June).
ACTING CRED Lang has appeared in three movies, including last year’s Ashley Judd psycho-killer thriller ”Eye of the Beholder”; she also had a part in CBS’ Mob miniseries ”The Last Don.”
OUR TWO CENTS We’re betting she doesn’t fall for Greg.
SINGER Paula Cole
SHOW ”Charmed,” WB, 9-10 p.m.
ROLE She plays herself, performing in Piper’s nightclub, P3.
ACTING CRED She had a role in the 1998 indie ”Don’t Explain.”
OUR TWO CENTS After the scathing reviews of her last album, maybe Cole should try to parlay this into a recurring role, à la Vonda Shepard on ”Ally McBeal.”
SINGER Trisha Yearwood
SHOW ”JAG,” CBS, 8-9 p.m.
ROLE She reprises her role of forensic pathologist Lt. Cmdr. Teresa Coulter.
ACTING CRED Yearwood’s guested on several television shows, including ”Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” and ”Ellen.”
OUR TWO CENTS Trisha’s not a forensic pathologist – but she plays one on TV.
SINGER Joan Jett
SHOW ”Walker, Texas Ranger,” CBS, 9-11 p.m.
ROLE She plays a badass bleach blond assassin in the special two-hour season finale.
ACTING CRED Jett starred as an aspiring rocker in the 1987 Michael J. Fox film ”Light of Day.” She also guested on ”Ellen”
OUR TWO CENTS Our favorite Jett role: playing herself on ”America’s Most Wanted” (1995) and ”Unsolved Mysteries” (1996). (And no, the unsolved mystery was NOT ”Where did my singing career go?”)
SINGERS Randy Travis, Clint Black, Wynonna Judd, Martina McBride, Vince Gill, Brooks & Dunn
SHOW ”King of the Hill,” Fox, 7:30-8 p.m.
ROLES The episode is set at a country music event, where the singers all play themselves, except Gill, who portrays a pastor.
ACTING CRED Travis is the acting vet of the group, having appeared in 30 big-screen and made-for-TV movies and series. He had recurring roles on ”Matlock” (as a good-hearted drifter with a golden voice) and ”Touched by an Angel.”
OUR TWO CENTS Travis may be the seasoned thespian of the group, but we vote for Gill’s as the most fortuitous casting: playing a preacher on the heels of his own somewhat scandalous divorce and sudden marriage to Christian pop queen Amy Grant.
SINGER William Shatner (Priceline.com belter)
SHOW ”3rd Rock From the Sun,” NBC, 8-9 p.m.
ROLE He returns as the Big Giant Head (does this qualify as playing himself?)
ACTING CRED He appeared in some ’60s TV sci-fi thing and a few films based on it.
OUR TWO CENTS Shatner’s the best singing actor since… Leonard Nimoy.