TELEVISION: Murder, They Wheezed

Starring in sitcoms may get too strenuous, but in prime time you're never too old to solve a whodunit

Alexander Scott, the globe-trotting secret agent played by Bill Cosby in the 1960s series I Spy, made a return visit to his old top-secret agency a couple of weeks ago. And no one was more surprised than the security guard who had to inspect his outdated photo ID. "Long assignment?" she asked skeptically. "Sick leave," he replied.

It may be too harsh to call them the over-the-hill gang. But TV's newest batch of prime-time detectives are, let us say, not the sleuths you'd feel most comfortable hiring to follow an armed robber down a dark alley. Cosby, now 56 and with...

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