TV column for Friday, Aug. 17


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “Teachers Rock,”
8 p.m., CBS.

This special doubles as a promotion for
teachers and for the movie “Won't Back Down.” Whatever its
motivation, it has assembled some strong performers.

Most are country, including Dierks
Bentley and superstars Garth Brooks and Carrie Underwood. Also
performing are classical-pop powerhouse Josh Groban and the pop-rock
group Fun.

TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE II: “Boss”
season-opener, 9 p.m., Starz.

Kelsey Grammer is blisteringly
brilliant as a Chicago mayor driven by ego, rage, warmth, loneliness
… and the need to create a legacy, before succumbing to the
neurological disease he's keeping secret.

Now he feels he's triumphing – one
project starting, another being planned – just as he's crumbling:
His assistant is dead, his daughter is imprisoned, his mind is
wavering. He meets an idealistic politician (Sanaa Lathan) with her
own strong-arm tactics. Fierce forces combine, in the return of a
great series.

TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: “Inocente,”
10 p.m., MTV.

For much of her childhood, Inocente
Izucar was homeless. In a nine-year stretch, she (and her mother and
two younger brothers) alternated between San Diego's homeless
shelters, staying nowhere for more than three months. She considered
suicide; her mother urged joint suicide.

Instead, she painted her face, wore
bright clothes, strode into the world. At 12, she found an
after-school art program; at 15, it featured her one-person show.

Izucar is 18 now, with a college fund
and a New York exhibit. This documentary captures her pivotal time at
15; it is (like its subject) bright, beautiful and deeply moving.

TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE II: “Grimm,” 10
p.m., NBC.

Sure, this is getting a temporary
boost: New episodes air on Mondays, with a reality-show lead-in.

But this fall, “Grimm” will be back
to its grim, Friday-night spot. To prepare us, NBC is rerunning
Monday's season-opener tonight. It's a fairly good one, but
exceedingly violent. Already shattered by the fact that his
girlfriend is in a coma, Nick faces two newcomers – a grisly killer
who stowed away on a ship …. and Nick's mom, (Mary Elizabeth
Mastrantonio), who's back after 18 years.

Other choices include:

– “Woman of the Year” (1942),
2:30 p.m. ET, Turner Classic Movies. It's a triple feature of
acclaimed comedies with Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy; “Adam's
Rib” (1949) is at 4:30 p.m., “Pat and Mike” (1952) at 6:15.
Sandwiching them are Hepburn dramas – the potent “Lion in Winter”
(1968, noon) and the once-controversial, now-bland “Guess Who's
Coming to Dinner” (1967, 8 p.m.)

– Football, 8 p.m. ET, Fox. The
Baltimore Ravens host the Detroit Lions.

– “Shake It Up,” 8-9:30 p.m.,
Disney. Rocky and CeCe win a dancing gig in Japan. That's in an
expanded season finale that includes Blue Man Group, Tokyo teen
fashion and “J-Pop”music.

– “Hatfields & McCoys,” 8-10
p.m., History; concludes Saturday. Johnse Hatfield is one of this
mini-series; few likable males. Now he loves a McCoy and her family
plans to kill him at dawn.

– “CSI: NY,” 9 p.m., CBS. In a
rerun, a judge has been killed. Also, Jo (Sela Ward) confronts a rape
suspect from an earlier case; she's being blamed for the previous
failure to convict him.

– “Blue Bloods,” 10 p.m., CBS.
The gun-buyback program promised a no-questions-asked approach. Now
Danny feels an ethical dilemma, after finding what may be the gun
used in a robbery.

– “Strike Back,”10 and 10:50
p.m., Cinemax. The season starts with Stonebridge (Phillip
Winchester) back home as a training officer;Scott is on assignment
with an enigmatic newcomer (Rhona Mitra of “Boston Legal” and
“Nip/Tuck”). Then a crisis intervenes, in violent but
well-crafted episodes.

– “A Chance to Dance” debut, 10
p.m, Ovation. Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, who blend dance
styles, are arbitrarily given 28 days to audition dancers, create a
troupe and put on a show. Then their group tours with “So You Think
You Can Dance”; both shows are from producer Nigel Lythgoe.