TV column for Friday, June 8


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “Whitney” and
“Community,” 8 and 8:30 p.m., NBC.

With strong wit and weak ratings, both
comedies were rumored for cancellation. Instead, NBC will run them on
Friday (when ratings expectations are low) in the fall. They get an
early start tonight.

First, Whitney (Whitney Cummings, who
created the show) fumes because Chris won't tell his phone passwordl
that builds into the idea of separate nights out. Then is the sort of
offbeat episode “Community” does brilliantly. As Troy and Abed
host a party, we see variations of the same reality.

TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE: “Blue Bloods,”
10 p.m., CBS.

This drama is at its best when it finds
ways to team the Reagans. That happens in this rerun.

An informant has been killed and Erin
(Bridget Moynahan), an assistant district attorney, blames herself.
She turns to her brother Danny, a police detective, to find the
killer.

TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: “Comedy Bang!
Bang!” debut, 10 p.m., IFC.

In the past two years, this slot has
brought great bursts of offbeat wit, let by “Portlandia,” “Todd
Margaret,” “Onion News Network” and a Kids in the Hall
mini-series.Now comes a low-key delight.

In a version of a show he already does
Online and on stage, Scott Aukerman has a fake talk show. Thomas
Lennon (“Reno 911”) has several OK moments and one great one, as
a wine expert with a spit bucket. Zach Galifianakis is funny as a
disinterested guest; Will Forte is hilarious as an unheroic pilot.

Other choices include:

– “House,” 8 p.m., Fox. Dr. House
treats an Alzheimer's disease victim who turns violently sick and
lashes out at his wife. Dr. Wilson's patient claims to be in a chaste
marriage.

– “Merlin” marathon, 8 p.m., BBC
America. This fairly entertaining show has already been on NBC and
Syfy. Now it moves and starts over: The 13-hour first season runs
here, then instantly reruns from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday. We see
Merlin as a young wizard, arriving in a spot where the king (Arthur's
father) has banned magic; we also meet the beautiful Gwen and, soon,
some nasty schemers.

– “Bones,” 9 p.m., Fox. Like
Wednesday's “Royal Pains,” this has a so-so story of an eating
contest. Still, there are good moments revolving around the lab's new
intern, a former juvenile delinquent.

– “CSI: NY,” 9 p.m., CBS. The
power of social media goes too far in this rerun. People rush to a
party, a balcony collapses and a teenager is killed. Now the team
tries to see if there was rape and murder.

– “Lives on Fire” debut, 9 p.m.,
Oprah Winfrey Network. There are 5,000 firefighters in Cal Fire, this
show says, only 320 of them female. This reality show follows four of
them. Tonight, Nico Vasquez fights a wildfire; Roseanne Grier –
still a seasonal (nine-month-a-year) employee, but hoping to be
full-time by the time she's 30, in two years – starts work at a new
station.

– “Common Law,” 10 p.m., USA.
Travis often battles with his current police partner, Wes. Now we
learn he did the same with his previous partner; they clash while
probing a car-theft ring.

– “Bunk” debut, 10:30, IFC. This
fake game show has some OK moments, especially from Kumail Nanjiani
of “Franklin & Bash.” Still, it's sometimes loud and blunt,
no match for other IFC shows.