TV column for Monday, Nov. 17


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE:
“Dancing With the Stars,” 8-10:01 p.m., ABC.

A week from its
finale, this show has a surviving old-timer. Tommy Chong, 76, is the
oldest person ever to reach the semi-finals; he survived last week
(despite a calf injury), ousting Lea Thompson.

Chong is older than
three others combined – Sadie Robertson, 17, of “Duck Dynasty”;
actress Janel Parrish, 26; and Internet star Bethany Mota, 19, paired
with frequent winner Derek Hough. They join actor Alfonso Ribeiro,
43, with music by Christina Grimmie, Noah Guthrie and Time for Three.

TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE:
“State of Affairs” debut, 10 p.m., NBC.

With a big build-up,
a familiar star and a strong time slot (vacated by “Blacklist,”
which moves to Thursdays in February), this has almost everything to
be a hit. Except a story that makes sense. Katherine Heigl is
excellent as a CIA figure who briefs the president (Alfre Woodward),
the mother of her slain fiance. Tonight, she bypasses the president
on a crucial decision; ordered detained, she easily eludes police and
strolls into the Oval Office. It's quite absurd, yet sleek enough to
hold our attention.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: “Banksy Does New York,” 9 p.m., HBO.

Like a modern
Batman, street-artist Banksy has kept his identity secret while
building fame. He daringly announced a 31-day “residency” in New
York City: A new piece would appear each day, with Tweets only
hinting how to find them; the result triggered a fascinating blend of
human reactions.

Many people viewed
it as a geek scavenger hunt, racing to find each spot. Some building
owers painted over the graffiti; others preserved it in plexiglass.
And some, realizing these sell for big money, hauled them away. For
one month, this jaunty film says, Banksy stirred curiosity, greed,
humor and sheer fun.

Other choices
include:

“The Voice,”
8-10 p.m., NBC. The show finally has its top 12. On Tuesday, 10 will
survive.

“Gotham,” 8
p.m., Fox. Rushing to solve the murder of Bruce Wayne's parents,
Harvey Dent wants Gordon to link with the mayor (Richard Kind). Also,
the Pengun meets Liza, Mooney's secret weapon.

“2 Broke Girls,”
8 p.m., CBS. There may be some gaps in Max's street-smarts. Preparing
to deliver cupcakes, she admits that she doesn't know how to ride a
bike.

“The Millers,”
8:30, CBS. Urged by Kip (Sean Hayes) to be more daring, Carol
confronts her former work nemesis (Molly Shannon).

“Sleepy Hollow,”
9 p.m., Fox. A surprising spirit seems to have a deadly impact at
Tarrytown Psych.

“Scorpion,” 9
p.m., CBS. This case becomes personal for Cabe (Robert Patrick). His
ex-wife (Jessica Tuck) is in danger, after finding evidence about a
congressman's death.

“Jane the Virgin,”
9 p.m., CW. After some hilarious moments in previous episodes, this
one is more

serious, amid key
turning points. Jane is torn between her fiance and her boss (the
biological father of her baby-to-be, due to a lab mix-up); her own
biological father is drawn anew to her mom, who has a big audition.
Much of that is settled in a busy, well-made episode that also has a
police breakthrough.

“Independent
Lens,” 10 p.m., PBS (check local listings). Amid the mountains of
the Southeast Asian kingdom of Bhutan, there's stunning beauty ...
and relentless quiet. We meet a 9-year-old boy whose widowed mom
tends the yaks by day and wants him to become a monk. Still, he (ike
others) dreams of watching TV, as soon as electricity arrives. This
documentary, ironically titled “Happiness,” has an ending that
will jolt anyone who's unhappy in a 500-channel cable world.

“Castle,” 10:01
p.m., ABC. Rick is a big-city author, not a cowboy. Tonight, however,
he and Kate go undercover to investigate a murder at a dude ranch.