TV column for Saturday, July 14


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “Castle,” 10
p.m., ABC.

A treasure-hunter has been killed, in a
case that reflects a 1947 murder. Naturally, Castle figures the old
case must be solved first.

That triggers a flashback, with Castle
(Nathan Fillion) as a hard-boiled detective and Beckett (Stana Katic)
as a femme fatale. It's filmed sylishly by Chuck Bowman, who's been
directing TV for 34 years; his son, Rob, is a “Castle” producer
and directed the first “X-Files” movie.

TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE: “An American
Girl: McKenna Shoots For the Stars,” 8-10 p.m., NBC.

Hardly any dolls (Barbie excluded) get
their own movies. Still, the American Girl company has made five
previous ones, airing them on the old WB, on Disney and (for one) in
movie theaters.

Now the series moves to its first
broadcast network. Appropriately, it's NBC (the Olympics network),
for a story about a teen gymnast. Jade Pettyjohn, a relative
newcomer, stars; in support are former Olympian Cathy Rigby (as a
coach) and “Big Fat Greek Wedding” star Nia Vardalos.

TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: Stand-up comedy,
10 p.m., HBO, and 11 p.m.,Comedy Central.

Lately, George Lopez has been a
situation-comedy actor, a talk-show host and even the host of a
summertime dating show. At the core, though, he's a stand-up; HBO has
his live special.

Afterward, switch to Comedy Central for
Matt Braunger. Much of this – including his pitch for “Lonelyman
Dinners” – is a moderately funny look at being socially awkward.
It ends with two true (and incredible) stories from his drinking
days; for a comedian, alcoholic excess can be productive.

Other choices include:

--”The Andy Griffith Show,” noon to
7 p.m., TV Land. The tribute to the late Griffith continues today and
from noon to 9 p.m. Sunday. Also, tonight from 10 p.m. to midnight,
Nicktoons has four “SpongeBob SquarePants” episodes featuring the
late Ernest Borgnine as the voice of Mermaide Man.

– “Edward Scissorhands” (1990)
and “Alice in Wonderland” (2010), 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., ABC Family.
Here's a stylish double-feature from director Tim Burton, Johnny Depp
and composer Danny Elfman.

– “NYC 22,” 8 and 9 p.m., CBS.
Here are two new episodes, replacing the one that was scheduled. Both
center on Kenny and Ahmad; they search a block party for a rapist in
the first hour, then probe an Ivy League student who robbed his
mentor in the second. That first hour has Drena De Niro, daughter of
“NYC 22” producer Robert De Niro, as Irma, a Special Victims Unit
detective

– “Mobbed,” 8 and 9 p.m., Fox.
Tentatively scheduled are two new hours in which people use social
media to create “flash mobs” to surprise someone.

– “Merlin,” 9 and 10 p.m., BBC
America. Magic makes more mischief. In the first, a love potion could
disrupt the Camelot peace conference; in the second, Morgana is asked
to steal from the Camelot vault.

– “The Firm,” 10 p.m., NBC. This
should be a happy day for Mitch's little law office. His receptionist
(the talented Juliette Lewis) is marrying his brother (Callum Keith
Rennie), who's an ex-con and an investigator. Then a new enemy
disrupts things; also, the Patrick Walker case deepens.

– “Saturday Night Live,” 11:29
p.m., NBC. Melissa McCarthy hosts this rerun, with music by Lady
Antebellum – the country group whose booty-call anthem, “Need You
Now,” reached pop charts.