TV column for Saturday, May 5


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “Saturday Night
Live,” 11:29p.m., NBC.

Eli Manning has been conquering all the
things his big brother did. Like Peyton, he became a quarterback and
won the Super Bowl; now, like Peyton, he hosts “SNL.”

The music guest is Rihanna, who's been
busy. Not counting collaborations, she's had seven singles reach No.
1 on the Billboard chart and six more in the top 10.

TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE II: “The Lion
King” (1994), 7 and 9 p.m., ABC Family.

Here's a cartoon classic, with all the
right touches – lush artwork; Elton John's melodic score; and a
strong voice cast that includes Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones and
Nathan Lane.

The story – juggling warmth, danger
and bits of goofy humor – starts a strong movie night.

TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: “Treasure
Island,” 7-11 p.m., Syfy.

For decades, Robert Halmi has been
turning classic stories into TV movies and mini-series – some great
(“Gulliver's Travels”), some not, all lushly ambitious. This one
starts with a crescendo, then has a long, slow stretch. The second
half is terrific, before the story's usual, so-so ending.

Here are gifted British actors, with
great work by Eddie Izzard as Long John Silver and Shirley Henderson
as Jim's mom. Elijah Wood, as Ben, appears briefly at the start,
brilliantly later on.

Other choices include:

– “Escape Routes,” 8 p.m., NBC.
This wraps up Ford's latest effort at a reality show devoted to one
of its cars. This one, featuring the Escape, has had tiny ratings.
Last year, “Focus Rally” was Internet-only (with one NBC
episode); a decade ago, “No Boundaries” was dumped by WB after
four episodes.

– “NCIS: Los Angeles,” 8 p.m.,
CBS. A black book, filled with international secrets, is missing. The
team scrambles to find it; so do security agencies from other
countries.

– UFC fighting, 8 p.m., Fox. There's
no “Cops” again this week.

– Movies, 8 and 9 p.m., cable. “Pride
& Prejudice” (2005), with Keira Knightley and director Joe
Wright offering great emotions with few words, is 8 p.m. on E. For a
fun adventure, “Iron Man” (2008) is 8 p.m. on FX. Also, there are
acting Oscar-winners – Denzel Washington in “Training Daty”
(2001) at 8 p.m. on IFC, Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster in “Silence
of the Lambs” (1991) at 9 on Bravo.

– “Person of Interest,” 9 p.m.,
CBS. Back when she was an “ER” nurse, Linda Cardellini was
surrounded by TV doctors. Now she's one herself, in this rerun; she
plays a promising young doctor who has been targeted by the computer
as a victim or a perpetrator.

– “Hancock” (2008), 9-11 p.m., ABC. Will
Smith plays an alcoholic superhero, with Jason Bateman as the public
relations guy who tries a makeover. This one drew shrugs, but there
are all those cable films.

– Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
induction, 9 p.m., HBO. Laced with lots of music, this recent
ceremony inducted three groups – the Beastie Boys, Small Faces and
Faces (without Rod Stewart, due to illness) and Guns N' Roses
(without Axl Rose, due to bitterness). Also noted are blues-guitarist
Freddie King and two singer-songwriters, Donovan and the late Laura
Nyro.

– “St. Elmo's Fire,” 10 p.m., TV
Guide. A strong movie night wraps up with this film about the tricky
post-college time. A terrific cast includes Rob Lowe, Demi Moore and
Emilio Estevez.