TV column for Sunday, Dec. 9


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE:
“Q85: A Musical Celebration for Quincy Jones,” 8-10 p.m., BET.

Here is one of the
truly great careers. As a music producer, Quincy Jones has gone from
Frank Sinatra to Michael Jackson's “Bad” and “Thriller”
albums. As a humanitarian, he led the massive “We Are the World.”
As a movie producer and composer, he triumphed with “The Color
Purple,” which airs at 4.

Jones has earned 27
Grammys, immense praise ... and this 85th birthday party.
It has music by Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, John Legend, Meghan
Trainor, Brian McKnight, Jennifer Hudson, Ne-Yo, Gloria Estefan, Sam
Smith, Fantasia, Charlie Wilson, Patti Austin, Yolanda Adams and
more.

TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE:
“The Flash,” 8 p.m., CW.

Sometimes when you
wake up, you just don't feel like yourself. That happens to these
guys – except they're right. Oliver Queen and Barry Allen (Green
Arrow and The Flash) wake in each other's body.

They try to explain,
but the people in Team Flash are hesitant to believe it. (After all
the bizarre things – including time-travel and the presence of
Flash's not-yet-born, but adult daughter – THIS is what they can't
believe?) So the guys visit Supergirl and Superman, in the start of a
three-night crossover event.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: “How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” 7:30 p.m., TBS,
and more.

This masterful
half-hour leads a crowded night of holiday specials ... many of them
non-masterful.

TBS precedes it with
“Elf on the Shelf” and “Elf Pets,” at 6:30 and 7. New
Christmas movies are at 7 p.m. on Up (rerunning at 11), 8 p.m. on
Hallmark and Lifetime and 9 p.m. on Ion and Hallmark Movies &
Mysteries. There's much more, including all three “Santa Clause”
movies; they're at 4:50 p.m. (1994) on Freeform, 6 p.m. (2002) on AMC
and 6:55 p.m. (2006) on Freeform.

Other choices
include:

“Birth of a
Pride,” 10 a.m. ET, NatGeo Wild. Beautifully filmed, written and
narrated by Dereck Joubert, this follows the return of lions to a
Botswana reserve. It reruns at 8 and 11 p.m. ET, followed by another
beautifully crafted African documentary, “The Flood,” at 9 p.m.
and midnight.

“G.I. Blues”
(1960), 10 a.m., Sundance. This starts an Elvis Presley marathon that
continues until 5:15 a.m. The good news is that some of the films
have sunny settings – Acapulco at 2:45 p.m., Hawaii at 5:15 and
7:15 – and all have Elvis. The bad news is ... well, everything
else.

“God Friended Me,”
8 p.m., CBS. Miles, an atheist, and his dad, a widowed pastor, have
always had a gap of unstated emotions. That may be bridged when the
God account sends Miles the name of one of his dad's parishioners,
who's recently widowed.

“NCIS: Los
Angeles,” 9 p.m., CBS. An elaborate heist was set up, simply to
steal one safety-deposit box. That belonged to a corrupt Navy
contractor; the team starts to investigate her.

“Counterpart”
season-opener, 9:01 p.m., Starz. This tangled-but-intriguing tale has
two worlds, with identical people. Howard (J.K. Simmons), a deadly
spy from the alternate (Prime) world, has crossed into our (Alpha)
world. Now he's replaced Howard Alpha ... except that Emily Alpha,
Howard's wife, has come out of a coma and things seem askew to her.
Other Prime spies are secretly in our world ... including the lethal
Clare, whose husband knows the truth. It's all a tangle, but the good
kind.

“Dirty John,” 10
p.m., Bravo. In the first two episodes, Debra (Connie Britton) has
been giddy about this new guy, who says he's an anesthesiologist.
She's ignored her daughters' warnings ... until now. Tonight, this
true story takes some strong and dramatic turns.

“Escape at
Dannemora,” 10 p.m., Showtime, Here's another true story, this one
brilliantly crafted by director Ben Stiller and star Patricia
Arquette. Tonight, she's increasingly enamored with the idea of
helping two prisoners escape, then fleeing to Mexico; she even
launches a makeover.