TV column for Sunday, Oct. 14


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE:
“American Masters: Itzhak,” 10 p.m., PBS.

This is a great
story – even if it is told in scattered pieces. Skipping any
chronology, the documentary takes a slice-of-life approach; viewers
must piece together Itzhak Perlman's story from random bits.

Still, these are
slices of a fascinating life. At 73, Perlman glows with passion for
food, friends, humor and music. This film starts with his love of
baseball and ends with the “Schindler's List” theme, played on a
violin that had been in Auschwitz. “It is not music,” a curator
says. “It is prayer with a violin.”

TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE
II: “Supergirl” season-opener and “Charmed” debut, 8 and 9
p.m., CW.

In one swoop,
broadcast-TV adds a new night: Nine years after abandoning Sundays,
CW is back. It moves in its best show (“Supergirl”) at 8 and adds
a surprisingly good “Charmed” reboot at 9.

“Charmed” starts
with the same notion as “Black Lightning”: The older sister is a
strident activist, the younger just wants to have fun, neither is
aware of special powers. Then it takes a new path -- a death, an
unknown half-sister, an English chap to explain it all. He provides
some healthy doses of humor, alongside the scares, the thrills and
the topical references to female power and “witch hunts.”

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: “The Alec Baldwin Show,” 10 p.m., ABC.

This is the biggest
enigma of the new season. Sure, Baldwin has proven to be a smart guy
and a good interviewer. And sure, he promises to have excellent
guests; for the opener, he has two movie stars, one old (Robert De
Niro) and one new (Tiffany Haddish).

But will audiences
stick around for long-form interviews in prime time? Starting
tonight, we'll see.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE II: “Masterpiece: Durrells in Corfu,” 8 p.m., PBS.

After two-plus
seasons on a Greek island, the show has a delightful, one-week
detour. Louisa (the superb Kelley Hawes) and her eldest son Larry
accompany her aunt's body back home to London.

Larry is an author
and in this 1930s world, they meet new experiences – a painter, a
writer, a naked Henry Miller. Back at home, Larry's siblings flail
on. The result ripples with both humor and drama.

Other choices
include:

“The Simpsons,”
7 and 8 p.m., Fox. First is a rerun – in New Orleans, Lisa likes
the jazz, Bart likes the voodoo and Homer likes the beer. Then
there's a new episode, with Springfield people recalling their divine
encounters. In between, at 7:30, is a rerun of the fun “Cool Kids”
pilot.

“God Friended Me,”
8:30 p.m. (8 p.m. on the West Coast), CBS. When Miles' wallet is stolen, the “God account”
on facebook suggests a private detective. Miles agrees ... but uses
the guy to investigate the account.

“Masterpiece:
Poldark,” 9 p.m., PBS. Last week, Ross was elected to Parliament –
a fact that is promptly brushed off in a few brief glimpses. He's
soon back at home, where there are fresh hints of upcoming despair,
in a so-so episode.

“You,” 10 p.m.,
Lifetime. At a remote and lavish summer home, Joe meets someone who
matches his obsession with having Beck's love.

“Camping” debut,
10 p.m., HBO, rerunning at 10:30. Two of the “Girls” producers
(Lena Dunham and Jennifer Konner) have adapted a British series about
a camping trip gone awry. Jennifer Garner plays the cheery, organized
one whose plans are destined to unravel; David Tennant plays her
husband.

“Madam Secretary,”
10:30 p.m., (10 p.m. on the West Coast), CBS. The White House attack was done by white-power
Americans, but Elizabeth learns they were helped by outsiders. Can
they be caught without igniting a war?