TV column for Thursday, Feb. 2


By MIKE HUGHES

TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “American Idol,”
8 p.m., Fox.

Next Thursday, the semi-eternal
auditions finally reach the Hollywood round. For now, we can catch
the St. Louis auditions and the premiere of a video.

Three days before her Super Bowl show,
Madonna offers her video of “Give Me All Your Luvin',” which she
performs with Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. All combined to write the song
with Martin Solveig.

TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE II: “Grey's
Anatomy,” 9 p.m., ABC.

This is the first night of the “sweeps”
ratings period – four weeks when reruns are rare and shows
sometimes try big things. Now “Anatomy” has the kind of detour it
has done brilliantly.

This one is a dream by Meredith: She
imagines she had loving parents and her mother (Kate Burton) never
had Alzheimer's; growing up content, Meredith became bright and
buoyant. She also imagines that Derek is still with Addison (Kate
Walsh), Callie is still a heterosexual, Bailey is still meek.

TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: “Independent
Lens, 10 p.m., PBS (check local listings).

Launching its Black History Month
emphasis, “Lens” traces a semi-known figure.

Daisy Bates grew up in a little
Arkansas town of less than 1,000 people, with no expectations. At 15,
she met the man (10 years her senior) she would eventually marry.
They moved to Little Rock and started a newspaper; soon, she was
state leader of the NAACP.

Bates guided the nine students who
faced a gauntlet of hatred at Little Rock Central, then became a
prominent speaker and writer. Despite some clumsy narration, this
film tells a strong story.

Other choices include:

– “The Big Bang Theory,” 8 p.m.,
CBS. Sheldon goes too far (again); Leonard ponders their friendship.

– “Brooklyn Boheme” (2011), 8:30
p.m., Showtime. Launching Showtime's Black History Month focus, this
film views the 1980s arts surge of a Brooklyn neighborhood . It meets
people who grew up in New York (Spike Lee, Chris Rock) and people who
moved there (Branford Marsalis, Common).

– “The Office,” 9 p.m., NBC.
Angela and the senator (Jack Coleman) have their baby.

– “The Union,” 9 p.m., HBO. Some
38 years after they toured together, Elton John suddenly asked Leon
Russell to make an album with him. This documentary follows their
work, shortly after Russell's brain surgery. It has lots of dull
moments early, a few terrific songs at the end, and some redeeming
detours in between. John discusses the “glorious blur” of the
'70s; when Russell, now 70, introduces a passionate song, John is
moved to tears. “He's coming alive,” he says.

– “Super Bowl Fan Jam,” 9 p.m.,
VH1. Three days before the game, here's a rock concert with B.o.B,,
Gym Class Heroes and All-American Rejects.

– “The Mentalist,” 10 p.m., CBS.
A disgraced designer has been killed, leaving plenty of suspects.

– “Inside Comedy,” 11 p.m.,
Showtime. Chris Rock – also featured in tonight's “Boheme”film
– traces his rise from being a teen comic in New York. He says he
worked comedy clubs every day for nine years, was so-so on “Saturday
Night Live,” then was propelled by his HBO concerts.