TV column for Thursday, July 12


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE:
“Shooter,” 10:01 p.m., USA.

TV has had lots of
good-hearted doctors and very few venomous undersecretaries of
agriculture. Now Gerald McRaney has been both with equal perfection.
On “This Is Us,” he's the good doc; here, he's Red Bama, a
corrupt bureaucrat who orders murders – or does it himself –
without loosening his tie.

“Shooter” is at
its best when the unruffled Bama goes eye-to-eye with a perpetually
ruffled underling, Harris Downey. Bob Lee Swagger tries to protect
Downey, in a terrific episode.

TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE:
“Little Big Shots,” 8 p.m., NBC.

Maybe some siblings
spend their time fighting over videogames, but not here. Twins from
Spain are singers; other sibling duos are magicians and
singer-songwriters.

Steve Harvey chats
with them, along with some dancers and more. There's a 7-year-old
expert on movies and a 4-year-old expert on cotton candy. Chances
are, this will be fun.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: “10 Monuments That Changed America,” 8 p.m., PBS.

We start with one of
the oldest monuments, marking the Battle of Bunker Hill ... which was
mostly fought on Breed's Hill. And we end with modern monuments and
the people who launched them.

Jan Scruggs, who saw
his fellow soldiers die, propelled the Vietnam Veterans Memorial,
which was completed in 1982. “I maxed out at 32,” he says. Cleve
Jones, who saw his friends die, launched the AIDS Memorial Quilt. His
own life was spared by modern AIDS drugs. “I'm 62 and ... I'm alive
and I'm in love and I'm still working and I'm fighting,” he says,
in a varied and fascinating hour.

Other choices
include:

“Trainwreck”
(2015), 5-8 p.m., FX. Tonight's best movies start early. This fun Amy
Schumer film is joined by “Groundhog Day” (1993) at 5:30 on AMC
and the animated “Beauty and the Beast” (1991) at 6 p.m. on
Freeform, Also, Steve McQueen's “The Great Escape” (1963) is 8
p.m. ET on Turner Classic Movies.

“The Four,” 8-10
p.m., Fox. Af ter settling for a rerun during the Fourth of July
week, this show is now back to the new. Two of the original four
singers – James Graham and Sheraya J – are still there, alongside
Jesse Kramer and Ali Caldwell, who arrived as challengers.

“The Big Bang
Theory,” 8 p.m., CBS. Amy's birthday brings a cautionary note:
Always be careful when preparing an authentic “Little House on the
Prairie” meal. That's in a fairly funny episode that also has
Leonard fretting that his brother is much more accomplished than he
is.

“Cloak &
Dagger,” 8 p.m., Freeform. Tandy finds the key figure in clearing
her father's name ... and learns he's been in a coma for a decade.
That's workable for these two heroes, who need only touch someone to
read his hopes and fears.

“Marlon,” 9 and
9:30 p.m., NBC. Things go wrong for Marlon in both episodes – when
he gives a Career Day talk and when he throws a mock memorial
service, instead of his 43rd birthday party.

“Queen of the
South,” 9 p.m., USA. Europe was too dangerous for Teresa, so now
she's trying to set up her drug business in Phoenix. First, she meets
a corrupt sheriff and a commission of cartel bosses.

“Take Two,” 10
p.m., ABC. Putting her scandal days behind her, Sam is working
diligently as a private eye. But now her ex-lover's laptop has been
stolen; its images could put her back in the tabloids.