TV column for Wednesday, July 18


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “So You Think You
Can Dance,” 8-10 p.m., Fox.

It's time for the first eliminations –
a complicated matter, with “Dance” trimmed to once a week.

The 20 contestants will again dance in
pairs and we'll learn which six people hit the bottom in last week's
viewer votes. They'll do solos and the judges – based on what
happened both weeks – will dump one man and one woman.

Yes, it's too tangled. Still, “Dance”
has talented, diverse people worth seeing, despite complications.

TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE II: “Modern
Family,” 9 and 9:30 p.m., ABC.

One of TV's best comedies again offers
a pair of reruns. This time, both center on Alex.

In the first, she's doing a paper on
family harmony. That's not easy with the family in disarray.

In the second, she prepares for her
first prom. Also, Gloria is needed as translator, as Mitchell and Cam
push their effort to adopt a second baby.

TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: “A Face in the
Crowd “(1957), 8-10:15 p.m., Turner Classic Movies.

Andy Griffith could have spent his
entire career playing sweet-spirited bumpkins. That's what he did in
his comedy routines and twice on Broadway, in a comedy and a musical.

Instead, he shifted here to Marlon
Brando turf. The same people who had crafted Brando's searing “On
the Waterfront” – director Elia Kazan and writer Budd Schulberg –
made this film, with Griffith as a homespun TV star who turns cruel.
One film critic (Leonard Maltin) calls the story “perceptive” and
“fascinating”; another (Robert Moses) calls it “savagely
funny,”

Other choices include:

– More Griffith, cable. If you prefer
the sweet roles mastered by Griffith (who died two weeks ago, at 86).
there are lots of reruns. WGN has “Matlock” at 9 and 10 a.m.; TV
Land has “The Andy Griffith Show” at noon and 12:30 p.m.

– “The Middle,” 8 p.m., ABC. The
kids face steep expectations in this rerun – Sue to be a
cheerleader, Brick to resist bullies, Axl to focus on his upcoming
SAT exams.

– “Up All Night,” 8:30 p.m., NBC.
“Saturday Night Live” people, present and past, fill this rerun:
Chris' friend (Will Forte) offers bad advice; Ava (Maya Rudolph) gets
a trainer (Fred Armisen).

– “America's Got Talent,” 9 p.m.,
NBC. Four more acts advance to the next round. There's still one more
batch of four coming next week; the final 16 compete after the
Olympics.

– “Dallas,” 9 p.m., TNT. Each
week, this becomes more wildly overheated,with soap-style excess.
That hits an extreme when John Ross confronts the fake Marta. Also,
Christopher's estranged wife (another fake) is pregnant and his
step-mom holds a secret. Flaws and all, this hour has a great closing
scene.

– “America's Lost Treasures,” 9
p.m., National Geographic. When this show debuted two weeks ago,
historians saw charming pieces of Texas' past. Tonight, Los Angeles
mas mostly bland choices.

– “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,”
10 p.m., CBS. In this rerun, D.B. Russell (Ted Danson) finds his
second case is another odd one: Three separate people confess, each
with a different explanation.