TV column for Wednesday, Nov. 7


TONIGHT'S MUST-TRY:
“Empire,” 8 p.m., Fox.

When the World
Series ended early, “Empire” was able to offer a new episode –
a good one – last week. There was joy for Jamal, when he and his
lover (who is HIV-positive) proposed simultaneously; and there was
rage for Hakeem, after a personal song he wrote was recorded by Tiana
and Blake.

Now Hakeem is camped
out in the studio, insisting that his rage is fueling his best music
ever. Jamal is told he's spending too much time away from work. And
their parents compete to find new talent.

TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE:
“All American,” 9 p.m., CW.

This culture-clash
series started with Coach Baker (Taye Diggs) recruiting Spencer, a
football star from the tough Crenshaw neighborhood, to play at
Beverly Hills High. Now Spencer lives with him in Beverly High
weekdays, with a hardy allowance ... seemingly breaking all rules for
high school sports.

On a trip to
Crenshaw, the coach's son learned that his dad dated Spencer's
mother; tonight, suspicions grow. There's much more, in an hour that
ranges from lunk-headed behavior to a car emergency that manages to
merge the two worlds. “All American” keeps alternating between
sharp and lame moments.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: “Nova,” 9 p.m., PBS.

Back in 1944, a B-24
bomber was shot over enemy territory and landed in the Adriatic Sea.
Seven men escaped, including one interviewed here, shortly before his
death at 94. The pilot and two others didn't.

In this involving
hour, we meet the pilot's daughter, talking about the hero she only
met once. We meet another woman whose father's remains were found
after more than 70 years. And we follow a task force that includes
divers, archeologists, the Croatian Navy and a special Defense
Department agency.

Other choices
include:

“Nature,” 8
p.m., PBS. The three-week look at cats ends with an ambitious, global
trek. One moment, we're near the jungle, where a scientist has timed
a cheetah at 58 mph; the next, we're in Mumbai, where one man has
painted spots on his dog, hoping that will keep leopards from
attacking. We hear of vanishing species ... and of a program that has
quintupled the Iberian lynx, which were down to 100.

“Riverdale,” 8
p.m., CW. As the dangerous “Gryphons and Gargoyles” game consumes
Riverdale teens, we get a flashback to the days when their parents
played the same game. That lets KJ Apa and Cole Sprouse – who
usually play Archie and Jughead – portray their dads. Veronica's
evil father Hiram is played by Michael Consuelos, 21, the son of Mark
Consuelos (the adult Hiram) and Kelly Ripa.

“SEAL Team,” 9
p.m., CBS. There have been strong moments lately, starting with the
death of Jason's wife. In a great scene last week, his teen daughter
talked him out of quitting the team and staying home. Now he's back
in action, big-time; the SEALs link with the Mexican Marines, to face
the cartel.

“Star,” 9 p.m.,
Fox. A controversial rapper joins the concert, quickly clashing with
the Take 3 women. Simone has troubles of her own, when Jackson is
cast as her movie co-star.

“Modern Family,”
9 p.m., ABC. Trying to get back to his roots, Cam gets a chicken.
Also, before Alex can get an important government job, her family
must be interviewed; naturally, everyone overdoes it.

“Single Parents,”
9:31 p.m., ABC. Angie's son gets a lead role in “Grease,” while
Poppy's son gets a minor role. Soon, both parents are lobbying the
drama teacher.

“A Million Little
Things,” 10 p.m., ABC. Last week brought revelations. Eddie learned
that Delilah is pregnant with his baby ... but they'll say it's the
baby of her late husband Jon. Regina learned that her husband almost
committed suicide. Tonight. Regina is in a position to make decisions
for him.