Week's TV top-10 for Monday, March 18


1) “The Fix”
debut, 10 p.m. today, ABC. For a time, Marcia Clark was one of the
best-known lawyers on the planet. And then? O.J. Simpson won; Clark
lost and left trial law. Now, 23 years later, she has a rematch ...
albeit a fictional one. She's helping write and produce a series in
which an actor survived a double-homicide trial; the losing lawyer
retreated. Eight years later, he's charged with a new murder and
she's back. Beautifully directed and acted, this 10-parter has a
smart script that keeps us guessing.

2) “The Village”
debut, 10 p.m. Tuesday, NBC. Is there really a place like this –
where people immerse warmly in neighbors' lives ... and a stranger
will open an amusement park, so three old guys can savor some
memories? Maybe that world existed near Walton's Mountain or inside
the little house on the prairie; now it's in a Brooklyn apartment
building, where good people face bad breaks. It's a world we want to
believe in and visit, but take note: At the end of a splendid hour,
there's one twist too many.

3) Basketball, CBS
and cable. Beginning Thursday, the NCAA tournament devours CBS. That
means no “Big Bang” or “Blue Bloods” or “Bold and
Beautiful” -- just basketball. On Thursday and Friday, the network
has games at noon and 2:30, 7 and 9:30 p.m. ET; they'll be noon, 2:30
a.m., 5 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, then just noon, 2:30 and 5 on Sunday.
Other games are on TNT, TBS and even on TruTV ... which starts things
with the “First Four” games, at 6:30 and 9 p.m. Tuesday and
Wednesday.

4) “The Inventor:
Out For Blood in Silicon Valley,” 9-11 p.m. today, HBO. In 2015,
everyone wanted to join Elizabeth Holmes' bandwagon. She was young
(31), confident, charismatic ... and had a great blood-testing
device. She had prominent investors (Rupert Murdoch, Betsy DeVos) and
supporters (Henry Kissinger, George Shultz); her company, Theranos,
was valued at $9 billion ... and, soon, at zero. Very simply, the
product didn't work. This documents a fascinating tale of greed and
delusion.

5) “Mental
Samurai” debut, 9 p.m. Tuesday, Fox. Donovan Hand had a modest
career as a Major League pitcher -- five starts for the Brewers in
2013, three scoreless innings for the Reds in 2015. Now comes a
bigger challenge – swirling around in a capsule, answering 12
questions in five minutes. Others – astronaut, lawyer, drag queen
and more – also try. Skillfully hosted by Rob Lowe, the game is
sometimes exhilarating – but one category (memory) lacks play-along
appeal and stops the fun cold.

6) “Buble,” 10
p.m. Wednesday, NBC. In some ways, this is a perfect special,
beautifully directed. A superb orchestra does vibrant arrangements.
Michael Buble roams among the 36 musicians. He does classics -- “Fly
Me to the Moon,” “You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You,” etc.
-- and songs he co-wrote ... including “Home,” a Blake Shelton
hit. What's missing? An audience ... and variety ... and (except for
Cecile Salvant on a “La Vie en Rose” duet) other singers. But
almost-perfect is still good.

7) “The Act,”
any time Wednesday, Hulu. After the searing, Emmy-winning brilliance
of her “Escape at Dannemora” performance, Patricia Arquette might
have slipped into something silly. Instead, she again has a superb
performance in a potent, real-life story. She moves into the
neighborhood with Gypsy (Joey King, also great), a disabled teen who
needs her constant care. But how much of that is in the imagination
of a mom clinging to control? The opener hints that there are dark,
deadly moments ahead.

8) “Pretty Little
Liars: The Perfectionists” debut, 8 p.m. Wednesday, Freeform. A
gorgeous, waterfront campus is filled with troubled and telegenic
students. One's mother plans to run for president; another's father
ran off with money, Madoff-style. Entering this world are two “Pretty
Little Liars” grads – Alison, formerly a mean girl, and Mona,
formerly institutionalized. The schemes build quickly, in a stylish
hour that will remind you (in a good way) of the start of “How to
Get Away With Murder.”

9) “Kids Choice
Awards,” 8 p.m., Saturday, Nickelodeon, repeating at 9:30. Each
year, this special has lots of stars and a peek into what kids like.
They like large personalities – music's DJ Khaled hosts this year –
and people getting doused by slime. They also like action movies:
“Black Panther,” “Aquaman” and “Avengers: Infinity Wars”
are nominated for favorite movie, along with “Mary Poppins Returns”
and two Netflix teen movies, “The Kissing Booth” and “To All
the Boys I've Loved Before.”

10) “Great
Performances,” 9 p.m. Friday, PBS (check local listings). With the
pledge drive wrapping up, PBS returns to the arts. This portrait of
Birgit Nilsson -- clumsily crafted, lots of sub-titles, lots of opera
– isn't for everyone. But it has the intriguing story of, as one
woman says, “a country girl from Sweden who became this amazing
diva.” On Sunday, there's a profile of Prince Charles at 8 p.m. and
a rerun of the fictional “King Charles III” at 9 ... overlapping
with the return of “Badlands,” at 10:30 on AMC.