“Maya & Marty” debut, 10 p.m., NBC.
was built on variety shows. Fom Berle and Gleason to “Laugh-in”
and the Smothers Brothers, variety soared ... and then – in prime
time, at least -- vanished.
Now NBC is giving it
all the advantages, including a cozy timeslot. The show borrows its
producer (Lorne Michaels) and co-star (Kenan Thompson) from “Saturday
Night Live,” where both of its stars have worked. Maya Rudolph, 43,
did eight seasons there; Martin Short, 66, did one – plus much
more. And both can sing: ahe's Minnie Riperton's daughter; he won a
Tony Award in a musical.
II: “America's Got Talent,” season-opener, 8-10 p.m., NBC.
Simon Cowell keeps
piling up TV shows ... and, presumably, money. He created “The X
Factor,” which failed in the U.S., but soared in Britain ... and
the “Got Talent” shows, which have succeeded around the globe.
And a few others that sputtered after a year.
And now he takes
another step, joining the judging panel. Replacing Howard Stern, who
stepped down after last year, Cowell joins Howie Mandel, Mel B and
Heidi Klum; the auditions start tonight.
ALTERNATIVE: More reality, ABC and Fox.
As the original home
of “American Idol,” “Survivor” and more, summer has been
prime turf for reality shows. Now two networks try to collide with
“America's Got Talent.”
ABC has “500
Questions,” in a short run; tonight's episode, the fourth, is two
hours, setting up Wednesday's finale. And Fox has two shows: “Hotel
Hell” (8 p.m.) has tentatively scheduled an hour involving an
Austrian-inspired spot in Massachusetts; “Coupled” sees a text
message stir trouble.
ALTERNATIVE II: “Containment,” 9 p.m., CW.
Tonight, this story
of a virus epidemic feels a lot like a zombie tale – a few sentient
humans, facing hordes of invaders. Within the containment zone, a lab
is a safe zone – separated from infected people.
Inside, Jana probes
evidence of a conspiracy ... while trying to keep the invaders out.
Outside the zone, her boyfriend Lex, a police captain, struggles. In
a fairly good hour, he has a heartfelt meeting with his estranged
dad; he also makes one disastrous overstep.
“Roots,” 7 and 9
p.m., History, A&E, Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Network. If you
missed the opener of this miniseries (which remakes a classic over
four nights), you can catch it at 7. The second episode debuts at 9
p.m., rerunning at 11:12 p.m. and 1:24 a.m.
“NCIS,” 8 p.m.,
CBS. This hit show's rerun summer begins with the second episode of
the season. Gibbs wants the team to help a federal agent he has a
personal connection to.
Orleans,” 9 p.m., CBS. A rerun of the season-opener finds Pride
going deep undercover, in hopes of finding a stolen missile. Dr. John
(1979), 9:30 p.m. ET, Turner Classic Movies. This modest-budget gem
offers rich portraits of four town guys, desperate to defeat Indiana
University students in a bike race. It won an Oscar for Steve
Tesich's script, with four more nominations, including best picture.
Interest,” 10 p.m., CBS. The show's 100th episode finds
Finch (the terrific Michael Emerson) in deep jeopardy. His cover has
been blown and he faces more operatives working for evil Samaritan.
“Fresh Off the
Boat,” 10 and 10:30 p.m., ABC. Both reruns focus on Eddie's dad,
who's having a tough time managing the restaurant. In the first, an
accident keeps him at home – where his life is more difficult. In
the second, he feels offended when Mitch takes a job at a rival