TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE: “Survivor” opener, 8-10 p.m., CBS.
The battle of the reality giants resumes tonight. It’s
“Survivor” – which started the U.S. splurge in 2000 – against “American Idol,”
which took over the TV world two years later. Both have slipped a bit, so “Survivor”
has a fresh theme – “brawn vs. brains vs. beauty.”
Each tribe starts with three men and three women. “Brawn”
has, among others, two cops, a martial arts instructor and former
pro-basketball all-star Cliff Robinson. “Beauty” includes a model, a former NFL
cheerleader and a former Miss Kentucky Teen USA. “Brains” has two lawyers and a
TONIGHT’S MIGHT-SEE: “American Idol,” 8-10 p.m., Fox.
Here’s the phase that people seem to prefer: Finalist
perform live each Wednesday; viewers vote and one is ousted the next night.
Last week, viewers and judges set the line-up, with seven
females (ages 16-24) and six males (17-24). Now each has chosen a song that
says “this is me”; on Thursday, we’ll see who is the first to go.
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE: “The Americans” season-opener, 10
Last season was a rough one for “Phillip” and “Elizabeth.”
Soviet spies who have been in a contrived American marriage, they prepared to
divorce. Then they were almost discovered and she was shot.
Tonight starts with him on some quick, slick missions as she
recovers and returns home. Then a third mission turns fierce; it’s a great hour
with (as usual) stellar work from Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell.
Other choices include:
“Nature,” 8 p.m., PBS (check local listings). As soft and
soothing as a lullaby, this film captures a year on Ireland’s Shannon River. It
offers gorgeous visions of everything from bats to butterflies.
“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Chicago PD,” 9
and 10 p.m., NBC. The “SVU” case involves a rude comedian (Jonathan Silverman)
who may have triggered a rape. Also, a story begins in that hour and continues
in the next one, as Chicago faces a string of rapes and murders.
“Modern Family,” 9 p.m., ABC. Having lost a social
chairmanship to his nemesis, Phil obsesses when their sons face each other in
wrestling. Also, Gloria must chaperone a museum trip.
“Mixology” debut, 9:30 p.m., ABC. Newly split from his
fiance, a decent chap arrives at a bar, fueled by alcohol and bad advice. This
season, we’ll see that night, each week from a different perspective. Tonight’s
humor is sometimes blunt, but mostly quick and clever, with flashbacks to liven
“Legit” season-opener, 10 p.m., FXX. Jim Jefferies (the
Australian actor playing himself) is at a low point, after blowing a big role.
Things get worse when Dr. Drew Pinsky suggests he quit watching porn and attend
sex-addict therapy. The result teeters between the crude and the clever, but
“Ali G: Rezurection,” 10:30 p.m., FXX. A decade ago, Sacha
Baron Cohen did a dozen sometimes-brilliant half-hours of “Da Ali G Show” for
HBO and British TV, doing hidden-camera work as Ali and other odd chaps. Now
Cohen re-introduces those 12 episodes, plus six previous ones only shown in