TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE: “The Following” season-opener, about
10:30 p.m. ET (after football), Fox.
Last season ended explosively (literally). Ryan (Kevin
Bacon) rescued Claire and escaped before the lighthouse blew up, with killer
Joe Carroll inside; then he and Claire were stabbed by a Carroll follower.
Now it’s a year later and Ryan has a quiet life, including
dinner with his niece (a cop). Then come new attacks by people in Carroll masks.
It’s a strong start for a show that returns to Mondays on Jan. 27.
TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE II: Football, 3 p.m. ET, CBS; and 6:30
Here are ideal match-ups, with the winners going to the
First are classic quarterbacks, ones who stand in the pocket
and fire; Tom Brady’s Patriots visit Peyton Manning’s Broncos. Then are
scramblers; Colin Kaepernick’s 49ers visit Russell Wilson’s Seahawks.
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE: “True Detective,” 9 p.m., HBO.
Fresh from his movie Golden Globe, Matthew McConaughey
offers stunning, Emmy-worthy TV work as a Louisiana homicide detective, working
a case and being probed about it 17 years later.
Last week’s brilliant episode contrasted his crumbling
persona with his normal-guy partner (Woody Harrelson). Tonight, we see the
cracks in the partner’s life; a locker-room scene offers two great actors,
devouring excellent material.
Other choices include:
Romance movies, cable. At 1 p.m. and 8 p.m., Hallmark has
“June in January,” about a rushed wedding. At 7 and 11:30 p.m., UP debuts “The
Town That Came A-Courtin’,” a fairly pleasant tale based loosely on a true
story (with ending added). Lauren Holley, Cameron Bancroft and Valerie Harper
“The Good Wife,” 8 p.m., CBS. A rerun night for CBS dramas
starts with the season’s second episode: Working the first case for her new
firm, Alicia struggles to get documents from her old one.
“Masterpiece,” 9 and 10 p.m., PBS (check local listings). Two
splendid series run back-to-back, when the season’s first “Sherlock” follows “Downton
Abbey.” For “Abbey,” there’s a turning point for Edith, romantic possibilities for
Mary and Rose and a scheme from Edna. Most of it is beautifully done;
overshadowing that, however, is the clumsy, ongoing plot in which Anna refuses
to mention the rape.
“Shameless,” 9 p.m.,
Showtime. Just as Fiona finally has her life together – job, boyfriend, health
plan – the others keep falling apart. Her 13-year-old sister ponders sex, her
brother finds that street-smarts don’t work in college … and their dad needs a
new liver. It’s a messy and entertaining soufflé.
“Betrayal” finale, 10:01 p.m., ABC. Sara has been shot,
leaving both families with tough decisions.
“Girls” and “Looking,” 10 and 10:30 p.m., HBO. Adam’s crazed
sister adds chaos to Hannah’s birthday party. Then comes the fairly clever
debut of a comedy about gay men looking for love in San Francisco.
“House of Lies,” 10 p.m., Showtime. Monica’s meltdown caps a
“Episodes,” 10:30 p.m., Showtime. Last week’s opener set up problems
(and big laughs) tonight: Matt has a drunken-driving arrest (with kids in the car)
and the network has a hyper-attractive new boss.