TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE: “Saturday Night Live,” 11:29 p.m., NBC.
In her previous “SNL” stops, Miley Cyrus has gone along politely.
She sang a ballad; she took part (playing Justin Bieber) in one of the “Miley
Cyrus Show” sketches that depict Cyrus as an airhead.
But that was a different Miley. Now, at 20, she’s frisky and
controversial; doubling as host and music guest, she should provide a boost to
a show that got its season off to a good start last week.
TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE II: “Ali’s Greatest Fight,” 8 p.m., HBO.
In 1971, this film says, Justice John Harlan’s world was
crumbling. At 71, he was dying of cancer and his wife was losing her memory. A
Republican appointee and a former Air Force colonel, he felt divided about the court
decision to deny conscientious-objector status to Muhammad Ali.
In many ways, this is a superb drama. It has high stakes,
rich dialog and an awesome cast, led by Christopher Plummet as Harlan, Frank
Langella as Warren Burger and (briefly) Danny Glover as Thurgood Marshall,
beautifully adding clips from Ali.
And in one way, it’s a disappointment. It spends much of its
time on the personal details of law clerk Kevin Connolly, without telling us he’s
pure fiction, partly combining two real-life clerks.
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE: “The Millers” and “We Are Men,” 8 and
8:30 p.m., CBS.
This is an easy one for CBS. Each of the other big networks
has a college football game; any scripted show on CBS will get an audience.
Alas, that’s tested by rerus of its weakest new comedies.
“Millers” has some funny moments, crushed by bits that reduce two fine old
actors (Beau Bridges, Margo Martindale) to noisy dunderheads. “Men” is filled
with broad – but not terribly funny – moments of guys behaving badly.
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE II: “The White Queen,” 9 p.m., Starz.
Royalty can be fatal for the brilliant Irons men. Friday on
PBS, we saw Jeremy playing Henry IV, dying at 55 after 14 years as England’s
king; tonight, Max (Jeremy’s son) is Edward IV, dying at 40 after 22 years.
Both were of natural causes, at times of fierce in-fighting.
This episode, the eighth of 10, is the darkest hour of this splendid series,
with greedy forces aligning on all sides.
Other choices include:
College football, everywhere. Primetime surrenders to
fooball tonight. At 7 p.m., Fox has Texas Christian at Oklahoma (ranked No. 11
in the ESPN poll); at 8, ABC has Ohio State (ranked No. 4) at Northwestern (No.
16). In between at 7:30, Arizona State and Notre Dame play at a neutral site in
Arlington, Texas … allowing NBC to again use the fancy end-zone camera set-up
it tried earlier at a Cowboys game
Person of Interest, 9 p.m., CBS. In a rerun from last spring,
the machine suddenly spits out six names instead of one. Soon, Reese and Finch
are in a coastal town, riding out a storm and fearing everyone.
“Hell on Wheels,” 9 p.m., AMC. The season finale of this
strong drama finds Elam trying a rescue and Durant visited by President Grant.
48 Hours, 10 p.m., CBS. Singapore police said Shane Todd had
killed himself. Back in Montana, however, family members refused to accept
that. He was, they said, a brilliant engineer who was murdered for refusing to
give up secrets that would hurt the U.S.; Peter Van Sant reports.
“Orphan Black,” 10 p.m., BBC America. Sarah may know who the
killer is, but pursuing the matter could scuttle her chance to be with her