TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE: “Big Brother” opener, 8 p.m., CBS.
Imagine spending the summer in a gorgeous home designed to
look like a treehouse. One room has a 20-foot tree sculpture, another has
almost 1,000 bird houses and a bed shaped like a nest. Now imagine you’re with
15 other people, young (mostly) and attractive (presumably) … with cameras
That’s the 16th-season plan, with shows also at
9:01 p.m. Thursdays and 8:01 p.m. Sundays. Tonight, Julie Chen offers changes
in Head of Household rules and introduces housemates – 12 in their 20s, three
in their 30s, one 42. They include the elements of an odd party – a DJ, a
barista, a cop and a minister.
TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE II: “Nature,” 8 p.m., PBS (check local
Two remarkable survivors combine for a delightful hour. One
is David Attenborough, still working
skillfully at 88; the other is the frog species, still around after more
than 250 million years.
Attenborough began collecting frogs as a boy and filming them
as a young TV guy. Occasionally digging into his archives, he can show us the
biggest frog and the smallest, the ones that virtually walks on water or burrow
in the mud. He shows ones that are deadly or ones that went extinct (in the
wild, at least). He has toads that survive the desert and frogs that survive freezing;
it’s a fascinating hour.
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE: “Taxi Brooklyn” debut, 10:01 p.m.,
In a way, “Taxi” (2004) was a boon to TV talk. It squelched
Jimmy Fallon’s acting career and slowed Queen Latifah’s, giving them more time to
start talk shows.
Still, the original French film (1998) was a success and the
concept – a cop working with an odd-but-talented cabbie – was clever, so NBC
tries again. This time, the casting is poor; Chyler Leigh (“Grey’s Anatomy”) is
unconvincing as the cop and Jacky Ido – accustomed to French-language films --
is so-so with dialog. Still, there’s a fairly good story and some zesty chase
scenes through New York.
Other choices include:
“So You Think You Can Dance,” 8-10 p.m., Fox. The survivors
of auditions in five cities have their callbacks in Pasadena. Next week, we’ll
see the top 20 each perform in their own styles.
“Young & Hungry” debut, 8 p.m., ABC Family. Once known as
Miley Cyrus’s co-star and Haley Osment’s sister, Emily Osment shows a subtle comedy
touch, in a fairly good tale of an aspiring chef. The phrase “ABC Family” does
seem shaky after she drunkenly sleeps with her perspective employer on the
first night; still, Osment makes that seem young and innocent. Rex Lee (“Entourage”)
adds broader laughs.
“Mystery Girls” debut, 8:30, ABC Family. It sounded like fun
to have two “90210” stars (Tori Spelling and Jenny Garth) play former TV stars,
starting a detective agency. Alas, the pilot film had horrid overacting by
Spelling; the network scheduled it, then made a late switch. It shows a
different episode in which Spelling is almost OK, but Miguel Pinzon (as Nick)
is well beyond awful. And the network’s “family” name takes another beating,
with an episode that’s mostly about a sex tape.
“Modern Family,” 9 p.m., ABC. A rerun of the season-opener
has plans for a kid-free week.
“Million Dollar Listing: Miami” debut, 9 p.m., Bravo. We
meet three upscale sales people, including one brushing up on his Russian,
hoping to sell a $6-million penthouse.
“Motive,” 10 p.m., ABC. A blood-soaked crime scene creates
pressure to find a missing bartender.