“Battle Creek” debut, 10 p.m., CBS.
tradition – mismatched cop duos – is done with wit and subtle
skill. Russ (Dean Winters) is a small-town police detective, rumpled
and ragged; Milt (Josh Duhamel) has just arrived from Detroit as an
FBI agent, blessed with optimism, technology and leading-man looks.
interesting colleagues -- including Janet McTeer (a two-time Oscar
nominee) as Russ' boss – and sharp stories. This opener, written 12
years ago by Vince Gilligan before he did “Breaking Bad,” is a
dandy; in the weeks ahead, producer David Shore (“House”)
continues the surprises and the wit.
II: “Secrets and Lies” debut, 9 and 10 p.m., ABC.
One morning in
suburbia, Ben (Ryan Phillippe) is racing back; during his jog in the
woods, he says, he found a body. Soon, the murder case dominates this
pleasant neighborhood and beyond.
is the fact that Ben and others have their own secrets. Yes, he's
flawed ... but is he a killer? With one exception – the usually
terrific Juliette Lewis turns a cop into a cardboard character --
“Secrets” is beautifully written and acted. There are eight more
hours, at 9 p.m. on Sundays.
ALTERNATIVE: “The Last Man on Earth” debut, 9-10 p.m., Fox.
At a time when
same-same comedies are floundering, this one is daringly different.
The first half of this hour has exactly one actor (not counting brief
flashbacks); the second half doubles that.
Will Forte plays the
only guy, seemingly, to survive a global virus. That leads to an
endless string of bittersweet sight gags that are clever at first,
then wear thin. Then he finally meets his dream girl ... or, as
played by Kristen Schaal, a hiliarious variation of his dreams. From
there, “Last Man” shines.
ALTERNATIVE II: “Masterpiece: Downton Abbey” season-finale, 9-11
p.m., PBS (check local listings).
The Crawleys are
headed out for a game-hunting vacation, presided over by Rose's
grumpy new father-in-law and his bigoted butler. Back home, the staff
can relax ... or worry about Anna's murder charges.
What follows is mild
– the Anna portions are a bit lame – yet elegantly entertaining.
There's a key departure and then, in the final minutes, a character
connection that is quietly delightful.
“Argo” and “Zero
Dark Thirty” (both 2012), 5:30 and 8 p.m., FX. These real-life
stories of international crises drew Oscar nominations for best
picture. “Argo,” which includes some fun moments, won; “Zero”
is compelling, despite its overemphasis on torture.
“Once Upon a
Time,” 8 p.m., ABC. After a 10-week break, this lush show returns
to find the people in Storybrooke relaxing – for a moment – after
banishing Mr. Gold. Alas, he's busy linking three classic villains
whom the show introduced briefly in December – Maleficent, Ursula
and Cruella De Vill.
8 p.m., CBS. This show and “The Good Wife” are both back from
six-week breaks. Tonight, Elizabeth's staff can't find the corruption
in her micro-loan program.
Nine-Nine,” 8:30 p.m., Fox. It's time for the wedding of Charles'
dad and Gina's mom. All Jake (Andy Samberg) must do is don a tux, get
the ring and help catch a crook; what could go wrong? OK, you
probably guessed what, but it's astill a sharp, funny episode.
“The Good Wife,”
9 p.m., CBS. Can a TV producer be sued for a character who's clearly
based on a real person? Diane and Cary work the lawsuit for Colin
Sweeney (Dylan Baker), while Alicia focuses on her election campaign.
Ed Asner plays a big-time political contributor.
Turned Up” season finale, 10 p.m., E. A camping trip with her
sisters deteriorates. Back home, Christina focuses on her music and
her sister gets a grand gesture from her husband.