TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE: “Last Comic Standing” season-opener, 9-11
The idea – a competition for stand-up comedians – offers
great summer fun, filled with sharp one-liners. But over the past 11 years, NBC
has behaved like a bad boyfriend, alternately loving and leaving it.
Once, it liked the show so much that it added an instant
fall edition … then failed to air the final episode. NBC skipped two summers
(2005 and 2009), then abandoned “Last” entirely after the summer of 2010. Four
years later, it brings it back with a new host (J.B. Smoove), strong judges (Roseanne
Barr, Keenan Ivory Wayans and Russell Peters) and a fresh concept, skipping
open auditions and inviting 100 pros.
TONIGHT’S MIGHT-SEE: “Gang Related” debut, 9 p.m., Fox.
At times, this has the qualities of cable-style dramas, good
(deeply conflicted characters) and bad (obsession with torture). At other
times, it’s an old-fashioned cop show, with an overwrought car chase plus unlikely
foot chases. (Why do TV cops rush cram the front door, stationing no one in the
It’s an odd hybrid, but viewers will get involved with an
otherwise-honest cop who has a secret loyalty to the crime boss who’s been his friend
since boyhood. An attractive young cast is anchored by skilled pros -- Terry
O’Quinn and Cliff Curtis – as the leaders of the cops and crooks respectively.
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE: “Labyrinth,” 8-10 p.m., CW; concludes
Helping out at an archeological dig, Alice (Vanessa Kirby)
senses what she later calls “800-year déjà vu.” Does she really have a link to
Alais (Jessica Brown Findlay), from the 13th century? Who is the old
man (John Hurt) who seems to bridge the two? And why are dangerous people after
Based on a best-seller, “Labyrinth” requires coincidences
and supernatural twists, plus moments of brutality. Still, it’s a Ridley Scott
production, richly capturing both eras. Findlay, formerly Lady Sybil on
“Downton Abbey,” is especially good in (after “Winter’s Tale”) her second
time-span story this year.
Other choices tonight include:
“The Bachelorette,” 8-9:30 p.m., ABC. Here’s a quick rerun
of Monday’s opener.
“Hollywood Game Night,” 8-9 p.m., NBC. There are still some
new hours left, to spark the summer start of “Last Comic Standing” and (next
Thursday) a new comedy. Tonight has three “Hot in Cleveland” stars (Valerie
Bertinelli, Wendi Malik and Jane Leeves), plus Mekhi Phifer, Billy Eichner and
“The Big Bang Theory,” 8 p.m., CBS. Who needs new shows,
when you have TV’s best comedy? This rerun has everyone going to Howard’s
mother’s house for Thanksgiving, despite Sheldon’s objections.
“The Millers,” 8:31 p.m., CBS. In a rerun, Nathan tells his
mom make someone else her chauffeur.
“Two and a Half Men,” 9:01 p.m., CBS. Walden is determined
to show he’s a man’s man. Also in this rerun, Alan learns what Lyndsey never
told him: She and Larry have broken up.
“Modern Family,” 9:30 p.m., ABC. In a rerun, Phil and Claire
have conflicting surprises at the school fair.
“Elementary,” 10:01 p.m., CBS. This rerun probes a
home-invasion case in Captain Gregson’s home. His wife is played by Talia
Balsam, who is best-known as an ex-wife – to George Clooney in real life and to
Roger Sterling (played by her real-life husband John Slattery) on “Mad Men.”