TV column for Monday, May 1

“Lucifer” return, 9 p.m., Fox.

Many people say
they'd go through Hell for someone, but Lucifer really did it. He
revisited his old world, to find a cure for Chloe the cop. Then,
alas, he learned that their romance was manipulated by other-worldly
forces. He promptly retreated ... and returns tonight with Candy, a
ditzy stripper

That leads to some
broad comedy moments for Lindsey Gort (who's excellent as Candy) and
Lauren German as Chloe ... and, for a time, as a pseudo-Candy. Some
of this feels contrived, the case-of-the-week is kind of simple, but
there are enough fun, flashy moments to keep us watching.

“Jane the Virgin,” 9 p.m., CW.

Alongside its warmth
and wit, “Jane” often has a turbo-charged, telenovela plot. Here
is one of those nights. It continues its murder mystery, gives Jane
some quieter drama about her long-lost friend, adds an
uncharacteristic dab of politics and has a very characteristic burst
of romance.

Rogelio is newly
passionate about his ex-lover Xo, Rafael has a revived love for his
ex-wife Petra ... and Jane thinks Fabian has a great body. Now that
she's a widow and an ex-virgin, that may suffice.

ALTERNATIVE: “Independent Lens,” 10 p.m., PBS (check local

For Heather
Linebaugh, this was a quick route out of rural Pennsylvania. She was
18 when she joined the Air Force, 20 when she began working with
drone teams. “They were always trying to kill people,” she says
here. “They always wanted to blow people up.”

Now she's a licensed
masseuse and is being treated for post traumatic stress disorder. We
meet her and two other former drone analysts. We also meet survivors
from one of the best-known failures, when a drone-supervised strike
killed 23 civilians, including children. Drone warfare gets a richly
human face.

Other choices

“The Outer
Limits,” 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Comet TV. Here's a May Day marathon
from this science-fiction channel, on various apps and digital
channels. See

“Dancing With the
Stars,” 8-10:01 p.m., ABC. Athletes have always done well on this
show, but never like this. All five of them remain – Olympians
Simon Biles and Nancy Kerrigan, plus guys from football, baseball and
rodeo. Five of the other seven have been sent home – the latest was
actress Heather Morris – leaving only singer Normani Kordei and
former “Bachelor” star Nick Viall.

“Gotham,” 8
p.m., Fox. When the show returned last week, Ed Nygma (the future
Riddler) mourned the fact that he'd killed his friend, the future
Penguin. Ah, but in the final moments we saw that Poison Ivy had
rescued Penguin. Now he struggles for a comeback; so does young Bruce
Wayne, held captive. And Jim Gordon probes his dad's death. It's a
quite strong (and violent) hour.

“Superior Donuts,”
9 p.m., CBS. Cedric the Entertainer guests as Franco's disapproving
dad. He surprises his son by showing up for his art show at the
doughnut shop.

“The Great
Indoors,” 9:30 p.m., CBS. While renewing its other comedies, CBS
was slow to decide about this and “2 Broke Girls.” Now it tests
“Indoors” without a cozy “Big Bang” lead-in. Jane Leeves
(“Frasier”) plays the new girlfriend of Roland (Stephen Fry).

“Scorpion,” 10
p.m., CBS. Wedding days are always kind of complicated, but this one
is especially so for Toby and Happy. First, they have to put out a
tunnel fire that turns catastrophic.

10:01 p.m., ABC. Alex links with Owen to infiltrate the Collaborators
... then has doubts.

TV column for Sunday, April 30

“Radio Disney Music Awards,” 7 and 9 p.m., Disney.

Remember when
Britney Spears seemed unique as a young pop singer? Now the Disney
universe is filled with similar singers; Sofia Carson, Hailee
Steifeld and Kelsea Ballerini will do a Britney medley.

The night opens with
a number from the upcoming “Descendants 2,” then has a “Moana”
medley from the film's star, Auli'i Cavalho, plus Alessia Cara and
Jordan Fisher. Also performing are Train, Erin Bowman, Julia
Michaels, Grace VanderWaal and Noah Cyrus, Miley's 17-year-old

II: “Home Fires,” 9 p.m., PBS.

This series often
takes a dim view of people during World War II, depicting a
sweet-looking village filled with un-sweet bias, bitterness and
grievances. There's some of that tonight: Claire's abusive husband is
regaining strength; Frances faces agony involving her late husband's
factory and his affair.

This time, however,
that's balanced by some upbeat moments. Romances move forward, the
butcher learns about his son, Joyce has an important visitor ... and
the entire community comes together.

ALTERNATIVE: “American Crime,” 10 p.m., ABC.

After watching agony
in old England, you can find some more in modern North Carolina.
Nicholas and Claire have a home life so toxic that last week their
nanny left with their son. Jeanette split from her husband and his
kin, due to their treatment of migrants; then she had no one to help
her sister.

There's more
tonight. The nanny – who speaks little English – is under arrest
and frantic. Kimara convinces Dustin to tell police about the murder
of Shae, the teen prostitute; aftershocks are harsh.

Other choices

“Little Big
Shots,” 7 and 8 p.m., NBC. When was the last time you saw a
contortionist who was also a good archer? At 8 p.m., a 10-year-old
shows she's good at both. Other kids show talents ranging from
pizza-tossing to merely staring. That follows a 7 p.m. rerun that
includes a “snail whisperer.”

“Making History,”
8:30 p.m., Fox. Some people dream big about time-travel. Chris,
worried about losing tenure at his college, merely wants John Hancock
and Sam Adams to improve his history class.

“Madam Secretary,”
9 p.m., CBS. Problems are global – Jay is kidnapped in France,
Henry suspects an attack in Israel – and domestic: Jason schemed to
use his parents' money to impress a girl.

“The Good Witch”
season-opener, 9 p.m., Hallmark. The good news is that Grace (Bailee
Madison) feels Nick (Rhys Matthew Boyd) is ready to ask her out. And
the baf: This year, a spring blossoming never happened; that void has
had an effect on local women.

“LA 92,” 9 p.m.,
National Geographic. The fifth recent documentary about the Los
Angeles riots is a fairly matter-of-fact compilaion. It's no match
for Friday's ABC film, but is still fairly interesting.

“American Gods”
debut, 9 and 10:05 p.m., Starz. Remember all those ancient gods? Some
of them still exist, it seems, linking with higher-tech moderns. This
starts a new series – with supporting roles for Gillian Anderson,
Cloris Leachman and more – that' follows the 8 p.m. “White
Princess” show.

“Shades of Blue,”
10 p.m., NBC. Harlee (Jennifer Lopez) finally learns that her
daughter Christina has been getting texts ostensibly from her dad.
That's a problem, because Harlee secretly killed the guy.

“Mary Kills
People,” 10 p.m., Lifetime. Last week's opener left two crises for
Mary, a doctor whose second job (an illegal one) is assisted suicide.
Her potential client is actually an undercover cop; also, her
daughter's friend found some of her deadly drugs and almost died.
That second part is set aside until late in this hour, but the first
provides some fairly solid, taut drama.

TV column for Saturday, April 29

“Dreamgirls” (2006), 8-11 p.m., ABC.

soon as this vibrant musical reached Broadway, people wanted to make
it into a movie.
they did – 25 years later – they got it right,
some new songs and ideal casting.

Supremes-type group
with Beyonce as the gorgeous Diana Ross-type star,
Anika Noni Rose and
Jennifer Hudson.
Jamie Foxx is the record-label owner,
who dumps Hudson and replaces her with Sharon Leal. Hudson won an
Oscar and
there were
nominations for Eddie
Murphy, in support, and for
three songs
that were in addition to the vibrant
Broadway ones.

“Training Day,” 8 p.m.. CBS; “Training Day”
(2001), 8:30 p.m., BET.

The acclaimed movie
and the un-acclaimed TV show collide. The film (also at 5 p.m.
Sunday) won an Oscar for Denzel Washington, as an intense – and
sometimes corrupt – cop, training Ethan Hawke.

The series gave a
similar role to Bill Paxton, who died after this first season was
filmed. He played Frank, who is training a young cop (Justin
Cornwell) and dating a madam (Julie Benz). Now some of her
prostitutes are missing; Frank probes an eccentric Hollywood

ALTERNATIVE: White House Correspondents Dinner, all night, CNN.

This has become a
strong comedy event, with sharp hosts and with elaborate comedy from
Barack Obama. And this year? Hasan Minhaj of “The Daily Show”
will host; Donald Trump – who fumed at Seth Meyers and Obama during
the 2011 dinner – will be the first president in decades to skip

That sets up
alternatives – Trump holding a rally in Pennsylvania, Samantha Bee
hosting an alternative comedy event (with music from Elvis Costello)
at 10 p.m. on TBS. The dinner will also have serious First Amendment
speeches; CNN will look in on it from 7-11 p.m. ET, with the laughs
coming late.

ALTERNATIVE II: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, 8-11
p.m., HBO.

As the definition of
“rock and roll” keeps expanding, the annual ceremony gets more
interesting. This one (held earlier this month) ranged all the way
from Joan Baez to Tupac Shakur, with stops for Pearl Jam, Journey,
Yes, ELO and Nile Rodgers of Chic ... plus tributes to Chuck Berry
and Prince.

There were guest
performances – Alicia Keys did Shakur, Lenny Kravitz did Prince,
Mary Chapin Carpenter and the Indigo Girls joined Baez – and
tributes. Bob Dylan spoke (via video) about Baez; David Letterman was
there to talk about Pearl Jam. Now HBO trims it into a three-hour

Other choices

Harry Potter films,
7 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., Freeform. Here, in order, are five of the first
six Potter films (skipping only “Order of the Phoenix”), at 7 and
10:30 a.m. ad 2:30, 5:30 and 9 p.m.. Those final three will rerun
Sunday, leading into the two-part finale.

The Good Witch,” 11
a.m. to 11 p.m., Hallmark. On Sunday, Hallmark launches a new season
of the “Good Witch” series. First, it reruns six of the movies,
starting with the mild-but-pleasant 2008 film that had a odd and
benevolent woman (Catherine Bell) move into a small town.

Hockey, 3 and 8 p.m.
ET, NBC. The first play-off game has the Rangers at Ottawa; the
second has Pittsburgh at Washington.

Junior,” 8 and 9 p.m., Fox. The first rerun has the kids making
dishes inspired by their families. The second is a retrospective
special that includes looks at past winners and other favorites.

“The Son,” 9
p.m., AMC and Sundance, rerunning at 10 on AMC. In 1849, young Eli
starts to question his loyalties; in 1915, old Eli (Pierce Brosnan)
finds past family deeds bring aftershocks.

“Saturday Night
Live,” 11:29 p.m., NBC (or later, with hockey overrun). In the last
rerun for a while, Aziz Ansari hosts, with Big Sean as music guest.
Coming up are three straight new episodes.

TV column for Friday, April 28

“Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992,” 9-11 p.m., ABC.

Yes, we've had
plenty of documentaries about the 1992 Los Angeles riots – three so
far, with another on Sunday. But now, on the eve of the 25th
anniversary, is a gem. It's crafted by John Ridley, whose recent
projects -- “American Crime” and “Guerrilla” -- establish him
as TV's next great producer-writer.

Ridley brings an
outsider's perspective. In '92, he was quite new to Los Angeles, a
young black man who'd grown up as an opthamologist's son in suburban
Milwaukee. His film gives a full say to all sides – cops, angry
blacks, peacemakers, and victims, black, white and Korean; it's a
deep and moving film.

II: “First Dates,” 8 p.m., NBC.

In the first three
weeks, we've seen a lot of good matches and a few bad ones. But now
comes the worst rejection -- walking out before the food arrives, at
an upscale restaurant? And, oddly, the departing person seemed like
the weak end of the conversation.

There's another
awful date here, plus some that are filled with charm and hope.
That's the beauty of first dates and “First Dates”: Amid all the
failures, we see nice people in (maybe) life-changing moments.

ALTERNATIVE: “Undercover Boss” return, 8 p.m., CBS.

Somehow, this show
is still around and still fooling people when a new worker (the boss
in disguise) arrives with a camera crew. Here's the first of four new
Friday episodes, part of the shift that sent “Amazing Race” to
Thursdays, with “Training Days” wrapping its run on Saturdays.

This time it's
Michael Roper, CEO of the Taco Bueno chain of 175 restaurants. He
flubs the job of working a forklift in the warehouse. Also, he hears
a worker's complaint about upper management.

Other choices

“Moulin Rouge”
(2001), 6:50 p.m., Starz. Visually, this Baz Luhrmann films is
splendid, one of the most gorgeous films ever. Try to catch it on a
big-screen TV ... and try to ignore the fact that is has a weak plot
and settles for average singers (Ewan McGregor, Nicole Kidman) doing
OK songs.

“The Toy Box,” 8
p.m., ABC. Walking a dog is OK, but it would be much more fun to walk
a dinosaur. One of tonight's creations is a dinosaur you can take for
a walk. Others are multi-generational dolls, an action game with
colors, a slingshot connected to a parachute and a building system
involving cards. “Rosewood” season-finale, 8 p.m., Fox. A
jewelry-store heist seems to be the work of a talented group crime
group. Also, Dr. Rosewood wants one of his people to start a West
Coast branch of the lab.

"Lethal Weapon," 9 p.m.,Fox. The tacky "You the Jury" has been abruptly shelved, replaced by reruns of this fairly good cop show. Tonight, all the victims are members of the same church.

“Latin Music USA,”
9-11 p.m., PBS. In the first half of this two-week rerun, we see the
era of mambo and cha-cha move into the creation of salsa.

“Hawaii Five-0,”
9 p.m., CBS. A key witness is emerging from a coma and must be

“Blue Bloods,”
10 p.m., CBS. Danny is helping Russian operatives search for a
dangerous Russian who arrived on a diplomatic visa. Meanshile, his
sister tries to learn who tampered with evidence; their dad, the
police commissioner, faces a sensitive case involving the archbishop
(Stacy Keach).

TV column for Thursday, April 27

“Mom,” 9:01 p.m., CBS.

Two things are clear
about this deceptively terrific series: No show matches it for taking
a dead-serious subject, yet sprinkling in just enough laughs. And for
all the brilliance of Allison Janney – who has seven Emmys, two of
them as Bonnie – we shouldn't overlook Anna Faris as her daughter

Tonight, it's Faris'
turn. Things start with Marjorie – the rock everyone else turns to
– secluding herself. Then Christy, who's never been able to turn to
mom, really needs someone. We won't

reveal the plot
twists, except to say Faris is perfect and “Mom” again mixes
comedy and despair.

“Kicking & Screaming” finale, 9 p.m., Fox.

This show started
with 10 people who seemed hapless in the wild, then teamed each with
a survivalist. After dumping the goofier types, it has three novices
who are semi-reasonable.

One, Claire
Schreiner, is an athlete – a state champion gymnast in high school
and a successful hurdler and high-jumper in college; she's married to
“Insider” correspondent Michael Yo. Another, Juliana Herz, is
fit; she's a model and Harry Potter fan who drew attention when
dating Joe Jonas. The third, Natalie Casanova, has mostly been busy
with her YouTube channel, which deals with videogames.

ALTERNATIVE: “Soundtracks,” 10 p.m., CNN (barring breaking news).

In the aftermath of
the Sept. 11 attacks, music's first reaction was to praise heroes and
comfort victims. New songs were written – Alan Jackson's “Where
Were You,” Bruce Springsteen's “The Rising” -- and others were
repurposed, from “We Are Family” to “Only in America” and
“Sounds of Silence.”

But after that wave
of unity, this strong documentary says, divisions widened in country
music. Some songs rippled with pro-war fury; when Natalie Maines'
made an anti-war remark, stations blacklisted the Dixie Chicks. Bill
O'Reilly called them “foolish women who need to be slapped around.”

Other choices

“The Big Bang
Theory,” 8 p.m., CBS. It's the first day of a “sweeps” period,
a four-week stretch when ratings count for more. That means all the
key shows have new episodes, including TV's best comedy. Tonight,
Leonard frets when Penny considers a job offer from her former

“Superstore,” 8
and 8:30 p.m., NBC. In a late switch, this show will have reruns at 8 p.m. -- tonight is the "ladies' lunch" -- and new episodes at 8:30. There's a fairly good one tonight, involving Cheyenne's wedding ... and a much better one next week, when a tornado roars toward the store.


“Scandal,” 9
p.m., ABC. A new threat to the White House sets up a crisis (yes,
another one) next week.

“Life in Pieces,”
9:31 p.m., CBS. We're two weeks from the season-finale, when Colleen
marries Matt. Meanwhile, she goes to her future brother-in-law, a
doctor, hoping he'll keep her problem secret.

“The Blacklist,”
10 p.m., NBC. An artful bounty hunter is targeting Red's closest

pro-football draft starts at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN and the NFL Network.
It wraps up the first round at about 11:30, then returns Friday. ESPN
will talk about it for an hour before the draft ... and for an
eternity afterward.