TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “Saturday Night
Live” season-opener, 11:29 p.m., NBC.
Yes, we've been here before. This
starts the 37th season for “SNL” and will be the 16th
time Alec Baldwin has hosted, putting him one ahead of Steve Martin.
There are no cast changes this year, so
expect more of the same. “SNL” can be as bad as a pointless
sketch, as clever as an Andy Samberg film or a Seth Meyers newscast.
TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE: “Prime Suspect,”
9 p.m., NBC.
A lot changed when the 1991 British
classic became an American series. Jane Tennison – bedraggled,
bedeviled, alcoholic – became Jane Timoney, blonde and beautiful.
What remains is her smoking and her
rage. If you forget the old “Suspect” – and overlook the
cartoonish portrayals of most of the guys here – you'll find a
pretty good cop show, starring Maria Bello. It's part of a
second-chance night in which three premieres and two season-openers
TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: “Person of
Interest,” 8 p.m., CBS.
You really shouldn't mess with a
scruffy stranger on a subway; he might turn out to be a brooding
former CIA agent. That happens at the start of this rerun; the guy
promptly beats up the thugs – then is tracked down by someone with
a machine that can tell who will be involved in a future crime.
The result is an uncomfortable blend of
science-fiction and straight-ahead cop drama. It works, however,
because of a perfect cast (Jim Caviezel, Michael Emerson, Taraji
Henson) and the sharp look we expect from producer J.J. Abrams and
director David Semel.
Other choices include:
– Football, 8 p.m. ET, ABC. LSU,
ranked No. 2 in the nation, visits West Virginia, ranked No. 16.
That's part of a busy day that includes two strong choices at 3:30
p.m. ET: CBS has Alabama (No. 3) hosting Arkansas (No. 14); ABC has
Oklahoma State (No. 7) visiting Texas A & M. (No. 8).
– “Harry's Law,” 8 p.m., NBC.
This show started with a fired lawyer (Kathy Bates) starting a law
office inside a shoe store. It was quirky, clever, a ratings hit; now
most of the unusual touches are gone. The shoe store is still there,
but Harriet has a big law office above it. The result looks a lot
like “Boston Legal” (also from producer David E. Kelley) and has
only a smidgen of the “Harry's Law” charm.
– “Unforgettable,” 9 p.m., CBS.
Poppy Montgomery plays an ex-cop who remembers everything. This
reruns the so-so opener, which uses a neat visual trick to have her
walk through scenes from her life.
– “Morlocks,” 9-11 p.m., Syfy.
Maybe we should be careful about this time-travel thing. It works
fine in “Terra Nova,” but in this one it lets semi-human monsters
into our world. They're quite nasty.
– “Law & Order: Special Victims
Unit,” 10 p.m., NBC. The good news is that Kelli Giddish (“Chase”)
joins the show now and Danny Pino (“Cold Case”) is coming. The
bad: Christopher Meloni is gone; this rerun of Wednesday's opener is
a weak variation on the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case.
– “48 Hours Mystery,” 10 p.m.,
CBS. Filmgoers already know the rugged life of Mickey Ward, portrayed
in “The Fighter.” Now here's a look at his friend and opponent
Arturo Gatti, a world champion who made a fortune, then died
mysteriously, two years after retirement.