TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: Academy Awards,
8:30 p.m. ET, ABC.
For the first time since 1989, the
Oscars don't have a stand-up comedian in charge. James Franco and
Anne Hathaway – actors, sometimes in comedies – host.
There may be fewer laughs, but there's
more music, with nominated songs performed by Gwyneth Paltrow, Randy
Newman, Florence Welch and Mandy Moore with Zachary Levi. And there
are popular films at the top: “The King's Speech” and “The
Social Network” are leaders for best picture and (Colin Firth,
Jesse Eisenberg) best actor; Natalie Portman (“Black Swan”) leads
for best actress.
TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE II: “Amazing
Race,” 8 p.m., CBS.
Last week's opener brought back 11 duos
from previous seasons. None had won; three were runners-up.
Surprisingly, one of those three, the
cowboy brothers, is already in trouble, perplexed by a puzzle. The
race continues tonight, with contestants dressing as kangaroos and
with one team breaking down.
– “Masterpiece Classic,” 9-10:30
p.m., PBS (check local listings).
Oddly, PBS is throwing the conclusion
of “Any Human Heart” – its richly crafted, if frustrating,
mini-series – against the Oscars.
In the first two rounds, we met the
bland Logan, primarily played by Matthew Macfayden. He had affairs
and marriages, but lost his one true love in a World War II bombing.
Now he's hitting 60, with Jim Broadbent
(an Oscar-winner from “Iris”) taking over the role. Penniless, he
lives in France, near an attractive neighbor. “Heart” manages to
find closure in a meandering tale.
– Red carpet, 6-8 p.m., E and TV
Guide. The cable networks get the first looks at Oscar glamor. ABC
has its own expanded version, from 7-8:30 p.m.
– “The Simpsons,” 7 and 8 p.m.,
Fox. The first rerun sees Moe's pub turned into a trendy gay bar. The
second has Homer go undercover to investigate Fat Tony.
– “Brick City,” 7-11 p.m.,
Sundance. This well-made documentary series pauses for a week,
rerunning the season's first four episodes. We follow Cory Booker,
the charismatic mayor of Newark, NJ, a city staggered by poverty and
crime; we also meet people trying to rebuild their lives.
– “Minute to Win It,” 8-11 p.m.,
NBC. The first two reruns have a family of five playing the games.
The final one (starting at about 10:06 p.m.) has Aaron Ralston –
the mountain-climber portrayed in the Oscar-nominated movie “127
Hours” – playing for charity.
– “Bob's Burgers” (8:30) and
“Family Guy” (9-10 p.m.), Fox. An all-rerun night for Fox
cartoons concludes with these two: “Burgers” reruns its fairly
good pilot film, with a rumor circulating that Bob serves human
flesh; then “Guy” has Stewing confronting Santa at the North
– “Big Love,” 9 p.m., HBO. Last
week, two young females – Cara Lynn and Rhonda – took romantic
leaps. Tonight, those stories continue, but the main focus is on
Bill's wedding with Nicki; stick around, because there are some big
moments – one warm, one jolting – near the end.
– “CSI: Miami,” 10 p.m., CBS. A
mean-girl teen-ager has been stoned to death. The prime suspects are
the nerds she bullied.