TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “Jesse Stone:
Benefit of the Doubt,” 9-11 p.m., CBS.
For a few peaceful moments, this
settles into the Jesse mode. We see soft seaside settings; we hear a
quietly vague conversation. We learn that Jesse has lost his
police-chief job; we assume he's morose.
Then, in an explosive moment, we're
jolted and Jesse is employed. The rest has all the best traits of
these annual films – deep characters, vivid settings and Tom
Selleck's mastery of a character who offers deep emotions while
speaking few words.
TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE II: Billboard Music
Awards, 8-11 p.m., ABC.
After decades with Fox, this show has
moved to ABC, with two “Modern Family” stars (Ty Burrell and
Julie Bowen) as hosts.
Still, it has lots of Fox flavor, with
three “American Idol” winners performing – Kelly Clarkson,
Carrie Underwood and – in a Whitney Houston tribute with John
Legend – Jordin Sparks. Also performing are Usher, Justin Bieber,
Nelly Furtado, Linken Park, LMFAO and The Wanted.
TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: “Masterpiece,”
9-10:30 p.m., PBS (check local listings).
In a misguided moment, Arthur Conan
Doyle killed Sherlock Holmes in a short story. Fortunately, he later
In a more-misguided moment, the
producers of this superb, modernized “Sherlock” chose to wrap up
their three-movie season with that story. As usual, this one is
brilliantly written, directed and performed; still, it has a so-so
ending that drags on way too long.
Other choices include:
– “The Pelican Brief” (1993) and
“L.A. Confidential” (1997), 6 and 9 p.m. Ion. This is a terrific
double feature. First is a smart John Grisham story about a law
student (Julia Roberts) who comes up with an accurate (and
dangerous) theory. Then is a cop film shot in a stylized, 1950s
manner. It was nominated for nine Oscars, including best picture; it
won for its script and for Kim Basinger in support.
– “America's Funniest Home Videos,”
7 p.m., ABC. Here's the annual championship, with someone winning a
lifetime pass to Disney resorts.
– “The Simpsons,” 7 and 8 p.m.,
Fox. First is a rerun of the OK 500th episode, with
Springfield banishing the Simpsons. Then a new episode has Lisa
trying to boost her lowly social status. She fails, of course –
until Lady Gaga arrives to help.
– “Smitty,” 7 p.m., GMC; reruns
at 9 and 11. A weak story – a foolish kid is sentenced to three
months in Iowa (on his grandfather's farm) – is propped up by a
classy cast. That includes two Oscar-winners (Lou Gossett Jr. and
Mira Sorvino) and an Oscar-nominee (Peter Fonda, in a mostly one-note
– “Celebrity Apprentice,” 9-11
p.m., NBC. Here's another “Idol” alumnus tonight – this one a
runner-up. Clay Aiken is one of the “Apprentice” final two, along
with Arsenio Hall. Tonight, each organizes and stars in a
fund-raiser. Then we'll learn if Aiken is, again, a runner-up.
– “American Ninja Warriors,” 9
p.m., G4; reruns at 11 p.m. and 1a.m. In an unusual step, each
episode will debut Sundays on this cable network and rerun Mondays on
NBC. This opener has obstacle-course tryouts at Venice Beach, with
competitors that include Hollywood stunt people, an actor and a
rocket scientist. The result is slickly filmed, but gets repetitious,
especially in the two-hour opener.
– “The Borgias,” 10 p.m.,
Showtime. Two of the stories here are light and charming stories. In
one,the Vatican is introduced to cigars and a panther; in another,
Lucrezia schemes in romance. Those stories, however, co-exist with a
wretched one about a brutal siege.
– “Girls,” 10:30 p.m., HBO. After
lots of frustration and failure in New York, Lena returns home to
Michigan for her parents' anniversary. It's fun episode, with
insights about different worlds.