TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “America
Revealed,” 10 p.m., PBS (check local listings).
On a steamy August afternoon in 2003,
power outages began to cascade. Soon, 55 million people in eight
states and Ontario were affected; some were unable to get home.
This fast-paced hour looks briefly at
what happened and then at the constant effort to maintain the power
grid and prevent outages. It's an action-adventure hour: rappeling
down a wind turbine, fixing power lines via helicopter and visiting
massive places – a coal mine, an oil tanker, a nuclear plant.
TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE II: “American
Idol,” 8-10 p.m., Fox.
The final six contestants sing songs by
Queen, possibly learning from the past.
On a Queen night in 2006, Bucky
Covington sang “Fat Bottomed Girls” and was promptly ousted.
Doing better were Ace Young (“We Will Rock You”), Kellie Pickler
(“Bohemian Rhapsody:) and the eventual top three – Taylor Hicks
(“Crazy Little Thing Called Love”), Katharine McPhee (“Who
Wants to Live Forever”) and Elliott Yamin (“Somebody to Love”).
We can expect those songs and more –
including “We Are the Champions” and “Another One Bites the
Dust” – by individuals or in a group medley with Queen members
Brian May and Roger Taylor.
TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: “Locked Up
Abroad” season-opener, 10 p.m., National Geographic.
A tough guy with a hero's face, Erik
Aude was getting small movie and TV roles. Some people knew him as
one of the muscleheads in “Dude, Where's My Car?”
In 2002, Aude, then 21, foolishly
agreed to go to Pakistan and get some leather coats, supposedly to
avoid import taxes. There was opium inside; a three-year prison
ordeal followed. Aude tells the story and plays himself in
re-enactments; it's an hour that is often brutal and sometimes
Other choices include:
– “The L.A. Complex,” 8 p.m., CW.
If you missed Tuesday's amiable debut, catch this rerun. It's a
Canadian series about transplants in Los Angeles, grasping for their
– “North Country” (2005), 8-10
p.m., AMC. At the core is a real-life sexual-discrimination fight in
Minnesota mining country. That's fictionalized here, boosted by a
strong performance by Charlize Theron and evocative songs by Bob
Dylan, who grew up in northern Minnesota.
– “Modern Family,” 9 p.m. ABC.
This rerun has Greg Kinnear as Phil's new boss. Straining to make a
good impression, Phil doesn't seem to notice that the guy is flirting
with his wife.
– “Don't Trust the B in Apartment
23,” 9:31 p.m., ABC. After a slow start in New York, June now has a
job and a promising internship. Alas, she also has to clean up after
Chloe's latest scheme goes bad.
– “Revenge,” 10 p.m., ABC. Emily
finally learns who killed her father. That creates repercussions for
the people in Victoria's schemes. Meanwhile, Declan's testimony
brings trouble with Charlotte.
– “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,”
10 p.m., CBS. In a rerun, a slain rancher was a ballistics expert,
That brings federal agents, played by Matt Lauria (“Friday Night
Lights”) and Grant Show.
– “Total Blackout” debut, 10 and
10:30 p.m., Syfy. Groping in the dark, people must guess what they
find. Some things really are yucky; at other times, people scream at
a hairbrush or a teddy bear. Contestants range from stoic to absurdly
screechy. The result is moderately entertaining.