TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “Last Man
Standing,” 8 p.m., ABC.
For eight years and 203 episodes,
Richard Karn was part of a ratings giant. He was Al on “Home
Improvement,” the show that went as high as No. 2 in the annual
In the 13 years since the show ended,
Karn has stayed moderately busy, hosting (a few seasons of “Family
Feud,” one of “Bingo America”) and acting. Now he guests on
Allen's new show.
Karn plays the architect for Outdoor
Man, learning he may be replaced by an attractive young woman.
TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE: “Fringe,” 9
Over the past five years, this show has
had high quality and low ratings. Next week's two-hour finale should
be a big deal; this episode is OK, but surprisingly muted.
Walter (the brilliant John Noble) heads
into a deprivation tank, so he can search his mind for details about
Donald, a key part of this mystery. It's a quiet episode in which
everyone seems to move slowly – followed by close calls in which a
few seconds would have been vital. Still, it sets up a crucial
TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: “Portlandia,”
10 p.m., IFC.
People in Portland – or, at least,
this fictional version of it – seem obsessed with partying.
Nina is planning her birthday, complete
with tapas, horseback riding and yoga at sunset. The problem is that
Kath and Dave are back from Spain and consider themselves experts on
Meanwhile, another couple needs a loan
to go to the party. There are some dryly hilarious scenes with Kumail
Nanjiani (“Franklin & Bash”) as a bank official who's in
charge of party loans.
Other choices include:
– “1600 Penn,” 8 and 8:30 p.m., NBC.
Here's an instant rerun of Thursday's funny episodes, as the
president's kids bring problems. In the first, his son causes a fire
at college; in the second, his daughter tells him (and the world)
--Movies, 8 p.m., cable. Here's
splendid entertainment from three decades – “Goldfinger” (1964)
on G4, “Big” (1988) on WE and “The Fugitive” (1993) on AMC.
– “Malibu Country,” 8:30, ABC.
Planning a baby shower for her brassy neighbor Kim, Reba makes unkind
remarks … while Kim's son is taping preparations.
– “CSI: NY,” 9 p.m., CBS. When an
off-duty cop is killed, the team needs the art of interrogation.
– “True Justice,” 9 p.m., Reelz.
In last week's hour (rerunning at 6 p.m.), Kane (Steven Seagal) left
the police force to assemble his own CIA team. That's a good thing;
the newcomers do things – talk, emote – Seagal can't. There are
some slow parts tonight and then a messy, “Scarface”-style
– “Blue Bloods,” 10 p.m., CBS.
Here are tough moments for two of the police commissioner's kids.
Jamie struggles with the emotional aftershocks of his actions; Erin
has the mayor on the witness stand, with a tough judge (Susie
Essman) in charge.
– “Banshee” debut, 10 p.m.,
Cinemax;repeats at 11:05. Writers love the notion of taking over
someone else's life. It happen in classic fiction; it even happens in
the Internet age, in “The Riches” and the upcoming “Continuum.”
And now an ex-convict pretends to be the sheriff. This is a serious
drama from “True Blood” creator Alan Ball; it has solid
characters, sharp action and a plot that's a real stretch.