TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “The Mentalist,”
10 p.m., CBS.
In a terrific episode last season,
Patrick Jane met a cunning foe. As played by Morena Bacccarin
(formerly of “V,” now of “Homeland”), Erica Flynn was a
beautiful matchmaker who almost got away with killing her husband.
Now Jane needs her. He has her
furloughed from prison, in exchange for information on a case.
TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE II: “Grey's
Anatomy” and “Private Practice,” 9-11 p.m., ABC.
“Grey's Anatomy” is often at its
best during special episodes timed to “sweeps” ratings months.
Now – two weeks after its terrific what-if-everything-was-different
hour, here's a crossover night.
In the first hour, Amelia (Caterina
Scorsone) of “Private Practice” character, arrives in Seattle to
beg her brother Derek to help treat Erica's gliosarcoma. In the
second, Cooper, Charlotte and Erica arrive.
There's more. In the first hour, Owen
and Cristina battle in front of a marriage counselor. In the second,
Addison ends up in the middle of a dispute between Sam and Jake.
TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: “Remembering
Whitney,” 9-11 p.m., Oprah Winfrey Network.
The first wave of Whitney Houston
specials has aired, but here are some key memories. At the core is
the hour that opened the “Oprah Winfrey Show” season in September
Houston talked about her drug abuse,
her troubled marriage to Bobby Brown, her mourning of Michael Jackson
and her reasons for retreating from the spotlight. She also gave an
intimate performance of “I Didn't Know My Own Strength.”
Other choices include:
– “American Idol,” 8-10 p.m.,
Fox. The three-part Hollywood round concludes. There will be a
performance challenge next Wednesday, with semi-finalists named the
– “The Big Bang Theory,” 8 p.m.,
CBS. At work, Sheldon's nemesis has been the mocking Kripke. Now a
corner office opens up and they both want it. It may be settled by a
series of sports challenges – clearly not Sheldon's forte. Also,
Penny is uncomfortable about a gift from Amy.
– “Parks and Recreation,” 8:30
p.m., NBC. Leslie's city-council campaign booms ahead, with Andy
working on a campaign song. Meanwhile, she bumps into the cop (Louis
C.K.) she dated briefly.
– “The Office,” 9 p.m., NBC. In a
funny episode last week, Dwight (Rainn Wilson) was told to go to the
Florida headquarters, to plan a retail project. He had to bring Jim
and some people Andy considers … well, expendable. Tonight, he's
trying to impress the special-projects president (Catherine Tate).
– Grimm, 10 p.m., NBC. Shows have
been dying quickly in this slot – first “Prime Suspect,” then
“The Firm” (which was moved to Saturdays, then had its first
episode there bumped at the last minute). Now “Grimm” reruns will
fill in for a couple weeks; the superb “Awake” debuts March 1.
– “Independent Lens,” 10 p.m.,
PBS (check local listings). This show wraps up its run of three Black
History Month special with – ironically – one that questions
whether it's demeaning to stuff everything into an arbitrary month.
It's a contrived and pointless argument, but filmmaker Shukree
Tilghman uses it as a springboard for some fun moments.
– “Inside Comedy,” 11 p.m.,
Showtime. This amiable half-hour has Billy Crystal, Brad Garrett and
Martin Short telling funny stories about Frank Sinatra, Orson Welles,
Sammy Davis and more.