TV column for Saturday, Aug. 18

TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “Saturday Night
Live,” 11:29 p.m., NBC.

It's been four weeks since we had an
“SNL.” Now the Olympics are done and the comedy resumes.

Jason Segel hosted this episode during
a packed 2011 that saw him star in two excellent movies – “Muppets”
and “Jeff, Who Lives at Home” – and his TV series, “How I Met
Your Mother.” He portrayed Antonio Banderas and Andre the Giant and
sang with his Muppet pals. Florence and the Machine were the music

TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “The Devil Wears
Prada” (2006), 8-10 p.m., ABC.

Fresh from college, an idealistic
intern works for the steely head of a fashion magazine. That was the
set-up for a witty novel that was transformed neatly into this film.

Director David Frankel had a perfect
cast – led by Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep – and gave the film
a slick, stylish feel. The result drew Oscar nominations for Streep
and for costumes.

Cookies,” 9 and 11 p.m., Hallmark.

On March 12, the Girl Scouts of the
United States turned 100. That's one reason Hallmark did this film
about a reluctant den leader.

Yes, there are a few forced emotions
near the end. Mostly, however, this is a surprisingly witty film; it
skillfully satirizes an overwrought Realtor, then lets her make human
contact. Two talented Canadians – director Robert Iscove and star
Jessalyn Gilsig – spark a film that's more fun than preachy.

Other choices include:

– Shark stuff, all day. From “Rogue
Sharks Reloaded” at 9 a.m. to “Shark Week's Impossible Shot” at
2 a.m., Shark Week closes with a final, toothy marathon. Prime time
has “Shark Week's 25 Best Bites” at 8 p.m., “Air Jaws
Apocalypse” at 9 and “Mythbusters” with 25 shark myths at 10.

– “America's Got Talent” and
“Stars Earn Stripes,” 8 p.m. and 9-11 p.m., NBC. Two reality
rounds get quick reruns. First, we see which four acts advanced after
entering “Talent” by YouTube. Then the “Stripes” debut has
stars tackling war-game exercises.

– “Person of Interest,” 8 p.m.,
CBS. In a rerun, the computer has identified someone – a future
victim or perpetrator – who's hard to get close to. Now Reese
infiltrates a smuggling ring.

– “Criminal Minds,” 9 p.m., CBS.
This reruns the show's 150th episode, with “Piano Man”
re-attacking his old rape victims. Also, Prentiss (Paget Brewster)
tries to come to terms with her past tragedy.

– “Mobbed,” 9 p.m., Fox. Two
brothers aren't speaking to each other, even though they're in the
same band. Now one tries an massiveapology, helped by a rapper (Ace
Hood), a percussionist (DJ Ravi), a rock guitarist (Art Alexakis of
Everclear), a dance crew and a flash mob.

– “Castle,” 10 p.m., ABC. A
Scotland Yard detective wants help from Castle and Beckett, to find
the killer of his friend's daughter. Also, Charles Shaughnessy plays
a British official who may be suspect.

TV column for Friday, Aug. 17

TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “Teachers Rock,”
8 p.m., CBS.

This special doubles as a promotion for
teachers and for the movie “Won't Back Down.” Whatever its
motivation, it has assembled some strong performers.

Most are country, including Dierks
Bentley and superstars Garth Brooks and Carrie Underwood. Also
performing are classical-pop powerhouse Josh Groban and the pop-rock
group Fun.

season-opener, 9 p.m., Starz.

Kelsey Grammer is blisteringly
brilliant as a Chicago mayor driven by ego, rage, warmth, loneliness
… and the need to create a legacy, before succumbing to the
neurological disease he's keeping secret.

Now he feels he's triumphing – one
project starting, another being planned – just as he's crumbling:
His assistant is dead, his daughter is imprisoned, his mind is
wavering. He meets an idealistic politician (Sanaa Lathan) with her
own strong-arm tactics. Fierce forces combine, in the return of a
great series.

10 p.m., MTV.

For much of her childhood, Inocente
Izucar was homeless. In a nine-year stretch, she (and her mother and
two younger brothers) alternated between San Diego's homeless
shelters, staying nowhere for more than three months. She considered
suicide; her mother urged joint suicide.

Instead, she painted her face, wore
bright clothes, strode into the world. At 12, she found an
after-school art program; at 15, it featured her one-person show.

Izucar is 18 now, with a college fund
and a New York exhibit. This documentary captures her pivotal time at
15; it is (like its subject) bright, beautiful and deeply moving.

p.m., NBC.

Sure, this is getting a temporary
boost: New episodes air on Mondays, with a reality-show lead-in.

But this fall, “Grimm” will be back
to its grim, Friday-night spot. To prepare us, NBC is rerunning
Monday's season-opener tonight. It's a fairly good one, but
exceedingly violent. Already shattered by the fact that his
girlfriend is in a coma, Nick faces two newcomers – a grisly killer
who stowed away on a ship …. and Nick's mom, (Mary Elizabeth
Mastrantonio), who's back after 18 years.

Other choices include:

– “Woman of the Year” (1942),
2:30 p.m. ET, Turner Classic Movies. It's a triple feature of
acclaimed comedies with Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy; “Adam's
Rib” (1949) is at 4:30 p.m., “Pat and Mike” (1952) at 6:15.
Sandwiching them are Hepburn dramas – the potent “Lion in Winter”
(1968, noon) and the once-controversial, now-bland “Guess Who's
Coming to Dinner” (1967, 8 p.m.)

– Football, 8 p.m. ET, Fox. The
Baltimore Ravens host the Detroit Lions.

– “Shake It Up,” 8-9:30 p.m.,
Disney. Rocky and CeCe win a dancing gig in Japan. That's in an
expanded season finale that includes Blue Man Group, Tokyo teen
fashion and “J-Pop”music.

– “Hatfields & McCoys,” 8-10
p.m., History; concludes Saturday. Johnse Hatfield is one of this
mini-series; few likable males. Now he loves a McCoy and her family
plans to kill him at dawn.

– “CSI: NY,” 9 p.m., CBS. In a
rerun, a judge has been killed. Also, Jo (Sela Ward) confronts a rape
suspect from an earlier case; she's being blamed for the previous
failure to convict him.

– “Blue Bloods,” 10 p.m., CBS.
The gun-buyback program promised a no-questions-asked approach. Now
Danny feels an ethical dilemma, after finding what may be the gun
used in a robbery.

– “Strike Back,”10 and 10:50
p.m., Cinemax. The season starts with Stonebridge (Phillip
Winchester) back home as a training officer;Scott is on assignment
with an enigmatic newcomer (Rhona Mitra of “Boston Legal” and
“Nip/Tuck”). Then a crisis intervenes, in violent but
well-crafted episodes.

– “A Chance to Dance” debut, 10
p.m, Ovation. Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, who blend dance
styles, are arbitrarily given 28 days to audition dancers, create a
troupe and put on a show. Then their group tours with “So You Think
You Can Dance”; both shows are from producer Nigel Lythgoe.

TV column for Thursday, Aug. 16

Theory,” 8 p.m., CBS.

Good shows will occasionally toy with
us. They'll twist reality, in a change-of-pace episode

That's what “Big Bang” does in this
rerun. For way too long, Leonard and Penny have been mere friends and
ex-lovers. Now, he casually asks her to dinner; the fun and the
reality-tugging follow.

Chefs,” 9 p.m., ABC.

A clever idea turns into a moderately
entertaining hour, in this one-shot special.

Four professional chefs, each of them
lively and likable, step into a “time machine.” They emerge in a
re-creation of a distant era – Henry VIII's palace, for instance;
with no time to study and no modern tools, they create dishes for
that era. There are two stops here, in an OK oddity.

films, all day, Turner Classic Movies.

On the 35th anniversary of
Elvis Presley's death, TCM reminds us that he made many awful (but
still kind of fun) movies and a few good ones.

The worst stretch comes early, with
“Kissin' Cousins” (1964) at 8 a.m. ET, “Girl Happy: ('65) at
9:45 and “Harum Scarum” ('65) at 11:30. The best part is at

“Elvis on Tour” (1978), at 8 p.m.,
is a strong concert film. “Jailhouse Rock” (1957), at 9:45, has
early Elvis singing taut songs from Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.
“Viva Las Vegas” (1964), at 11:30, has Vegas, glitter,
Ann-Margret and a zesty title song.

Other choices include:

– Football, 8 p.m., Fox. For Fox,
things start with two straight primetime bursts. Tonight's pre-season
game has the Cincinnati Bengals at the Atlanta Falcons; Friday's has
the Lions at the Ravens.

– “Hatfields & McCoys,” 8-10
p.m., History. This three-night miniseries was a huge ratings hit and
has piled up 16 Emmy nominations, including best movie or miniseries
and nods for the actors (Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton) playing
leaders of the feuding families. Tonight's opener is the weakest
link, with no one to root for; by Saturday's finale, viewers will be
fully engaged.

– “Two and a Half Men,” 8:31
p.m., CBS. In a rerun, Walden and Alan plan a Valentine's Day getaway
with Zoey and Lyndsey. Soon, they're all trapped by a storm; the
women begin to fume.

– “Big Brother” (CBS) or “The
Next” (CW), 9 p.m. CBS' reality show is evicting another housemate.
Meanwhile, CW debuts a show that has four stars – Gloria Estefan,
Joe Jonas, John Rich and Nelly – spend three days in each city,
nurturing someone to compete live next month in Los Angeles.

– “Saving Hope,” 9 p.m., NBC.
Back from its Olympic break, this well-made Canadian show is still
trying to find an America audience. Charlie is in a coma, but he's
roaming the hospital, seen only by the spirits of others who are dead
or dying. Now his ventilator has been removed, but Alex (his
almost-bride) sees a new possibility. Meanwhile, Joel's broken hand
keeps him from surgery.

– “Rookie Blue,” 10 p.m., ABC. A
laptop, filled with police secrets, has disappeared and a drug
informant may be compromised. That trigger an angry dispute between
Andy and Sam.

TV column for Wednesday, Aug. 15

TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “Suburgatory,”
8:30 and 9:31 p.m., ABC.

This smart comedy got a big boost
recently, when ABC switched its fall schedule: It will move back an
hour, resting cozily behind “Modern Family.”

To get us used to it, ABC plunks it in
both slots tonight. Tentatively scheduled are reruns that have odd
twists in the tug between city-smart Tessa and suburban-primped Dalia
In the first, Tessa has won Scott, the cute guy; in the second, Dalia
gets the attention of the poetry teacher.

You Can Dance,” 8-10 p.m., Fox.

After drifting into reruns during the
Olympics, TV's best reality competition show is back.

First, the 14 tackle previous routines
by Mia Michaels, the brilliant choreographer who's been nominated for
five Emmys, winning three times. Then we learn who's in the bottom
(based on viewer votes from three weeks ago) and who's ousted … and
then viewers vote anew.

In a promo flurry, the guest judges are
Michael Nunn and William Trevitt. Their new troupe will tour with
“Dance” finalists; they have a Friday series (from the “Dance”
producers) on the Ovation channel.

debut,10 and 10:30 p.m., Travel Channel.

Like many kids, Jordan Hembrough had a
room stuffed with action-hero figures and “Star Wars” toys.
Unlike most, he turned it into business; by 16, he was buying and
selling used toys.

This opener finds him visiting kindred
spirits. He digs through storage sheds and basements, even using a
lighted helmet, like a miner.

Hembrough finds a few toys –
prototypes and promos and such – that never reached stores. This
show itself is merely OK, but the toys and the toy-keepers are a

Other choices include:

– “Oh Sit!” debut, 8 p.m., CW. A
game show based on musical chairs? Well, sort of; except that before
reaching the chairs, people have to go through some wild stunts.

– “America's Got Talent,” 9 p.m.,
NBC. We're back to colliding competition shows. Just as “Dance”
ia eliminatinf people, “Talent” advances some. These are the ones
who auditioned via YouTube and performed Tuesday; there's also a
rerun at 8 p.m.

– “Modern Family,” 9 p.m., ABC.
Tentatively scheduled is the episode in which Cam's dad visited. He's
played by Barry Corbin, who's been recurring on “Anger Management”
and “The Closer” and more.

– “Footloose” (1984), 9 p.m.,
CMT. The remake was OK, but here's the vibrant original, with Kevin
Bacon as a city kid, moving to a town that bans dance. The result has
a vibrant, music-video feel.

– “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,”
10 p.m., CBS. D.B. Russell (Ted Danson) is worrying about his son,
who was suspended from school. That could distract him from a work
problem: A crash scene has three bodies and a fourth, unexplained

– “Soul Man,” 10 p.m., TV Land.
Rev. Boyce (Cedric the Entertainer) has a problem at home: A church
member's wife (Cynthia Stevenson) overheard his wife (Niecy Nash)
gossiping about her.

TVcolumn for Tuesday, Aug. 14

TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “America's Got
Talent,” 8-10 p.m., NBC.

For two weeks, many of the reality
shows disappeared. NBC had Olympics; Fox had reruns.

Now both are back, colliding for two
hours tonight. For NBC, it's the return of this summertime ratings
leader. Tonight, we see a dozen acts that competed via YouTube; then
viewers vote.

9 p.m., Fox.

This is Gordon Ramsay's lone nice-guy
show, the one in which he's generally civil to amateur chefs.

Not tonight. The final six contestants
take over an elegant restaurant, with Ramsay screaming orders and
insults. That's tough for Monti Carlo, 36, a single mom with a
hearing problem … and for Christine Ha, 33, a grad student who's

Both were chosen by Becky Reams, 26, a
food photographer. The other team has Frank Mirando, 28, a
stockbroker; David Martinez, 32, a school administrator; and
seven-foot Josh Marks, 24, an Army contract specialist. It's an
interesting – albeit way too noisy – hour.

Bash” season-finale, 10 p.m., USA.

Bash's problm is that his law license
has been suspended. Franklin's is his dad (Beau Bridges); he wants to
buy the law firm and dismantle it.

Now they try to help their friend
(Chris Klein), an honest politician whose campaign manager tries to
stop him from dropping out of a race. As usual, this is a light,
loopy story, filled with wildly unlikely twists. Still, it almost
stands alone tonight, as a new, scripted show.

Other choices include:

– “Hotel Hell,” 8 p.m., Fox. It's
Ramsay again, this time as a bit of a crusader. In Monday's opener,
he was stunned by an upscale inn that piled up antiques, but barely
paid its staff. Now he gets a surprise, when having the antiques
assessed; also, he struggles to find a feel-good makeover.

– “NCIS,” 8 p.m., CBS.In a rerun,
a Navy reservist with a high security clearance is dead. Gibbs
clashes with Dr. Ryan (Jamie Lee Curtis), as they try to determine if
it was suicide.

– “NCIS: Los Angeles,” 9 p.m.,
CBS. This rerun sees a man gunned down outside the Vietnamese
consulate, where a conference is set. Dan Lauria (“The
WonderYears”) plays a retired Marine.

– “How 'Jaws' Changed the World,”
9 p.m., Discovery. On the 25th annual go-around for its
“Shark Week,” Discovery gives a nod to the movie that spurred
this interest. It views the way science has expanded since “Jaws”
came out in 1975.

– “NY Med,” 10 p.m., ABC. Two
likable people bring a personal feel to a breast-cancer story. One is
Dr. Eleni Tousimis; the other is her patient, Andree Brown.


– “Collection Intervention”
debut, 10 p.m., Syfy. One person was stunned; after marrying, she
found her husband had debts and a garage stuffed with Catwoman items.
Another was less surprised – his wedding party had full “Star
Wars” costumes and theme – but it was too much when his wife
filled most of the house with items. An expert intervenes with both,
in an OK hour.

– “20 Under 20,” 10 p.m., CNBC.
In the first half of this interesting (if stretched) documentary, we
met some of the 41 teens trying for a controversial prize – a
chance to skip college and land a two-year, $100,000 fellowship with
top mentors. Tonight, some of the nail their speeches – even trying
poetry and rap – and some bumble badly. We also learn some of the
20 winners.