TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “CSI: Crime Scene
Investigation,” 10 p.m., CBS.
Here's one of those crossover episodes
that CBS likes. Mac (Gary Sinise), a widower, wants to surprise his
girlfriend by visiting her in Las Vegas. He's the one who's
surprised: She's missing.
He turns to his friend D.B. (Ted
Danson) for help. That will wrap up in Friday's “CSI: NY.”
TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE II: “Nature,” 8
During his 60 years of nature programs,
David Attenborough has seen species vanish. One moving clip shows him
on Galapagos Island with Lonesome George, a giant turtle who was the
last of his kind.
Still, this excellent hour – wrapping
up a three-week series – also has upbeat moments. The World
Wildlife Fund began in 1961. National parks were created in Africa
and beyond. Borneo and Malaysia took strong steps to protect birds
and turtles. Some species are better now than a half-century ago.
TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: “The
Americans,” 10 p.m., FX.
Like last week's opener, this is a taut
hour that will churn viewers with mixed emotions.
We're in the early 1980s, with an
average-seeming couple (Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys) in suburban
Washington, D.C. They're actually Soviet spies, groomed for this, in
an arranged marriage.
Tonight, they're being rushed to plant
a bug in the home of Casper Weinberger, the U.S. Secretary of
Defense. Doing that will require them to bully decent people and to
strain their ethical limits.
Other choices include:
– “Tron: Legacy” (2010), 7:30
p.m., FX. Back in 1982, “Tron” had a techno-whiz (Jeff Bridges)
enter his computer program. Now comes a sharp sequel: Decades later,
Bridges is still in there; his son tries to rescue him. If you miss
it tonight, you can also catch it at 6:30 p.m. Thursday or 7:30 p.m.
– “American Idol,” 8-10 p.m.,
Fox. A new round begins, with lots of work to do. In all, 276
hopefuls went to California. Eight days from now, we'll see that
total trimmed to 40.
– “The Middle,” 8 p.m., ABC.
After lots of reruns, ABC has all-new Wednesday shows. Here, Sue has
a class project to prove smiles are contagious. Her parents can't
smile; Axl may not get a scholarship.
– “Everything is Illuminated”
(2005), 8 and 10 p.m., Sundance. A quiet American heads to the
Ukraine, to dig into his family's past. Liev Schreiber adapted the
novel and directed, giving it a neatly offbeat look; Elijah Wood gave
the lead character a stylized feel that's calm, bloodless and
– “Charlie Wilson's War” (2007),
8-10 p.m., IFC. Now for a more-mainstream film, with Tom Hanks as a
real-life congressman. There's great work from director Mike Nichols
and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin.
– “The Neighbors”, 8:30 p.m.,
ABC. Debbie finds that she can't talk to her daughter about romance.
Unfortunately, she can offer romantic advice (ineptly) to the
neighbor boy who is from outer space.
– “Modern Family,” 9 p.m., ABC.
Competition can be nasty, we find. Phil has just been taught by his
dad to golf; now they're facing Pepper (Nathan Lane) and Mitchell.
Meanwhile, Manny is intent on getting the lead in Cam's school
production of “Phantom of the Opera.”
– “Nashville,” 10 p.m., ABC.
Juliette's pop-princess persona – a star in short-shorts, singing a
zesty song amid dancers and glitter – soars early in this hour.
Then she says she's thinking of a change. “There's thinkin' about
something and there's just doin' it,” Deacon tells her. What
follows provides the high point in an erratic-but-interesting hour
that's also stuffed with an excess of soap-style twists.