TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “Beyond the
Blackboard,” 9-11 p.m., CBS.
For the third time, “Hallmark Hall of
Fame” has a superb story of a real-life teacher.
Like the previous ones – “Front of
the Class,” “The Water is Wide” – we meet a young person in a
nearly impossible situation. In this case, Emily VanCamp (“Brothers
& Sisters”) is excellent as a newcomer in a tattered classroom
for migrant kids. Emmy-winner Jeff Bleckner directed beautifully.
TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE II: “Masterpiece
Classic,” 9 p.m., PBS (check local listings).
In the finale (for now) of this
“Upstairs Downstairs” sequel, it's 1936. Agnes (the superb Keeley
Hawes) is pregnant; her shallow sister and the chauffeur are drawn to
Sir Hallam Holland (Ed Stoppard),
Agnes' husband, loses his cool exterior as he raises a Jewish orphan
and finds a secret in his family. Some of this is rushed and
melodramatic, but most is beautifully done.
TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: Royal
Diana Spencer grew up with a photo of
Prince Charles on her wall, we're told in “The Women Who Would Be
Queen” (8 and 11 p.m. on CNN); Kate Middleton grew up with a photo
of Prince William. Still, these country kids were opposites; Soledad
O'Brien skillfully explores the differences.
Earlier, “Charles and Di” (7-9
p.m., TLC) is a barebones special that simply replays the 1981
wedding, plus some news footage and pop-up facts. At 9, some viewers
will stick with TLC for two more specials; others will switch to
Lifetime for a rerun of its so-so “William & Kate” movie.
And BBC America? At 2 p.m., “Prince
William's Africa” is inept, but conveys the prince's passion for
the continent. From 6-8 p.m., it reruns Cat Deeley's
lightweight-but-fun tour, “Royally Mad.”
Other choices include:
– “Simpsons” marathon, 7-10 p.m.,
Fox. It's an all-Simpsons night, which is all-good. First are reruns
of two series episodes – Bart adopts a pigeon, Cheech and Chong
split. Then comes the enjoyable “Simpsons Movie” (2007) at 8,
with the entire town encased by a dome.
– “Human Planet,” 8 and 9 p.m.,
Discovery. This gorgeous series concludes with desert-dwellers and
then “Life at the Extremes,” ranging from an Indonesian tree
house to a Mongolian eagle-trainer.
– “Desperate Housewives,” 9 p.m.,
ABC. Husbands are in a disapproving mood tonight. Carlos wants
Gabrielle to snub Bree; Mike wants Susan to avoid Paul Young.
– “Game of Thrones,” 9 p.m., HBO.
After last week's so-so start, this miniseries adds depth to the
family of Ned and Catelyn. Their son was pushed over a cliff, after
seeing a tryst; their daughters – Sansa and the bold Arya –
travel with their dad (becoming the king's top man) and protective
– “Treme,” 10 p.m., HBO. This
superb mini-series starts its second season with more great music –
especially from violinist-turned-actress Lucia Micarelli – and deep
drama. Delmond and Janette are separately in New York, as a trumpeter
and chef. Back home in New Orleans, Sofia has her late father's rage.
Crime and schemes grow; David Morse and Jon Seda become regulars, as
a cop and a developer.
– “The Killing,” 10 p. m., AMC.
In another strong episode, police find a major suspect.
– “Brothers & Sisters,” 10:01
p.m., ABC. Nora agonizes over her broken romance; her son Kevin
agonizes over custody of his surrogate baby. Also, Justin discovers a
secret about a sibling's birth.