TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “Who Do You Think
You Are?” 8 p.m., NBC.
Gwyneth Paltrow has a great
show-business background. Her mom (actress Blythe Danner) has a Tony
award and two Emmys. Her late dad (Bruce Paltrow) was a
writer-director-producer known for “St. Elsewhere” and “White
Shadow”; he was a mentor, molding TV's first generation of black
Now she learns more about their
background. She learns about her dad's father and struggling
grandmother; she also learns that her mother's family had strong ties
TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE: “Harry Potter
and the Sorcerer's Stone” (2001), 8-11 p.m., ABC.
Now that roughly 12 zillion people have
seen the eighth and final Harry Potter movie, they might enjoy going
back to the start. ABC has scheduled the first four films on
Daniel Radcliffe turns 22 today; Rupert
Grint is 22, Emma Watson 21. Here, we see them as pre-teens.
Directed with a light touch by Chris
Columbus, this film starts wonderfully as a perplexed Harry is zoomed
away to wizards' school. It ends limply, but has fine moments and a
masterful supporting cast.
TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: “Magic Beyond
Words: The J.K. Rowling Story,” 9-11 p.m., Lifetime.
If you've already seen Harry Potter
plenty of times, you might want to meet his creator.
Poppy Montgomery (“Without a Trace”)
plays Rowling – a small-town British kid who got a strong
education, but then found herself divorced and raising a baby on
welfare. It was during that time that she finished the first Harry
Potter novel and started heading to mega-millionaire status.
Other choices include:
– “Transformers” (2007, Cartoon
Network) or “Iron Man” (2008, FX), 6-9 p.m. You can start prime
time early, with these films, which found humor amid slam-bang
action. Shia LaBeouf plays a teen whose car transforms into a hero
robot; Robert Downey Jr. plays the creator of the Iron Man machine.
– “Front of the Class” (2008),
6:55 to 9 p.m., Hallmark. In real life, Brad Cohen became a top
teacher despite Tourette's syndrome. That's told beautifully here,
with great work from Jimmy Wolk.
– “NCIS: Los Angeles,” 8 p.m.,
CBS. In a rerun, an NCIS agent has disappeared while undercover.
Working with a Los Angeles cops, the team proves human-trafficking,
money-laundering and drugs.
– “Pirates of the Caribbean: The
Curse of the Black Pearl,” 8-11 p.m., ABC Family. Here's another
film that found humor among the action. The final battles drag on too
long, but Johnny Depp brings great fun to the earlier scenes.
– “NCIS,” 9 p.m., CBS. After a
bomb tech is attacked in this rerun, her guarded personal life is
– “Law & Order: Criminal
Intent,” 9 p.m., NBC. In a rerun, a philanthropist is missing. His
body has been switched with one of the cadavers in the
medical-research facility he was funding.
– “Outcasts,” 9 p.m., BBC
America. After disappearing from the fortress city, a woman returns
and is acting strangely. Tate and Stella try to figure out what
– “Law & Order: Special Victims
Unit,” 10 p.m., NBC. This rerun has Rose McGowan as a popular
figure at a swingers' club. After a stabbing, Benson and Stabler
visit the club undercover.
– “Saturday Night Live,” 11:29
p.m., NBC. Amy Poehler hosts this rerun, with music by Katy Perry.