TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “Dancing With the
Stars” opener, 8-10 p.m., ABC.
Don't expect the sky-high ratings of
recent editions. This one lacks the polarizing contestants; there's
no Kate Gosselin, Bristol Palin or The Situation, no elderly
astronaut or actress.
Instead, there's a collection of
moderately interestng people – three top athletes (Sugar Ray
Leonard, Chris Jericho, Hines Ward), a young actress (Chelsea Kane)
and rapper (Romeo), plus more actors (Kirstie Alley, Ralph Macchio),
a Playmate, a radio guy, talkshow host Wendy Williams and Petra
Nemcova, who is a supermodel and activist who barely survived the
TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE II: “Castle,”
10:01 p.m., ABC.
The previous two new episodes were
dead-serious, with the city in peril. Now comes breezy fun.
There's been a murder at the soap opera
where Rick Castle's mom (Susan Sullivan) once worked. This hour mocks
soap excesses, but also finds a squad room filled with closet fans.
And the actors know the turf. Nathan
Fillion, who stars, did three years on “One Life to Live”;
Sullivan did four on “Another World.” Guest stars include Rebecca
Budig and Cameron Mathison – who remain on “All My Children”
after a dozen years – and Corbin Bernsen. He did a year on “Ryan's
Hope” … and his mom (Jeanne Cooper) is in her 38th
year at “The Young and the Restless.”
TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: “Triangle:
Remembering the Fire,” 9 p.m., HBO.
It was near quitting time on a spring
Saturday in 1911, when a fire ripped through a New York building. In
the confusion, no one alerted the 300 workers – mostly women and
girls – on the ninth floor.
One exit door was locked, another led
to a narrow stairway. The elevator operator kept returning for more
people, but within 18 minutes, 146 had died.
The result spurred the union movement,
work standards and an end to a leave-businesses-alone attitude. This
40-minute film (airing four days before the 100th
anniversary) lacks the detail of the one aired on “American
Experience,” but packs emotional power. It includes descendants of
the victims, the survivors, one of the owners and Al Smith, who
transformed from machine politician to reformer.
Other choices include:
– “House,” 8 p.m., Fox. Last
week's terrific episode found Dr. House at his lowest, after Cuddy
broke up with him. That story continues tonight, while the team tries
to save a nameless, homeless man.
– “How I Met Your Mother,” 8
p.m., CBS. Barney finally meets his father, played by John Lithgow.
– “Mad Love,” 8:30 p.m., CBS.
Kate turns spy, using security cameras when Ben works late with his
former girlfriend (Rachel Boston of “American Dreams”).
– “Two and a Half Men,” 9 p.m.,
CBS. In a funny rerun, Berta takes a few days off and Charlie
promptly falls for her replacement (Tonita Castro).
– “The Chicago Code,” 9 p.m.,
Fox. The investigation of a drug boss gets complicated when his child
is kidnapped and an FBI official (Adam Arkin) intervenes. Also, Liam
fidgets in his undercover duty.
– “Harry's Law,” 10 p.m., NBC.
Jai Rodriguez (“Queer Eye”) plays a transgendered performer who
was fired after the bar-owner's wife learned of their affair. Also,
Richard Kind plays Bates' former boyfriend, who wants help on a shaky