TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “Smash”
season-opener, 9-11 p.m.,NBC.
The first season had brilliant musical
numbers, a great cast and soapy excess. Now a makeover begins.
As “Bombshell” – the musical
about Marilyn Monroe – seeks a Broadway spot, we meet distractions.
There's a star (played by Jennifer Hudson) and a cocky young
singer-composer (Jeremy Jordan).
Jordan's portions are fairly strong;
Hudson's are superb. It's a good (but not great) new beginning.
TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE II: “New Girl,”
9 p.m., Fox.
Jess is clearly disturbed that Nick,
one of her roommates, suddenly kissed her. It meant nothing, she says
– although, she grants, “I saw through space and time for a
moment” – but it was all wrong.
She's dating a handsome guy, the sort
who fixes things; Nick mostly breaks things. Now she fumes … while
Schmidt crash Cece's Indian-American dating event. The result is, at
times, extremely funny.
TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE: “Vegas,” 10
For Vince Savino (Michael Chiklis), the
scheme to get rid of Mob boss Rizzo has worked. He triggered a
confrontation with Deputy Sheriff Jack Lamb, who killed Rizzo.
Now Lamb hesitates: Should he tell the
truth to his brother, the sheriff? Should he tell his lover, Mia
Rizzo, that he has killed her father. That plays alongside two more
plots, in a strong episode.
TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: “American
Experience,” 9-10:30 p.m., PBS (check local listings).
Long before the Apple-Google-Facebook
days. Northern California was already the gathering point for young
genius. At the core of that was Robert Noyce, a preacher's son from
At 29, Noyce and seven colleagues left
Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory and created their own unit, working
with Fairchild. They created the integrated circuit and, a dozen
years later, started Intel – launching the microprocessor and the
roots of a $100-billion industry. It's a great story.
Other choices include:
– “The Taste, 8 p.m., ABC. The
competition portion begins, with a comfort-food theme. Each judge has
a four-person team; with blind tastings, a judge could end up dumping
on someone from his team.
– “Raising Hope,” 8-9 p.m., Fox.
Before becoming a favorite of critics with “My Name is Earl” and
“Raising Hope,” writer-producer Greg Garcia did “Yes, Dear.”
Now two of that show's stars (Mike O'Malley and Liza Snyder) guest in
tonight's second episode, playing people who come across an
incriminating video from Burt and Virginia. In the first episode,
Hope is on her favorite TV show.
– “Pioneers of Television,” 8
p.m., PBS (check local listings). In a way, the 1977 “Roots” and
1983 “Thorn Birds” were opposites – one a steeply important
account of U.S. history, the other a frilly tale of forbidden love.
Both, however, had rich production values and giant ratings. This
hour – diligent in its details, so-so in its execution – features
them while viewing TV's mini-series era.
– “The Bachelor,” 9-11 p.m., ABC.
This second “Bachelor” night is a one-shot move. ABC is waiting
until after next week's State of the Union speech, before revamping
Tuesday with “Body of Proof.”
– “NCIS: Los Angeles,” 9 p..m.,
CBS. The entire team is undercover, posing as a tactical force.
– “Justified,” 10 p.m., FX. The
search for Drew Thompson – the fugitive who was once presumed to be
dead – takes Raylan to Kentucky's hill country, where things turn