TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “Dreamgirls”
(2006), 8-11 p.m., ABC.
At times, Hollywood shuns one of its
grandest traditions. It ignores movie musicals.
Then it remembers. On Sunday, the
Academy Awards will have a tribute to the musicals of the 2000s,
including “Chicago,” “Les Miserables” and this film, which
you can savor tonight.
The film ripples with great music,
beautifully done. There' strong work from Beyonce, Jamie Foxx, Anika
Noni Rose, Oscar-nominated Eddie Murphy and, especially,
Oscar-winning Jennifer Hudson.
TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE II: “On the
Waterfront” (1954), 8 p.m. ET, Turner Classic Movies.
Now for the exact opposite of a
colorful musical. Filmed in black-and-white, acted with intensity,
this gritty film was a best-picture Academy Award-winner and one of
the best-acted movies of all time.
Marlon Brando and Eva Marie Saint won
Oscars for actor and supporting actress. The film didn't get a
supporting-actor win, probably because so many people – Rod
Steiger, Karl Malden, Lee J.Cobb – were nominated. All lost to
Edmond O'Brien in “The Barefoot Contessa.”
TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: “Melissa &
Joan: Joan Knows Best?” 10 a.m. to 4 a.m., WE.
Amid a sea of reruns, we get the
season-opener at 9. It's an odd hour, as usual, with viewers never
really sure how real this reality show is.
Did Joan Rivers, a lifelong
heterosexual, lean toward a lesbian involvement at 79? Did Melissa
Rivers' ex-husband – half of a messy divorce case – move back in
for a few days, just as her relationship with a “pornography king”
slowed? It's tough to say, but these are entertaining people.
Other choices include:
– “Killing Lincoln,” 7 p.m.,
National Geographic; repeats at 9 p.m., 11 p.m., 1 a.m. If you missed
Sunday's debut of this well-made film, here are four new chances.
– “NCIS,” 8 p.m., CBS. Here's a
rerun of the season-opener. The teams searches for Harper Dearing
(Richard Schiff of “West Wing”), whose bomb ripped through the
– “Meddling Mom,” 8 and 10 p.m.,
Hallmark Movie Channel. Think of this as a well-meaning flub. TV
rarely focuses on Latino families; it does here, with Sonia Braga
embedding herself in her daughters' lives. The cast is gorgeous, but
most of this plays like clumsy comedy from the 1950s.
– “Chicago Fire,” 9 p.m., NBC.
There should be enough to worry about here, with a bad batch of
heroin on the streets. Beyond that, Casey has family problems,
Dawson has a secret and Severide has an old gripe with the lieutenant
who is filling in at the station.
– “Saturday Night Live,” 10 and
11:29 p.m., NBC. Both are reruns, the first with Christoph Waltz.
– “Vanity Fair's Hollywood,” 10
p.m., CBS. For generations,Vanity Fair magazine has been writing
about Hollywood. Now here's a special, on the night before the
– “Independent Spirit Awards,” 10
p.m., IFC. Forget about mega-movies. This Oscar-eve ceremony, hosted
by Andy Samberg, honors films made with “uniqueness of vision”
for under $20 million. The best-picture field, for instance, has two
Oscar nominees (“Silver Linings Playbook” and “Beasts of the
Southern Wild”) plus “Bernie,” “Keep the Lights On”and the
wonderful “Moonrise Kingdom.”