TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “Rules of
Engagement” season-opener, 8 p.m., CBS.
Here's good news – a non-rerun
scripted show on primetime Saturday. It's a half-hour island amid
reruns and non-fiction, but “Rules” tends to be lightweight fun.
Last season Russell (David Spade), who
covets young women, ended up on a cruise with older ones. Now he's
back home, shell-shocked – and married to Liz, his semi-crazy
neighbor. It's a funny storyline, in a typically erratic “Rules.”
One other story (Jeff tries to talk dirty) is childish; but an
opening scene with Adam and a waitress is quite funny.
TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE II: “Harry's Law,”
8-11 p.m., NBC.
In a late change, NBC has dumped all of
its primetime plans for tonight. Instead, it reruns the three-part
season-opener, with Harriet representing a guy (Alfred Molina) who
seems terribly guilty.
The first hour is a disappointment,
with two weak secondary stories and the transformation of “Law”
into a “Boston Legal” clone. But the second develops the
prosecutor (Jean Smart) as a richly detailed villain. And the third
brings some sharp surprises in Molina's case.
TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: “Bedlam,” 9
p.m., BBC America.
This show nudges ahead slightly in its
central story – the haunted history of an old mental institution
and the family now turning it into upscale housing. It also shows
that it can deliver a story-of-the-week that begins and ends
(skillfully) in one episode.
Tonight, a new tenant arrives. Like
almost everyone on this show, she's young, attractive and wobbly.
Haunted by her conscience and her car (really), she starts to
crumble, in a well-made hour.
Other choices include:
– Sports overload, 7:30 p.m., Fox,
and 8 p.m., ABC. Starting now, two major sports collide on the
broadcast networks. Fox takes over the baseball play-offs; tonight,
the American League championships begin. ABC has football with Ohio
State at Nebraska – two traditional powerhouses, in the unfamiliar
position of having lost their conference openers.
– More football, cable. At 7 p.m., FX
has Auburn at Arkansas, ESPN has Texas A&M at Texas Tech and
ESPN2 has Georgia at Tennessee. At 7:30. Versus has Colorado at
– Mega-movies, 7:30 and 8 p.m.,
cable. ABC Family has “Titanic” (1997) at 7:30 p.m.; it's an
Oscar-winning gem, but a lengthy one – running to midnight with
commercials. HBO has “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1”
(2010) at 8.
– “2 Broke Girls,” 8:30 p.m.,
CBS. Here's a second chance to see the year's best comedy pilot.
Sharply written by Michael Patrick King and Whitney Cummings (who
also has her own show), this neatly links an acerbic waitress (Kat
Dennings) and a fallen heiress (Beth Behrs).
– “Honeymoon for One” (2011),
9-11 p.m., Hallmark. After her marriage plans implode, a sleek
executive (Nicollette Sheridan) decides to still take her
non-refundable honeymoon in Ireland. The Irish settings are terrific;
Sheridan is not, coming across as a bit stiff.
– Saturday Night Live, 11:29 p.m.,
NBC. Ben Stiller hosts the season's third episode, with music by
Foster the People.