TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: Football
season-opener celebration and game, 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC.
First comes the party. As home of the
Super Bowl champions, Green Bay, Wis. – the smallest NFL city –
gets to host the celebration, with music by Lady Antebellum, Kid Rock
and Maroon 5.
Then the battles begin, with two strong
teams. The New Orleans Saints (the previous year's champs) have added
former Heisman Trophy-winning running back Mark Ingram to an offense
led by quarterback Drew Brees; the Packers have returned running back
Ryan Grant and tight end Jermichael Finley (both injured last season)
to Aaron Rodgers'offense.
TONIGHT'S SHOULD-SEE: Presidential
speech and Republican esponse, 7 p.m. ET.
Here's a crucial speech – albeit at
an unusual time. It's been nudged around the schedule, avoiding
collision with a Republican debate and then with the pro-football
Still, this is an important moment.
Fresh from a report that showed zero job growth, President Obama will
propose job-making projects dealing schools, highways, bridges and
more. Republicans will reply that this is the wrong time to spend
TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: “Futurama”
season finale, 10 p.m., Comedy Central.
The great thing about animation shows –
clever ones, anyway – is their ability to veer in odd directions.
That happens three times tonight, when the regular stories are
stuffed into different formats.
First is an old-style one – in
black-and-white, no less. Then the early days of videogames, with
blocky characters built from rectangles. And then a Japanese-style
adventure, with stiffly heroic dialog. Each brings a clever style, in
an episode surrounded by reruns at 9, 9:30 and 10:30 p.m.
Other choice include:
– “The Big Bang Theory,” 8 p.m.,
CBS. In a rerun, Raj tries to cure is inability to talk to women.
– “2011 Fall Preview Special,”
8:30 p.m., CBS. With the new season just 11 days a way, CBS previews
its new shows. It's a typical year for the network – few holes to
fill, only five new shows, most of them in the middle-ground. The
best is a sparkling comedy (“2 Broke Girls”); the most unique is
“Person of Interest,” a crime show with a “Lost” feel. The
others are …. well, generally adequate, CBS-style.
– “Rookie Blue,” 9 and 10 p.m.,
ABC. In a change, ABC is putting two episodes together, wrapping up
the season for this solid show (which will be back next summer). In
the first, Gail's uniform has been stolen and a criminal is
impersonating a cop. Also, Andy (Missy Peregrym) and Sam can't stay
apart – even though he's working undercover. That leads to a crisis
that peaks in the second hour.
– “Big Brother,” 9 p.m., CBS.
Last week, Shelly Moore, 41, the outdoor-industry executive, was
evicted. That leaves only five people; tonight – a week before the
finale – one more will be gone
– “Most Valuable Players” (2010),
9-11, Oprah Winfrey Network. In Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley, high
school musicals are big; there's even an award show (televised live),
picking the best among several schools. This upbeat documentary
follows three schools – two tackling “Les Miserables.”
– “The Mentalist,” 10 p.m., CBS.
When Patrick Jane is kidnapped, colleagues sift through his past
cases. Their conclusion: There are way too many suspects.
– “Wilfred” and “Louie,” 10
and 10:30 p.m., FX. Two neatly offbeat comedies wrap up their
seasons. First, Ryan finally dares to resist the advice of Wilfred;
then Louie has an airport misadventure.
– “Suits,” 10 p.m., USA. Here's
another season finale, albeit of a flawed show that sometimes turns
its cynicism into a monotone. Tonight, the super-cynical Harvey
finally tries to do the right thing, freeing a man he once helped
convict. The resolution is so-so, but the final moments could shake