TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “Locked Up
Abroad” season-opener, 10 p.m., National Geographic.
Life was sunny for Billy Hayes in his
youth, he says. In the 1960s, sex and drugs were easy for him to
find; so, at first, was money. He made three trips to Istanbul, a
city he loved; each time, he smuggled back enough drugs to make a big
The fourth try came shortly after a
hijacking crisis. Hayes was searched, arrested, sentenced to more
than four years in a brutal prison. When his time was almost up, that
grew into a life sentence.
What followed was his daring escape
from a prison island, on a stolen dinghy in the midst of a storm.
Hayes has told part of that story in
his book and the movie “Midnight Express,” but withheld details –
including his previous smuggling. Now here's the full story, taut and
TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE: “How I Met Your
Mother,” 8 p.m., CBS.
Ted seems tickled that his old college
girlfriend Karen has moved to New York.
That's when his friends finally tell
him the truth: Karen (played by Laura Prepon of “That '70s Show”)
is a terrible person and they've all hated her. In the show's style,
there are great flashbacks.
TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: “True Blood,”
8-11:05 p.m., HBO.
This show is taking a 4th-of-July
vacation, with no new episodes. It's a good week to catch up on the
season's first three new episodes, which air today and again at 9
Bill (the good vampire) has been
kidnapped and Sookie is desperate to find him. Her brother Jason
killed Eggs (leaving Tara distraught), but Andy the deputy sheriff is
taking the blame. Also, Sam seeks his shake-shifting kin and Jessica,
the ditzy teen vampire, has a body to dispose of.
This would all be silly, except that
it's written, filmed and acted with intelligence and subtlety.
Other choices include:
– “So You Think You Can Dance,”
8-10 p.m., Fox. Viewers have quickly dumped women into the bottom
three, where judges dropped them from the show. Cristina Santana was
ousted last week, Alexie Agdeppa the week before, with Melinda
Sullivan in the bottom three both times. Now – with only three
women and six men – a new round begins.
– “The Middle,” 8 and 8:30 p.m.,
ABC. The first rerun sees a futile attempt to have the kids quit
fighting with each other. In the second, Frankie (played by the
5-foot-2 Patricia Heaton) is intimidated by a nasty neighbor,
zestfully played by the 6-foot Brooke Shields.
– “Best in Show” (2000), 8-10
p.m., TV Guide Network. This quietly clever film pretends to be a
documentary about a dog show. Christopher Guest directed it, using
actors with improvisational skill.
– “Dave” (1993), 9-11 p.m.,
Lifetime. An ordinary chap (Kevin Kline) must pretend to be the
gravely ill president whom he resembles. The resulting comedy is
clever and well-made.
– “Modern Family,” 9 p.m., ABC.
In last week's rerun, all the family members converged on Hawaii.
Tonight, complications keep getting in the way of their fun.
– “Castle,” 10:01 p.m., ABC. The
final two episodes of “Happy Town” remain in limbo. Instead, we
get this rerun, as Castle frets that Beckett is attracted to the
homicide detective they're working with.