TODAY’S MUST-SEE: Basketball, all day, CBS and cable.
This time, there’s no pause for news or talk shows. CBS
gives us four straight NCAA tournament games; two cable networks add two
The CBS games are at noon ET and about 2:30 p.m., then 5 and
about 7:30; TNT is 6 p.m. and about 8:30, TBS is 7 and about 9:30. There are
eight more games Sunday, leaving us with the sweet 16.
TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE: “The Muppets” (2011), 8-10 p.m., Disney.
On the day after “Muppets Most Wanted” opens in theaters,
Disney reruns the previous gem.
Jason Segel co-wrote and starred in it, with Amy Adams –
light years away from her “American Hustle” role – as his sweet his girlfriend.
Bret McKenzie (from the Flight of the Conchords duo) wrote “Man or Muppet,”
which won an Oscar, and other witty songs that were nominated for other awards.
The result is a family film in the true sense – witty enough for parents to
watch with their kids.
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE: “Da Vinci’s Demons” season-opener, 9
p.m., Starz; reruns at 10 and 11.
Last season ended with Florence in crisis. A mob was
storming the palace; Lorenzo de Medici was gravely wounded. Only Leonardo da
Vinci – master of medicine, weaponry, art and love – can save him.
His idea is both gruesome and compelling. Meanwhile, his
friends try to follow the plan to catch a ship to South America; Lucretia
Donati – mistress to da Vinci and de Medici, spy for Rome – is also entwined.
Yes, much of this is iffy historically. Still, it’s smartly
written and superbly filmed. A year ago, this da Vinci was just another TV
playboy; now he bears the future of the Renaissance.
Other choices include:
More family films, cable. Two more films are witty enough
for grown-ups or kids. .“Shrek” (2001), 7 p.m. on the Cartoon Network, is an
animated delight. “The Pink Panther” (1963), 8 p.m. on Turner Classic Movies,
isn’t a cartoon (except for the delightful opening credits), but has brilliant
“Marvel Studios: Assembling a Universe,” 8 p.m., ABC. Here’s
a quick rerun of Tuesday’s special, a blatant ad for Marvel. We would object to
all this hype, except that most of it is actually true.
“Ripper Street,” 9-10:15 p.m., BBC America. The murder of a
newspaper boy exposes a larger scheme.
“Crisis,” 10 p.m., NBC. On the eve of the second episode,
here’s another chance to see the opener, with an elaborate kidnapping plot. The
result is more ambitious than CBS’ failed “Hostages” but has the same problems
with strained credibility and a story that’s likely to be stretched out for too
“Ghetto Klown,” 10 p.m., HBO. The notion of a crying clown,
wracked by pain, is a cliché, we’re told; plenty of comedians (from Bill Cosby
to Jerry Seinfeld) have had joy and balance. Still, John Leguizamo seems to
live the cliché. Hugely talented and successful, he finds personal agony that
he puts in his one-man shows. Here, he describes rage toward his parents, two
wives, some co-workers, his best friend and, especially, himself. It’s a
painful journey, spiced with Leguizamo’s knack for humor and warmth.
“Saturday Night Live,” 11:29 p.m., NBC. Jonah Hill hosts
this rerun, with music from Bastille.