“Modern Family,” 9 p.m., ABC.
Now for something
thoroughly original and partially hilarious – an episode that
focuses only on Claire's computer screen. The first moments are
unclear and there are times when the images are too small to grasp on
a smaller TV; stick with it, though, because this builds wonderfully.
Claire is at the
airport and Phil is watching the kids ... except he's really only
watching his new video game. Suddenly, discoveries cascade as images
leap onscreen; some moments are truly brilliant.
II: “Survivor” opener, 8-9:30 p.m., CBS.
For its 30th
edition, “Survivor has hatched a new way to split its tribes. This
one is by job type.
tribe might be hardy; it has an oil-driller, a cop, a rodeo rider and
a contractor, plus, oddly, a hairdresser and a postal worker. The
white-collar one might be more cunning; it has corporate types,
marketing/media people, a buyer and a former talent-agent assistant.
Then there's the “no-collar” tribe, ranging from a hearing
advocate (partially overcoming deafness with cochlear implants) to a
sailing instructor. a coconut vendor and an aspiring actor who had a
popular YouTube moment.
ALTERATIVE: “The Amazing Race,” 9:30-11 p.m., CBS.
Here's the ultimate
blind date: Strangers meet, then start a race across five continents
and 35,000 miles. That happens to five duos here; two lawyers are
paired, a doctor is with a nurse, etc.
There are also six
couples who were already dating. Some are fairly new -- bronze-medal
Olympians Aly Dudek (speed skating) and Steve Langton (bobsledding)
have been together seven months – and some not. Jonathan Knight
(of New Kids on the Block) and Harley Rodriguez have been together
seven years; two others (ages 26 and 25) have dated 10 years. After
tonight, the race goes to Fridays.
FX) or “21 Jump Street” (2012, FXX), both 7:30 p.m. Here are
dandy films, in opposite ways. “Jump Street” is a
loose-but-clever variation on the TV show about cops going undercover
in high school. “Argo” is Ben Affleck's superb Oscar-winner about
a real-life rescue scheme.
8 p.m., Fox. In a packed hour, the top 12 men – ranging in age from
15 to 29 -- will sing and viewers will have their first vote of the
season. On Thursday, the women have their turn.
p.m., PBS (check local listings). When it comes to helicopter
parenting, nothing matches the orangutan. A mom only has a baby every
eight of nine years, then obsesses on it. In Sumatra, however, young
orangutans have been orphaned by logging or the pet trade. In this
alternatey disturbing and uplifting film, they're taught wilderness
skills, then taken to a reserve.
Laura,” 8 p.m., NBC. It's a “Will & Grace” reunion, when
Eric McCormack guests on Debra Messing's show. He plays her former
fiance ... who's also the prime suspect in a murder.
“The Middle,” 8
p.m., ABC. Brick became a teen-ager three months ago. Alas, his mom
has finally realized that no one remembered his birthday.
8:30 p.m., ABC. Barry wants to have an epic day, in the tradition of
the movie “Ferris Bueller's Day Off.” It soon goes badly ... and
his brother and grandfather only make it worse.
p.m., Fox. This seems logical – a “legacy album,” featuring
recording mogul Lucious and two sons who are emerging stars. But the
sons are feuding, their brother is scheming and their mom (Taraji
Henson) is ready for a collision with Camilla (Naomi Campbell).
p.m., ABC. Rayna has finally had enough of Jeff Fordham, the scheming
record mogul. She reveals his indiscretions, setting off a chain of