“American Crime,” 10 p.m., ABC.
Last week's episode
was one of the best anywhere this season. A bullied teen took a gun
to school to confront the administrator; she wasn't there, but on the
way out he shot a jock who grabbed him.
This hour is even
better, as we catch the aftermath. There are brief snippets from
real-life people -- teachers from Columbine, kids who were bullied,
the mom of a bullied kid. Alongside that, the story offers quiet
depth and superb performances by Connor Jessup (as the shooter), Lili
Taylor (his mom) and Timothy Hutton and Felicity Huffman (the coach
and the administrator).
II: “American Idol,” Fox.
Viewers finally get
their first votes of the season, as the show nears its top 10.
Last week, judges
trimmed from 24 singers to 14. Now they start by announcing eight who
are already advancing. That leaves six people, pushing for two spots.
Tonight, they sing and viewers vote; on Thursday, we'll have the 10
survivors ... who will promptly sing for another viewer vote.
ALTERNATIVE: “Nature,” 8 p.m., PBS (check local listings).
Penguins all seem to
look the same – which is a mixed blessing. It's bad for the baby in
one touching scene; as he tries to find his mom, he keeps guessing
wrong and being rejected.
But for filmmakers,
that sameness was a blessing. They could film an entire Antarctica
colony and imagine that all the key events happened to one baby
(dubbed Snow Chick) and his parents. Narrated by Kate Winslet, the
result finds charm, humor and even warmth amid sub-zero conditions.
ALTERNATIVE II: “The Human Face of Big Data,” 10 p.m., PBS (check
As masses of data
are scooped up, life in the U.S. is altered. A hospital is quicker to
detect a baby's infection; experts – charting search-engine results
– are quicker to predict a region's flu outbreak.
And this trend
doesn't just involve over-connected Americans. Mobile-phone data has
helped track malaria in Kenya and earthquake victims in Haiti. There
are fascinating stories here ... once this hour gets around to them.
Slickly produced, it spends too much time on interesting (but vague)
(2015), 6:40 p.m., HBO. Action fans have this film, plus “Man of
Steel” (2013) at 7 p.m. on FXX and Brad Pitt plus zombies in “World
War Z” (2013), at 8 on FX. Also at 8 p.m.: the dandy “Ghostbusters”
(1984) on IFC and the Oscar-nominated “Imitation Game” (2014) on
p.m., CBS. The first time this tried a “brain-brawn-beauty”
competition, the “brawn” team dominated. It didn't lose anyone
until the fifth week and had the final two. In last week's opener,
however, Darnell Hamilton, a Chicago postal worker on “brawn,”
became the first person ousted.
“The Middle,” 8
p.m., ABC. After attending a Bar Mitzvah, Brick starts wondering when
he'll become a man. Meanwhile, his sister is trying to learn to flirt
and his brother is living in a Winnebago.
8:30 p.m. ET, Fuse. The British version of the Grammys has Adele up
for best album, single (“Hello”) and female artist ... where she
faces the late Amy Winehouse, among others. Adele performs, as do
Rihanna, Coldplay, Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, James Bay, Jess Glynne
and Little Mix.
9 p.m., ABC. As a storm plunges the area into a blackout, everyone
converges on the one house with a generator. That's Jay's, but he
wants to be out with his friends.
9 p.m., Fox. For eight editions, Andi Van Willigan was a sous chef on
the show. She's back tonight, as contestants prepare a meal for her
wedding receoption. Van Willigan has been the corporate chef for
Gordon Ramsay's company and a consultant on his “Kitchen
Jionni's Shore Flip,” 9 p.m., FYI. Nicole Polizzi – known as
Snooki in her wild “Jersey Shore” days – is all grown up now.
Well, she's still 4-foot-8, but now she's 28, married, with two kids;
here, she and her husband (Jionni LaValle) try buying, fixing and
selling a Jersey Shore house.