Basketball, 9 p.m. ET, CBS, with preview at 8:30.
This is what will
grab most of tonight's viewers – the college championship game.
Preceding all this, at 8 p.m. (or following the game on the West
Coast) is a “Mike & Molly” rerun in which Mike is convinced
he must withhold sex, so Molly can finish her sexy book; it's a
fairly loud and witless episode ... which may be some programmer's
image of guys who are basketball fans.
And if you're not
interested in basketball, don't fret. By coincidence, tonight has two
of the best documentaries to emerge in a long time; we'll talk about
II: “Independent Lens,” 10 p.m., PBS (check local listings).
We're in the Bible
belt of East Texas – not the cliche, hate-filled world of fiction,
but a place of quietly decent people with hard-scrabble lives. There,
in 2010, ten churches were destroyed by arson.
The two men who were
convicted had been boyhood churchgoers; one was a former state debate
champion. (They apparently had the flip side of feeling God
intervenes directly -- a rage at the failure to intervene.) What
makes this film remarkable is the pain and warmth of others. We meet
a police dispatcher who is an arsonist's sister; we also meet their
youth pastor, now filled with despair.
ALTERNATIVE: “Sinatra: All or Nothing at All” conclusion, 8-10:15
scene appears tonight: “Old Man River” -- the lament of an
impoverished black man – is sung by a rich white guy in a tuxedo.
That should be absurd ... except that Frank Sinatra sings it
brilliantly. He flew cross-country to do a black fundraiser; Martin
Luther King wept with joy.
It was Sinatra at
his best; this film describes a generous guy who remembered his
working-class roots and fought tirelessly for equality. It also
describes someone who was petulant and tyrannical, a pain to wives
and directors. Add his Mob friendships and some great music and you
have a compelling film.
“A Place to Call
Home,” any time, www.acorn.tv.
This Australian period piece turns an overheated soap-style plot into
quality drama, thanks to skilled writers and actors. Thefirst season
is already on this streaming service. Now the 10-episode second
season will be spread over the next four Mondays.
8-10:01 p.m., NBC. A three-night round begins. Tonight and Tuesday,
the top 20 – five from each team – will perform and viewers will
vote. On Wednesday, we'll learn the two on each team whom viewers
chose; then each judge will be able to save one more.
“Dancing With the
Stars,” 8-10:01 p.m., ABC. Last week, model Charlotte McKinney
became the second person ousted; Redfoo was the first. Now survivors
choose a song from a favorite year.
Inheritance,” 9 and 9:30 p.m., Fox Business. Which would you rather
inherit, crocodiles or Barbie dolls? In the first episode, siblings
fight over a Florida croc-and-gator ranch; in the second, a New
Mexico man inherits his mother's 5,000 dolls, including 500 unopened
“Bates Motel,” 9
p.m., A&E. In a town ruled by big money, Norma Bates has felt
powerless ... until now. She has a flash drive that may have damning
evidence; but can she keep it ... and crack the password ... and use
it as leverage? It's a terrific episode, fueled by Vera Farminga's
p.m., WGN. You probably missed this season-opener during an
overstuffed hour Sunday. Here's a second chance, but beware:
Alongside stylish visuals and gifted actors (especially Janet
Montgomery as top witch Mary Sibley), there's fierce brutality and an
odd link of fact and fiction. Such people as Cotton Mather (son of a
Harvard president) were very real; the witchcraft was not.
“The Lizzie Borden
Chronicles” debut, 10:02 p.m., Lifetime. Here's another rerun from
that stuffed Sunday hour – and this is a good one. Lizzie
(Christina Ricci) has a sweet face, a comfy background ... and now a
murder acquittal. Now she and her sister face debts, suspicion and a
bad brother. This hour is well-written and beautifully filmed, with a