“Empire,” 9 p.m., Fox.
Early in this hour,
Cookie explains that all she wants is “a nice, happy birthday
dinner – no drama.” Who thinks that will happen? The Lyon family
drips with drama; it's over-the-top, but fascinating.
Last week, her
ex-husband Lucious and their son Hakeem had separate schemes: Soon,
Camilla had killed her lover and herself; the Lyons had their record
company back. This hour ends with its own set of shockwaves,
skillfully handled by by Paris Barclay, one of TV's best directors.
We learn about Lucious' agonized boyhood and more; it's a
drama-drenched soap, with a beat you can dance to.
“Nature,” 8 p.m., PBS (check local listings).
We're used to the
lethal version – big cats raiding African villages to kill the
livestock, villagers retaliating with hunting parties, both sides
adding to the body count. In India, however, it's different.
Despite problems as
the number of lions (now about 500) grows, forces co-exist
peacefully. The lions chase smaller animals that destroyed crops, but
usually ignore the rest; there's interesting footage of people
casually strolling near deadly creatures. When a lion does kill a
cow, that's shrugged off; when one kills a man, it's set free. It had
been surprised by the man and was nice enough to resist eating him.
ALTERNATIVE: “The Americans,” 10 p.m., FX.
The perilous lives
of Philip and Elizabeth (Russian spies, embedded in 1980s America)
hit a new low last week. A virus leak almost killed their handler and
left them quarantined. Their disappearance raised new questions for
their daughter and for their neighbor, the FBI agent.
It also brought
doubts from Martha about her husband “Clark” ... who's really
Philip in disguise. Now those complications are pressing together.
It's a solid episode that reminds us to resist being spies.
p.m., CBS. Last week, the merged tribe ousted Nick Maiorano, a
personal trainer originally in the “Beauty” tribe. Remaining are
three people apiece from “Brains,” “Brawn” and “Beauty.”
Tonight, CBS says, a separation in tribes leads to a sabotage.
“The Voice,” 8
p.m., NBC. Over the past two nights, viewers have heard each judge's
five surviving singers. Tonight, judges learn which two finished at
the top ... then save one of the other three.
9-11 p.m., NBC. Other shows have been about losing weight, but this
time that's just a slice of it. The 10 women will be paired with 10
male trainers, to work on strength, attitude and more. The show
promptly moves to 8 p.m. Thursdays, with one person ousted each
9 p.m., ABC. Claire tries to hide a stray dog from Phil; Gloria
resists Jay's insistance that he wants no new friends. Also, Cam
rents the upstairs to a Christian rock band.
“Face Off,” 9
p.m., Syfy, rerunning at 11. Last week's episode (rerunning at 8
p.m.) started the final round, with two young Californians (Rob Seal,
20, and Walter Welsh, 26) and Melissa Ebbe, 36, of Milwaukee. Given
two teammakes apiece, they started creating make-up for two
characters in a short horror film. Tonight, they finish the film and
learn who won.
“Rogue,” 9 p.m.,
Audience Network (via DirecTV and AT&T). A brilliant Emmy-winner
as a good-guy schemer in “West Wing,” Richard Schiff is just as
great as bad-guy schemer Marty Stein. He struggled with (and
accidentally killed) Talia, half-sister of his gangster client
Marlon. Tonight, a DEA agent (sharply played by Sarah Carter) goes
after him fiercely. Meanwhile, Ethan and Mia try to learn about the
hitman he killed; it's a powerhouse episode that manages to throw
everyone into disarray.
p.m., ABC. The Triple Exes (Gunnar, Scarlett and Avery) are on the
road with Autumn Chase, played by Alicia Witt. At home, Deacon
distrusts Cash's interest in his step-daughter Maddie.