“Undateable,” 8 p.m., NBC.
In an era of slick
editing and effects, it's fun to catch NBC's passion for live shows –
“Saturday Night Live,” key “Voice” episodes, the so-so “Best
Time Ever” and the annual musicals, with “The Wiz” coming Dec.
3. And tonight happens to be especially lively.
“Undateable,” a comedy set in a bar; like “SNL,” it's ragged
and erratic, but fun. Then switch to PBS at 9 p.m. for “Live at
Lincoln Center.” This edition (see next item) isn't really live –
despite the title – but is live on tape, which is close; it reminds
us of the joy and difficulty of live theater.
II: “Live From Lincoln Center,” 9-11:30 p.m., PBS.
Back in 1930, George
Kaufman had already written 20 Broadway shows, including Marx
Brothers classics and “The Front Page”; Moss Hart, 25, had
written one show, which quickly died out-of-town.
impoverished, visited Kaufman's penthouse; a Pulitzer-winning
partnership was starting. That was recounted in Hart's “Act One”
memoir, which was adapted for the stage by James Lapine. It bogs down
a bit in the second half, but is beautifully staged. Tony Shalhoub
and Andrea Martin skillfully juggle multiple roles, while Santino
Fontana captures the appealing idealism of youth and theater.
ALTERNATIVE: “Breakthrough,” 4 and 8 p.m. and 1 a.m., National
documentary series is Geographic at its best – top people making
perrsonal films about big subjects. Before the third hour – movie
director Brett Ratner looks at brain research, at 9 p.m. Sunday –
here are reruns of the first two.
At 4 p.m., Peter
Berg views efforts to stop pandemics; that includes a moving account
by an Ebola survivor. At 8 p.m. and 1 a.m., ambitious, Paul Giamatti
sees how robotics have gone from sci-fi silliness to real life. In an
intriguing segment, a paraplegic uses his brain to move his bionic
David,” anytime, Netflix. Two decades ago, Bob Odenkirk and David
Cross created brilliant sketch comedy in HBO's “Mr. Show.” They
went on to separate fame with “Better Call Saul” and “Arrested
Development,” respectively, but now they've linked for fresh
Junior,” 8 p.m., Fox. Last year, at 12, Logan Guleff became the
show's second champion. Now he's back to give advice. Also,
contestants create cupcake frosting and a scallop dish.
Standing,” 8 p.m., ABC. It's not always easy for sisters to work
together. Kristin asks Mandy to design the restaurant uniforms ...
then balks at Mandy's creative process. Meanwhile, their sister Eve
wants her annoying friend Cammy to move in with the family for a
“It's a Mad, Mad,
Mad, Mad World” (1963), 8-11 p.m. ET, Turner Classic Movies. This
sprawling comedy has people chasing after missing money. It's uneven,
but a chance to re-visit some greats – Spencer Tracy, Sid Caesar,
Mickey Rooney, Edie Adams, Jonathan Winters, Jimmy Durante and more.
“Dr. Ken,” 8:31
p.m., ABC. Back in 1994, Margaret Cho starred in “All-American
Girl”; its failure, she implied later, came because ABC was hung up
on ethnic stereotypes. It would take 21 years before the network
launched another comedy with a Korean-American star (Ken Jeong).
Tonight, she guests as his sister, a more-successful doctor; when she
invites him on his talk show, his jealousy overflows.
9 p.m., CBS. Two familiar TV people have guest roles. Julie Benz
(“Dexter,” “Defiance”) plays a San Francisco cop, probing the
murder of five Chinese arms dealers. Kristoffer Polaha (“Live
Unexpected,” “Backstrom”) plays a charming con man whose
partner was killed.
10 p.m., CBS. A serial killer threatens Danny's wife Linda and their
kids. Now Linda worries about the future of Danny's job and their