TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE: “The Tonight Show,” 11:35 p.m., NBC.
For two decades, Jay Leno has hosted “Tonight,” providing
clever monologs, OK conversations and (usually) top Nielsen ratings. Tonight,
he says farewell.
His first guest 20 years ago (Billy Crystal) will also be
his first guest tonight. Garth Brooks will also be there plus, perhaps,
surprises. Then Leno says goodbye … not voluntarily, but (we’ll guess) with
TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE II: Winter Olympics, 8 p.m. ET, NBC.
Most Americans know that any Olympics are big and flashy and
exciting; still, few care about anything beyond figure-skating and (now that
Lindsay Vonn is injured) Shaun White on a snowboard.
The solution is to add more of both. Tonight (on the eve of
the opening ceremony), the Olympics launch two new events. There’s slope-style
snowboarding and – similar to team gymnastics in the summer – team
figure-skating. It begins tonight with the short programs for individuals and
pairs, then concludes Saturday and Sunday. Also tonight is freestyle skiing,
with the women’s moguls.
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE: “Spoils of Babylon,” 7:30 to 10:30
Once a simple plaything for Will Ferrell and writer Adam
McKay, Funny or Die keeps growing. Now it has a new production facility, some
series and this mini-series.
Well, a micro-series, with six half-hours telling a soapy
tale at hyper-speed. Ferrell pretends to be author Eric Jonrosh and takes other
roles. Tim Robbins plays the patriarch, with Kristen Wiig and Tobey Maguire as
his daughter and adoptive son, who have a forbidden romance. The first five
episodes rerun tonight, leading to the 10 p.m. finale, with Winston (Haley Joel
Osment) scheming revenge.
Other choices include:
“Lincoln” (2012), 7 p.m., Showtime. A strong film night
begins with Steven Spielberg’s moving epic.
“The Big Bang Theory,” 8 p.m., CBS. Here’s an odd Valentine’s
Day double date – the married Howard and Bernadette head to wine country with
the thoroughly unconsummated Sheldon and Amy. That leaves Penny and Leonard,
who still haven’t defined their relationship.
“American Idol,” 8 p.m., Fox. After Wednesday’s “Hollywood
or Home” detour, the “Hollywood Week” round begins. A week from now, the
semi-finalists will be chosen.
More movies, 8 p.m., cable. Here are exact-opposite
classics. Disney has “The Little Mermaid” (1989), a gorgeous cartoon; Turner
Classic Movies has “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” with Richard Burton and
Virginia Woolf perfectly handling the fiercely acerbic dialog.
“Rake,” 9 p.m., Fox. Keegan (Greg Kinnear) should understand
this client: To cover her gambling debts, she told the insurance company her
son has cancer.
“Reign,” 9 p.m., CW. The focus again turns to the gifted
Megan Follows as Queen Catherine. She throws scandalous charges at Bash; he
promptly points out her own scandals
“Elementary,” 10 p.m., CBS. Holmes probes the murder of an
emerging ballet star, while Watson looks at the possible abduction of a homeless