TV column for Tuesday, Aug. 11


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE:
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “The Last Man on Earth,” 9-10 p.m.,
Fox.

Fox's latest
reality-show disaster is good news for viewers. In its second (and
final) week, “Knock Knock Live” finished 82nd in the
Nielsen ratings. That was bad news for Fox -- which started the
season with the quick collapse of “Utopia”; it's good news for
viewers, who get reruns of better shows.

Each has a “Saturday
Night Live” alumnus, offbeat humor and honors – Golden Globes for
“Nine-Nine” and star Andy Samberg; Emmy nominations for “Last
Man” and star Will Forte. Tonight, we see one crook elude Samberg's
undercover trap; then Forte's bungle endangers the future of mankind.

TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE:
“Face Off,” 9 p.m., Syfy.

While some reality
shows crash, this has thrived. It has good contestants (aspiring
movie make-up people), a smart host (McKenzie Westmore, daughter of a
make-up master) and clever challenges.

Tonight is the 100th
episode. Contestants turn couples into zombies; then a marriage
ceremony is conducted by Westmore, who has become an ordained
minister.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: “Tyrant,” 10 p.m., FX.

Somehow, Barry has
been able to keep the ultimate secret: He's not dead, after all.

His wife and
children think he is; so does his brother Jamal, the dictator who
left him to die in the desert, after a failed coup. Now insurgents
seem more dangerous than the government; Barry scrambles to link with
Jamal's side and to tell his “widow” that he's alive and (fairly)
well.

Other choices
include:

“America's Got
Talent,” 8-10 p.m., NBC. The long audition process is finally over;
now the live rounds begin. Tonight, 12 of the 36 acts perform and
viewers vote; on Wednesday, we'll learn which seven will advance.
That process will continue for two more weeks.

“NCIS,” 8 p.m.,
CBS. In a rerun, a new murder offers a fresh clue about at bombing 40
years ago.

“Zoo,” 9 p.m.,
CBS. With Jamie (Kristen Connolly) accused of murder, the team tries
to gather evidence by hacking into a mainframe. Meanwhile, Chloe must
work with her former fiance in Paris.

“Teen Wolf”
(1985), 9-11 p.m., Pop. This goofy concept – an ordinary teen
turned all wolfy – keeps drawing good actors. Michael Landon made
“I Was a Teenage Werewolf” in 1957 ... Michael J. Fox made this
likable film ... Jason Bateman did the 1987 series ... and Tyler
Posey stars in the MTV series.

“Hollywood Game
Night,” 10:01 p.m., NBC. The fun parlor games have Jay Pharoah of
“Saturday Night Live” and director Kevin Smith, plus actors Haley
Joel Osment, Brandon T. Jackson, Elisha Cuthbert and Justin Long.

“Startup U”
debut, 10:01 p.m., ABC Family. Ten young people start a seven-week
camp run by Tim Draper, who has helped finance some top tech
creations. Draper's approach is goofy, but his students are
interesting. Tony Compasso totally flubs a one-minute pitch session;
his wife Erin Brady does fine at that – which you'd expect: She was
Miss USA in 2013.

“Another Period,”
10:30 p.m., Comedy Central. Beatrice really can't take the fact that
her true love (who is also her twin brother) is engaged to someone
else. She reverts to babyhood. Also in this neatly offbeat comedy,
set in 1902, their mom becomes addicted to morphine.

TV column for Monday, Aug. 10


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE:
“So You Think You Can Dance,” 8-10 p.m., Fox.

Now things get
serious. Instead of dropping two people, the show dumps four of the
remaining 14 dancers. Whoever survives, it will be a terrific and
varied top 10.

In each previous
week, the show has dropped one “stage” dancer and one “street”
dancer. The street side lost two breakers and a “waaker”; the
stage side has lost a ballet dancer and two from jazz or
contemporary. Tonight, viewers will save some by Twitter ... and will
see some talented people leave.

TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE:
“Bachelor in Paradise: After Paradise,” 9:01 p.m., ABC.

Other serie – from
“American Idol” to “The Walking Dead” -- have had
after-shows, talking about what just happened. Those, however, were
latenight or Online; this one is in prime time.

There should be
plenty to talk about after “Bachelor in Paradise” (8 p.m.) --
much of it centering on Tenley Molzahn. She was a divisive force
twice in 2010 – as the runner-up in “The Bachelor” and then in
the first “Bachelor Pad.” Now she's back: If you add up the
episodes Sunday and today, she has three suitors and two-mega-dates;
one of them, tonight, is poolside, backed by 100 mariachi musicians.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: Movies, cable.

The choices tonight
are strong and varied. For a popular action film, there's the
“Transformers” sequel (2011) at 8 p.m. on FX. For strong drama
mixed with taut action, Tommy Lee Jones and Harrison Ford are superb
in “The Fugitive” (1993), at 6 p.m. on AMC. And for family fun,
“Enchanted” (2007) is a smart and, yes, enchanting tale of a
cartoon princess turned flesh-and-blood human.

Then again, we could
try a new documentary, “I am Chris Farley,” at 9 p.m. on Spike.

Other choices
include:

“Chasing Shadows,”
any time, www.acorn.tv. This
launches the second of two two-part movies about a missing-persons
team. The first was terrific, this one is fairly good; after it
concludes next week, the streaming service will make all four parts
available.

“American Ninja
Warrior,” 8-10:01 p.m., NBC. The show returns to Pittsburgh, where
the top 30 contestants from the qualifying round compete for a spot
in the Las Vegas finals.

“The Odd Couple,”
8:30 p.m., CBS. In a funny rerun, Oscar (Matthew Perry) is tempted to
jump from radio to a TV show. His agent says no, Felix says yes;
oddly, he listens to Felix.

“Scorpion,” 9
p.m., CBS. This rerun finds the team working quickly: The governor's
daughter has been “bio-hacked” with a virus and only has 24 hours
to live.

“Major Crimes,”
9 p.m., TNT. Wrapping up the summer half of its season, “Crimes”
probes the murder of a judge's son. The team sifts through his cases,
searching for likely suspects.

“The Whispers,”
10:01 p.m., ABC. What can be done to stop this fierce force called
Dril? One plan is to trap it and drain its energy. But if that fails
will there be retribution?

“Running Wild with
Bear Grylls,” 10:01 p.m., NBC. From “Girlfight” and “Lost”
to the “Fast and Furious” movies, Michelle Rodriguez keeps
playing tough, daring people. Now she gets a real-life challenge –
descending dangerous slot canyons, then trying to survive on the
floor of a Nevada desert.

TV column for Sunday, Aug. 9


TONIGHT'S
MIGHT-SEE: Football, 8 p.m. ET, NBC.

Yes,
football in early August. Most teams wait until next weekend, but the
pre-season starts with the annual Hall of Fame game, in Canton, Ohio.

The
Pittsburgh Steelers -- whose former star Jerome Bettis is one of the
new Hall inductees – face the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings
finally have their own star running back, Adrian Peterson; however,
he's not expected to carry the ball in the pre-season.

TONIGHT'S
MIGHT-SEE II: “Bachelor in Paradise,” 8-10:01 p.m., ABC.

This
may be the exact opposite of football, providing a wedge to send
people to different TV sets.

Tonight's
episode (the third) plays kind of like a teen's diary. Lauren wants
Josh, but he goes on a date with Tenley ... which upsets JJ. Also,
Jared must choose between Ashley and Clare, creating a commotion.
Paradise, like junior high, is kind of complicated.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: James Bond films, Ion and BBC America.

For
Bond buffs, this is a feast, with two marathons. BBC America focuses
heavily on the first three films -- “Dr. No” (6:30 a.m. ET),
“From Russia With Love” (9 a.m. and 10:30 p.m.) and “Goldfinger”
(11:30 a.m. and 8 p.m.); it also has “For Your Eyes Only” at 2
p.m. and “GoldenEye” at 5.

Ion
also has “GoldenEye” (at noon ET), but then goes newer. It has
“Tomorrow Never Dies” at 2:30 p.m., “The World is Not Enough”
at 5, “Casino Royale” at 7:30 and “Quantum of Solace” at
10:30.

Other choices
include:

“The 40-Year-Old
Virgin” (2005) and “Knocked Up” (2007), 6 and 8 p.m., TBS.
Here's director Judd Apatow at his best. Both comedies are a tad
inconsistent, but mostly just very enjoyable.

“The Simpsons,”
8 p.m., Fox. In a rerun, we learn about Grampa's days in the Air
Force. Also, Bart takes up smoking to impress a girl.

“Destination
Wild,” 9 p.m., NatGeo Wild. Baby fur seals may look cute and eager,
but they face constant peril. Only half survive their first year,
this film says. Some are eaten by sharks; a few are crushed by
overzealous males who rush to mate their moms. Beautifully filmed in
New Zealand, this follows two pups in sharply different settings.

“The Last Ship,”
9 p.m., TNT. Rachel's efforts to find a spreadable cure depend on two
things – help from the scientist who started this crisis and
efforts to overcome scaventers and re-build her lab.

“Last Man on
Earth,” 9:30 p.m., Fox. Phil has been misbehaving a lot lately –
running off with the new women and claiming that his wife Carol is
dead. In this rerun, he claims it was all a prank.

“Falling
Skies,” 10 p.m., TNT. An old flame of Captain Weaver runs a
functional military base. Now that could be the launching point for a
final assault on the aliens.

“Save
My Life, Boston Trauma,” 10:01 p.m., ABC. The network keeps making
last-minute shifts on Saturdays and Sundays. Now a “Trauma”
originally set for tonight has moved to Sunday; a medical student is
hit on a bicycle, surviving because she borrowed a helmet from her
boyfriend's daughter.

TV column for Saturday, Aug. 8


TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE:
“Cedar Cove,” 8-10 p.m., Hallmark.

On a night when many
networks retreat, Hallmark tries harder. It has a fresh, two-hour
episode of a show that putS likable people in gorgeous settings, for
adequate drama.

In this seaside
town, Olivia (Andie MacDowell) invites friends to a dinner to welcome
the new district attorney (Colin Ferguson). The timing is shaky: Her
brother is seething and her relationship with her boyfriend is
wobbling. Meanwhile, her friend Grace reaches a key decision, Luke
learns a secret about Justine and Warren's wife wants a divorce. Life
is complicated, it seems.

TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE
II: “Saturday Night Live,” 11:29 p.m., NBC.

Jim Carrey started
his TV career mastering sketch comedy on “In Living Color.”
Still, he's only had three scattered times hosting “Saturday Night
Live” -- in 1996, in 2011 and this one.

It aired Oct. 25,
promoting Carrey's “Dumb and Dumber” sequel. Iggy Azalea is the
music guest.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: “Aquarius,” 9 p.m., NBC.

Think of this show
as the precise opposite of “Cedar Cove”; it's a dark, dreary
world with bad people on both sides of the law. Tonight, Hodiak
(David Duchovny) and other cops track someone who's been killing
gays. Also, a record producer takes a fresh interest in Charlie
Manson.

That's the
second-to-last episode, but no one seems to be in a hurry to show (or
see) the last one. NBC will pause for gymnastics next Saturday, with
“Aquarius” concluding a week later.

Other choices
include:

“Bullseye” and
“Home Free,” 8 and 9 p.m., Fox. Here are two reruns – first a
light game show and then a surprisingly good home-improvement show
... with couples unaware that they'll win one of the houses they're
renovating.

“Hawaii Five-0,”
8 p.m., CBS. In a rerun, an artist targets couples in Oahu; a federal
official (Melina Kanakaredes, formerly of “CSI:NY”) arrives from
California to help the probe. Two athletes -- golfer Michelle Wie and
former martial-arts champion Randy Couture – are also guest stars.

“Running Wild With
Bear Grylls,” 8 p.m., NBC. Ed Helms admits he's afraid of heights.
In this rerun, alas, he faces steep cliffs and crumbling rocks in the
Colorado Mountains.

“Power,” 9 p.m.,
Starz. A week from the season-finale, we find that Ghost's drug
empire is wobbling. Tommy, his friend and business partner, is in
jail and being pressured to testify.

“Boston EMS,” 10
p.m., ABC. The two medical shows from ABC News keep being shuffled
around, until viewers aren't sure what's when. In a late change, ABC
has moved this show back an hour ... and moved the other one (“Save
My Life, Boston Trauma”) to 10:01 p.m. Sunday.

“Hannibal,” 10
p.m., NBC. Even behind bars, Hannibal Lecter is a key figure. Francis
Dolarhyde, the “Red Dragon” killer, finds ways to communicate
with him. Will Graham – trying to catch Dolarhyde – feels drawn
to Lecter; he confers with Bedelia (Gillian Anderson), who knows the
feeling.

TV column for Friday, Aug. 7


TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE:
“Hawaii Five-0,” 9 p.m., CBS.

A two-night rerun
streak begins, offering some interesting guest stars. Tonight is
Barkhad Adbi, an Oscar-nominee for “Captain Phillips”; he plays
a Congolese warlord who's assumed dead ... but actually is living in
Oahu. At 8 p.m. Saturday is Melina Kanakaredes (“CSI:NY”) as a
federal agent from California, helping track a serial arsonist who
targets couples.

Both episodes also
have personal problems for Danny (Scott Caan). Tonight, he
over-reacts when his daughter's Valentine-time texts show up on his
cell phone.

TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE
II: “Killjoys,” 9 p.m., Syfy.

Any time the choices
are weak on Friday – yes, that's often – you can try the three
new scripted shows on Syfy. Tonight, “Killjoys” puts our
outer-space bounty-hunters in deep peril.

A black rain pours
down, stranding Dutch and D'avin onboard. John and Pawter take
shelter in the Royale ... which, alas, is currently overrun with
dangerous criminals.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: Katharine Hepburn films, all day, Turner Classic Movies.

Yes, Hepburn was
superb in dramas. That doesn't show up here, however, until the end
of this marathon; in “The Lion in Winter” (1968) at 10 p.m. ET,
she spars fiercely with Peter O'Toole.

Instead, we see her
comedies, starting with “Quality Street” (1937) at 10 a.m. ET.
Two great Spencer Tracy pairings are back-to-back, with “Pat and
Mike” (1952) at 1:15 p.m. and “Adam's Rib” (1949) at 3. There's
much more, including a “Dick Cavett Show” at 6:45 p.m. and “Alice
Adams” (1935) at 8.

Other choices
include:

“America's Got
Talent,” 8-10 p.m., NBC. This reruns Tuesday's episode, with the
judges making the final cuts that leave 36 acts to perform live at
Radio City Music Hall.

“Elementary,” 8
p.m., CBS. Watson suddenly needs to contact Elana March (Gina
Gershon), the criminal she helped put in prison. Also in this rerun,
Sherlock probes a theft at a zoo.

“MasterChef,” 8
p.m., Fox. In a rerun, the home chefs tackle a flambe and then a
Southern dish.

“Gotham,” 9
p.m., Fox. This rerun finds a biology teacher harvesting the glands
of murder victims. Also, young Bruce Wayne takes a dangerous hike.

“Killers”
(2010), 9 p.m., TBS. Ashton Kutcher learns what most of us already
knew: Hit men don't really get to retire,

“Blue Bloods,”
10 p.m., CBS. On a show filled with passionate cops from the Reagan
family, it's hard for Det. Maria Baez (Marisa Ramirez) to get the
focus. In this rerun, a distraught man holds her hostage in the
interrogation room. Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg), her police
partner, tries to help.

“Dark Matter,”
10 p.m., Syfy. Crew members aren't sure whether to pursue Four, who
left the ship.