TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE: “Murder in the First,” 10:01 p.m., TNT.
If we were watching an ordinary drama, it would be over now.
Last week concluded the murder trial of Eric Blunt, the evil tech-billionaire whom
cops have been pursuing through eight episodes.
But this is something extraordinary from Steven Bochco, who
re-shaped TV drama with “Hill Street Blues,” 33 years ago. Blunt was found
not-guilty – circumstantial evidence, no proof – then whispered to the cops “I
killed the bitch” and winked. Did he? Is he just trying to stir them? With the
finale of a richly crafted series just a week away, police start struggling
with old leads and fresh possibilities.
TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE II: “Bachelors in Paradise” (ABC) or “Running
Wild with Bear Grylls” (NBC), 8 p.m.
Want blue skies and easy living? That’s “Paradise,” with 14
people from “Bachelor” or “Bachelorette” meeting in Mexican splendor. Each
week, it will be eight women and six men, or vice versa. The two who don’t make
a match will be sent home; the next week, two newcomers will tip things the
Prefer the exact opposite? Tonight’s “Wild” has grey skies,
thick fog and rough living. Grylls, a wilderness master, takes Ben Stiller –
who grew up in New York City and has never camped – up and down cliffs on an
unforgiving Scottish island. It’s a rugged experience, but you end up liking
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE: “Partners” debut, 9 and 9:30 p.m.,
Kelsey Grammer really should know about situation comedies now.
He spent 20 years in two great ones, “Cheers” and “Frasier,” and has produced
some fairly good ones; he’s won five Emmys and much praise.
So it’s remarkable that “Partners” is only occasionally
adequate. A pompous lawyer (Grammer, of course) lost his job; a decent one (Martin
Lawrence) lost his marriage. They collide by accident, forming a law-firm of
opposites. The result has a few great moments and a lot of lame, sub-Grammer
Other choices include:
“MasterChef,” 8 p.m., Fox. By the end of the night, the show
will have its top 10. First are two challenges, one of which lets contestants
choose ordinary or high-end ingredients.
“2 Broke Girls,” 8 p.m., CBS. In a rerun, Max wants to break
up with Deke because he’s been rich.
“Mom,” 8:30 p.m., CBS. In a rerun of the terrific opener,
Christy finds a family tradition continuing, with the pregnancy of her teen
daughter. That would make Christy’s sexy mom a great-grandmother.
“Arrow,” 9 p.m., CW. So much for the clever comedy “Seed.”
CW aired it once in an awful timeslot, once in a belatedly changed slot, then
dumped it (along with “Backpackers”). Now reruns will replace it.
“Nixon by Nixon: In His Own Words,” 9-10:15 p.m., HBO.
Friday will be the 40th anniversary of Richard Nixon’s resignation announcement.
First, here’s a film assembled mostly from his White House tapes, intercut with
some news footage. We hear a “paradoxical” man (the description of former aide
John Ehrlichman); he advanced several progressive programs, while privately aiming
slurs at Jews, women, Mexican-Americans and homosexuals. We hear the growing
rage of a once-popular president.
“Under the Dome,” 10 p.m., CBS. Desperate for a way out of
the dome, Dale “Barbie” Barbara and Sam explore a mysterious tunnel … then are
trapped. Meanwhile, a dust storm hits town, bringing a power struggle between
the town’s present and past leaders, Julia and Big Jim.