“Modern Family,” 9 p.m., ABC.
ABC thrives on
building a four-comedy night around a holiday. Now it's
Thanksgiving's turn, with “Modern Family” -- the five-time winner
of the best-comedy Emmy – at the core.
In one home, Cameron
is doing (overdoing?) plans for a “Thanksgiving jamboree.” In
another, Phil is crushed that his daughter would rather be with
weatherman Rainer Shine (Nathan Fillion). In the third, Gloria is
trying to convince young Joe that animals are our friends.
II: “Empire,” 9 p.m., Fox.
Music people, it
seems, can have the same problems as politicians: Someone steals
their E-mails and shows them to the world. That's what happens to the
Lyons tonight: As their messages – from personal attacks to
Cookie's naked selfie – hit the world, an empire quakes.
That's a quick,
slick story, but stick around for more. In the final minutes, there's
a stark crisis and then a big-deal surprise. “Empire” works on
every level – music, mystery and emotion.
ALTERNATIVE: “Soundbreaking,” 10 p.m., PBS.
As soon as you
finish Fox's fictional hour about music, switch to some terrific
non-fiction. This hour, the third of eight. focuses on the part we
think we understand – the human voice.
It's not just about
hitting the right notes, Bonnie Raitt says. “Recording is a really
personal matter. We want to dig deep and be naked.” This hour
traces people who could do that, from Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles
to Aretha Franklin, Amy Winehouse and the current master: What makes
Adele unique, says producer Oliver Wang, is “her ability to project
emotion on a grand scale.”
“The Art of More,”
any time, Crackle. The first season had a tough ex-soldier wedge his
way into the big-money art-auction world, facing people who were born
into money (Cary Elwes, Kate Bosworth) and a tough-talking outsider
(Dennis Quaid). Here's the full, 10-episode second season.
p.m., CBS. The merged tribe is now equally divided between the two
original tribes. That came with the third straight “Millennial”
ouster – Michelle Schubert, 28, a missionary recruiter.
8 p.m., ABC. For a while on the holiday, Murray bonds with his
“Polar Bear Town”
debut, 8 and 11 p.m., Smithsonian. In a frigid part of Canada is
Churchill, a town of 800; it's a quiet place ... usually. Once a
year, however, it's invaded by 1,000 polar bears, plus 10,000
tourists who want to see them. This could be a good reality show
sometime, but not now. After a maiming last year, officials cracked
down, nudging bears to the outskirts. Smithsonian is left with a
moderately interesting look at the guides who take people in search
of the giant creatures.
“Nova,” 9 p.m.,
PBS. Wrapping up the three-part “Treasures of the Earth,” this is
a sweeping look at power sources, both fossil fuel – still
providing 80 per cent of the world's power – and alternatives.
China leads in air pollution (causing 1.6 million deaths a year), it
says, and in creating other routes.
9:31 p.m., ABC. Family feuds seem to thrive during TV's
Thanksgivings. Now Pops' sister (Lorraine Toussaint) arrives,
re-igniting her feud with his ex-wife (Jenifer Lewis).
“Code Black,” 10
p.m., CBS. It's action-adventure time again for Dr. Willis (Rob
Lowe), the Army officer working at the hospital. He and Dr. Campbell
(Boris Kodjoe) are dropped onto a Russian submarine, where a sailor
has been wounded.