“Hairspray,” 8-11 p.m., NBC.
In just three years,
the notion of live musicals has grown immensely. It went rom the
safe-and-solid “Sound of Music” to the vibrant “Grease”; now
this one is (by a tad) even better.
When it opened (Dec.
7), we thought we had a ceiling view of Tracy in bed; as the backdrop
pulled away, we saw she was vertical, on a city streets. It was a
great start to a live production sprawling over a movie-studio lot.
This is visually ambitious and musically potent, with great moments
from Jennifer Hudson, Derek Hough, Kristen Chenoweth, Ephraim Sykes
and gifted newcomer Maddie Baillio.
“iHeart Radio Jingle Ball,” 8-9:30 p.m., CW.
This is a double
night for Ariana Grande, with two reruns. In “Hairspray,” she
does nifty comedy support, finally singng after the story is done.
And in this one, she and other pop stars perform.
Justin Bieber, Charlie Puth, Lukas Graham, Diplo, DNCE, Fifth
Harmony, The Chainsmokers and more, including Niall Horan of One
ALTERNATIVE: “Independent Lens,” 9 p.m., PBS (check local
listings; some stations are running this an hour later).
At 38, Ravi Patel
has had a busy acting career, including regular roles in a comedy
(“Grandfathered”) and a drama (“Past Life”). What was
missing? His family kept urging him to find romance ... preferably
with someone who shares his Indian roots.
So Patel went a step
further: On a cross-country jaunt, he confined his search to women
named Patel. He co-directed (with his sister) this documentary,
co-wrote it, was the prime focus ... and, yes, ended up in a romantic
relationship. We won't say with whom, but the search is a delight.
Football, all day,
cable. First are three bowl games – none involving teams with
winning records. That's
11 a.m. ET on ESPN
and 2:30 and 5 p.m. on ESPN2. Then the pros have two teams with
surprisingly strong seasons: The Dallas Cowboys (12-2) host the
Dettoiyt Lions (9-5), at 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN.
the Aftermath,” 7-10 p.m., A&E. While her former co-star Kevin
James does comedy on CBS, Leah Remini has three reruns of her series.
It's a scathing look at Scientology, of which she was a long-time
follower. The third views David Miscavige, the leader after L. Ron
“Happy New Year,
Charlie Brown,” 8 p.m., ABC. After showing some great animated
specials at Christmastime, TV lowers its standards. This adequate,
1986 tale has Charlie trying to get in a party mood, while finishing
“War and Peace.” The 1976 “Rudolph's Shiny New Year” follows
“Kevin Can Wait,”
8 and 9 p.m., CBS. So far, this show has had fairly funny episodes
and good ratings. Now here are two reruns: First, Kevin wishes his
friends would be as much fun as his wife's book club. Then he's
caught borrowing a friend's story of police heroism; funny flashbacks
offer the truth.
“Man With a Plan,”
8:30 and 9:30, CBS. The first rerun has some fairly good moments, as
Adam (Matt LeBlanc) finds that both his wife and his brother (Kevin
Nealon) expect to get the extra Steelers ticket. In the second, he
rebels from the demands of his daughter's kindergarten teacher.
p.m., Fox. In a rerun, someone is killing newcomers to Los Angeles.
Also, Maze asks Chloe to go out for drinks, but has an ulterior
p.m., CBS. Sylvester isn't really suited for hard-core prison life.
In this rerun, however, he must go undercover; when things go wrong,
the others must engineer a prison break.