TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE: “Saturday Night Live” season-opener,
11:29 p.m., NBC.
The 40th season opens with Chris Pratt – a comedy
guy on “Parks and Recreation,” an action hero in “Guardians of the Galaxy” -- hosting
and Ariana Grande as music guest. It also brings key changes.
Michael Che (briefly of “The Daily Show”) joins “Weekend
Update,” becoming its first black anchor. Unfortunately, Colin Jost stays and
Cecily Strong will focus on sketches. Also, Nasim Pedrad has left, Pete Davidson
will be a writer and others (Brooks Wheelan, Noel Wells, John Milhiser) were
TONIGHT’S MIGHT-SEE: “Music for Change: The Global Citizen
Festival,” 9 p.m., NBC.
This last-minute addition is stuffed with stars. Hugh
Jackman hosts from New York’s Central Park, in an annual concert designed to
fight worldwide poverty.
No Doubt is expected to have its first performance in two years.
Also scheduled are Carrie Underwood, Jay Z, Alicia Keys, Fun, Tiesta and The
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE: “Friday Night Lights” (2004) and “The
Blind Side” (2009), 6:30 and 9 p.m., ABC Family.
Both movies have true stories with football backdrops; both
have country star Tim McGraw in support.
And both are well-crafted. Based on a non-fiction book about
high school football, “Lights” isn’t as good as the TV series that followed,
but it’s still a strong movie. “Blind Side” is propelled by Sandra Bullock’s
brilliant, Oscar-winning work as a rich Southerner who provided a home for a
Other choices include:
Westerns, all night. Choose young or old Clint Eastwood.
“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (1966) is 4:45 p.m. on AMC; the Oscar-winning
“Unforgiven” (1992) is 8 p.m. on Reelz. Both are slow (“Ugly” is ultra-slow),
but well-crafted. AMC also has “Hell on Wheels” at 9; Cullen scrambles to free
Football, 8 p.m. ET, Fox and ABC. Fox has 7th-ranked
Baylor and Iowa State; ABC has 8th-ranked Notre Dame and Syracuse.
Cable has much more, all day.
“Madam Secretary” and “Scorpion,” 8 and 9 p.m., CBS. Here
are reruns of two pilot films, both so-so. “Madam” is earnest, but try; “Scorpion”
is fun, but strains believability.
“The Voice,” 8 p.m., NBC. This rerun is a logical lead-in
for the concert. One of the new “Voice” judges is Gwen Stefani, who will also
be performing in the Central Park show with her group, No Doubt.
Cedar Cove,” 8 p.m., Hallmark Last week, every blonde woman
was in dismay, but many of the brunettes were OK. Tonight, troubles – guy woes,
cyber-bully woes – are equal-hair offenders.
All this is against the gorgeous backdrop of waterfront Washington. In
snappy little scenes (written and acted competently), beautiful and
well-meaning people face life’s problems.
“Outlander” mid-season finale, 9 p.m., Starz. Last week’s
episode (rerunning at 8) saw Claire marrying a Scotsman in 1742, to legally
block the English from interrogating her. It turns out that she really likes
the guy … but then she spots a possible link to her 1940s self. It’s a strong
scene, setting up a cliffhanger.
“Doctor Who,” 9 p.m., BBC America. The fierce Skovox Blitzer
is ready to destroy mankind.
“The Intruders,” 10 p.m., BBC America. New information may
block the ascension of Rose (Miranda Cosgrove). Also, she asks Jack why Amy
(Mira Sorvino) has been acting so odd lately.