TV column for Friday, Sept. 2


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE:
“The LEGO Movie” (2014), 8 p.m., TBS or “Bonnie and Clyde”
(1967),

8 p.m. ET, Turner
Classic Movies.

Any generation
should be happy tonight. For kids (and others) there's a witty,
animated gem; for grown-ups, there's the film that took the
true-crime tale to new heights.

“Bonnie and Clyde”
is No. 41 on the American Film Institute list of best American
movies. It won Oscars for cinematography and supporting actress
Estelle Parsons and was nominated for eight more, including Warren
Beatty, Faye Dunaway and best picture. “LEGO,” oddly, was
nominated only for its “Everything is Awesome” song; voters
snubbed a movie in which everything is, indeed, awesome.

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

For two years and 13
episodes, the Five-0 people have sought Gabriel Waincraft. The
brother of Chin's late wife Malia, he's an ex-con who – in a gang
initiation, long ago – killed Chin's father.

In this rerun, they
have him ... and must protect him. He's wounded, inside a dilapidated
building, as enemy gunmen prepare to storm in. In the midst of a
shoot-out, cops look for a way to get out.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: Football, cable.

On Saturday, the
college season will reaches full-speed ... including an ABC
triple-header that totals five nationally ranked teams. Tonight
should help get us in the mood.

Nationally, it's
Kansas State at Stanford (ranked No. 9) at 7 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1,
Army at Temple at 7 p.m. on CBS Sports Network and Colorado State at
Colorado, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. Other games have regional telecasts,
including Furman at Michigan State (No. 12) on the Big Ten Network.

Other choices
include:

Video Music Awards,
8-10:30 a.m. and 7:30-10 p.m., MTV. Sunday's show delivered more than
it had promised. Yes, it promised performances by Rihanna, Britney
Spears, Future and Nick Jonas, plus a duet by Arianna Grande and
Nicki Minaj. But Rihanna did four songs, not one; added to the night
were the Chainsmokers and – in a 15-minute swirl – Beyonce.
Here's a rerun of the night.

“NCIS: Los
Angeles,” 8 p.m. CBS. It's action-hero time in this rerun:
Top-secret information has been stolen from a container at the site
of a fire; now Sam and Callen go undercover as firefighters.

“Chesapeake
Shores,” 8 p.m., Hallmark. If you've missed the first three Sundays
of this solidly made series, there's still time to catch up. In this
rerun, Abby (a business executive) and Bree (a writer) ponder moving
back to their gorgeous home town, where their sister is opening an
inn. Meanwhile, Trace (Jesse Metcalfe) gets disturbing news from his
past life in Nashville.

“Killjoys,” 9
p.m,, Syfy, rerunning at 11. In a desperate attempt to stop Level
Six's plan for the Quad, team members link with an old enemy.

“Miracle on the
Hudson,” 9 p.m., National Geographic. A week before the Tom Hanks
film “Sully” opens, here's a rerun of the documentary about
Chesley Sullenberger's unprecedented landing of a distressed airliner
on the Hudson River.

“Blue Bloods,”
10 p.m., CBS. While pursuing a robbery crew, Danny and Baez work with
a detective (Johnathon Schaech) from another precinct. That's a
problem for Baez: This is the guy who broke her heart, years ago.
Meanwhile, the cop who was acquitted of a shooting is now up for
promotion.

“Dark Matter,”
10 p.m., Syfy, rerunning at midnight. As chaos breaks out on the
ship, we learn more about the crew members' dark pasts.

TV column for Thursday, Sept. 1


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE:
“Holy Hell,” 9 and 11 p.m. ET, CNN (barring breaking news).

Will Allen grew up
comfortably in Long Beach, got a film-school degree, but was unsure
of life. Then his sister pointed him toward sweet-spirited young
people, living communally. For 22 years, he would film their
celebrations, shows and more ... even making movies, a commercial and
a music video.

But he began to
doubt the group's leader, a man given to spending his day in Speedo
and sunglasses, preaching love, fitness and ballet. When he finally
left, Allen took some of his films with him. Mixing in new interviews
with some of the departees, he's fashioned a compelling look at cult
life.

TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE
II: “The Big Bang Theory,” 8 p.m., CBS.

“Big Bang” is at
its best when throwing characters together in odd combinations. And
the season finale, rerunning here, is one of its oddest and funniest.

We'd already met
Sheldon's devoutly religious mom (Laurie Metcalf) and Leonard's
coldly scientific mom (Christine Baranski). The latter is recently
divorced and we meet Leonard's dad (Judd Hirsch). Add those three
together and you have six Emmys and 23 more nominations. There could
be more wis ahead: This year, Metcalf and Baranski are nominated for
these roles ... and Metcalf is for two others.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: “Code Black,” 9:59 p.m., CBS.

Boris Kodjoe has
been a busy TV star lately, ranging from international espionage in
“Undercovers” to being the too-perfect “Phil #2” in “Last
Man on Earth.” This reruns the episode that added him as Dr. Will
Campbell; he'll be a regular on the show this fall.

It's also the
episode in which Christa (Bonnie Somerville) and Neal (Raza Jaffrey)
officially started their romance ... after, of course, informing
Human Resources. (Is some of the secret glamour missing these days?)
Also, everyone is questioned about an incident that left two doctors
gravely injured.

Other choices
include:

“Wedding Crashers”
(2005), 6 p.m., Spike. Some fun movies start early, including tyhis
comedy. The classic “Dirty Dancing” (1987) is 6:15 p.m. on
Freeform, with “Iron Man 3” (2013) at 7 p.m. on FX and the
animated delight “Rio” (2011) at 8 p.m. on Nickelodeon.

“BattleBots,” 8
and 9 p.m., ABC. The night starts with the top eight teams. By the
end of the second hour, we'll have a champion.

“Running Wild with
Bear Grylls,” 8 p.m., NBC. This rerun finds singer-dancer Julianne
Hough in Africa. There, her adventures involve the landscape –
remote canyon, treacherous waterfalls, etc. -- and the wildlife, from
elephants and big cats to a face-to-face moment with a big snake.

“American Ninja
Warrior,” 9-11 p.m., NBC. This reruns the round that saw half the
finalists tackle the first stage, with four new obstacles. The other
half get their turn next Monday.

“Beauty and the
Beast,” 9 p.m., CW. Pausing for a rerun, this finds Cat and Vincent
grasping for normalcy, despite the looming threat of a beast bounty.

“Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll”
season-finale, 10 p.m., FX, rerunning at 11:05 p.m. and 1:38 a.m.
Last week's terrific episode (rerunning at 10:33) threw the band into
verbal and physical combat. Now we get the aftermath, with Gigi's mom
(Callie Thorne) insisting she fire everyone. Things start with a
sizzling song from Gigi and end with a shrug; a great season
concludes fairly well.

“Queen of the
South,” 10 p.m., USA. Teresa and Brenda try to start a new life,
using knowledge from Gero's book. Meawhile, their mentor Camila goes
underground, aligning with the Jimenez cartel.

TV column for Wednesday, Aug. 31


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE:
“The Night Shift” season-finale, 10 p.m., NBC.

Here is a TV hybrid
– an action-adventure medical show. Set at a San Antonio hospital,
most of its doctors and some of its patients are former or current
military people.

Last week, Scott and
Jordan – who used to be engaged to each other – headed into a
wildfire. Tonight, the flames are getting closer as they perform
field surgery. Meanwhile, Syd (Jennifer Beals) is along the
Syria-Turkey border; she's caught typhus (as have many of her
patients), so TC goes to extremes to get medication. Back home, the
effort continues to find a buyer for the hospital.

TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE:
“American Gothic,” 10 p.m., CBS.

While “Night
Shift” is wrapping up, another ambitious show sets up next week's
two-hour finale.

“Gothic” centers
on the Hawthornes – rich, respectable ... and maybe housing the
“silver bells killer” from years ago. The matriarch (Virginia
Madsen) killed her husband in his hospital bed; her children range
from a mayoral candidate to a guy who had simply vanished for years.
Tonight, they catch each other's lies and revisit a crucial night in
2002.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: “You're the Worst” season-opener, 10 p.m., FXX,
reruning at 10:30.

What happens when
two immensely cynical people actually say “I love you”? That
happened at the end of last season, but Jimmy was drunk at the time;
now he can neither remembr or acknowledge it.

Skeptical love is at
the core; as are the woes of their friends: Edgar is an ex-soldier
with post-traumatic troubles; Lindsay simply has a dippy husband.
“Worst” is smart and funny, but be warned: The sexual talk (and
action) is extremely frank; some viewers will be delighted; others
will depart quickly.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE II: “Tyrant,” 10 p.m., FX, rerunning at 11:14.

In three seasons,
this has gone from overwrought to good to – in a darkly disturbing
way – great. The final transition began when terrorists killed the
daughter of Bassam (“Barry,” when he lived in the U.S.), the
temporary president of his homeland. He became harder; his wife
became fierce.

Now pressure
tightens on Daliayah (an idealist loved by Bassam and by his
ex-friend Fauzi) ... Leila (presidential candidate and widow of the
previous dictator) ... Cogswell (American general in love with Leila)
... and more. Forces converge, including a surprise in the final
minutes of this expanded episode.

Other choices
include:

“Greenleaf,” 10
a.m. to 11 p.m., Oprah Winfrey Network. You can catch the entire
season, starting with strong episodes that brought a big-city TV
reporter back to her family-run church. The finale, at 10, has a
confrontation between sisters, played by Winfrey and Lynn Whitfield.
Then the last three hours rerun.

“MasterChef,”
8-10 p.m., Fox. Last week eliminated both blue-colllar New Yorkers,
Eric Howard and Terry Mueller. That leaves two guys from Las Vegas
(David Williams and front-runner Shaun O'Neale), plus a waiter (Dan
Paustian), a tuxedo salesma (Nathan Barnhouse) and three women filled
with Southern charm (Brandi Mudd, Katie Dixon and Tanorria Askew).
Tonight, their challenges involve limited utensils, then a picnic
platter and a pop-up restaurant.

“America's Got
Talent,” 8 and 9 p.m., NBC. First is a trimmed down version of
Tuesday's episode, with 10 acts performing. Then we learn which
ones will comprise the first half of the season's top-10.

“Modern Family,”
9 and 10 p.m., ABC. The first rerun finds the boys babysitting for
little Lily; things soon go wrong. The second sees Gloria buy a
family seminar at the school auction.

“Black-ish,”
9:31 p.m., ABC. For the second straight year, the show closed its
season with an elaborate dream scene, transporting everyone into a
past era. This time, they're “Good Times” characters.

“Mr. Robot,”
10:01 p.m., USA. By now, Elliot and his sister Darlene aren't sure if
Dark Army is for or against them. Meanwhile, Angela realizes E Corp
can't give her what she wants.

TV column for Tuesday, Aug. 30


TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE:
“Pretty Little Liars” mid-season finale, 8 p.m., Freeform.

If you've missed
this season – hey, summers are busy sometimes – don't worry. The
entire year reruns, beginning at 11 a.m.; after that things wrap up
for this show and for “Dead of Summer.””.

On “PLL,” one of
the women learns a crucial secret about her past; another finds
something about her future. A chaotic fight with enemies turns
fatal.

TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE II:
“America's Got Talent,” 8-10 p.m., NBC.

After three months
of winnowing, “AGT” has its finalists. Tonight, 10 perform and
viewers vote; on Wednesday, we'll learn which five reach the finals.
Next week, the other 11 step in.

Tonight has lots of
singing – from groups (Musicality, Edgar) and individuals (Laura
Bretan, Sal Valentinetti and 12-year-old whiz Grace Vanderwaal). But
there are also two magicians (Blake Vogt, Jon Dorenbos), plus
comedian Lori Mae Hernandez and physical acts Tapehead and Deadly
Games.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: New shows everywhere, 9 p.m.

Remember when
summers were mired in reruns? In this hour, we can try five new
shows. Two are reality (“AGT” on NBC, the “Bachelor in
Paradise” post-show on ABC), but three are scripted.

CBS has “Zoo,”
with Jackson finally getting answers and Mitch and Jamie facing an
animal attack at the Russian embassy. CW has the sketch comedy of
“MadTV.” And Freeform's “Dead of Summer” sees the summer camp
wrap up its season. It's already been a deadly one; now, we're told,
a centuries-old battle between good and evil will finally be settled.
We're rooting for good.

Other choices
include:

“Video Music
Awards,” 7:10-10 p.m., MTV. Here's a rerun of Sunday's ceremony,
which planned music from Britney Spears, Rihanna, Nick Jonas, Future
and a Nicki Minaj/Ariana Grande duet. “NCIS,” 8 p.m., CBS. It's a
busy time for Gibbs. He suspects that a 14-year-old who stopped a
home invasion is whithholding information; also in this rerun, he
goes to Washington to meet Michelle Obama (playing herself), in a
program supporting military families.

“Lucifer,” 9
p.m., Fox. When you suspect a drug operation at the neighborhood
youth center, who ya gonna call? In this rerun, a priest calls
Lucifer.

“NCIS: New
Orleans,” 10 p.m., CBS. Apparently, it's not just grub any more.
Now a Navy “culinary specialist) is targeted, while visiting her
family's classic restaurant in the French Quarter.

““Better Late
Than Never,” 10 p.m., NBC. Last week's debut (sometimes fun,
mostly silly and contrived), William Shatner, 85, climbed 800 steps;
he also squeezed into a Tokyo “capsule hotel room” the size of a
refrigerator. Now he says he wants to “find his Zen” in Kyoto; in
Hong Kong, he insists that he and colleagues (Henry Winkler, George
Foreman, Terry Bradshaw) have a fine hotel and a yacht. Also in
Kyoto, the guys range from a festive geisha house to a serious
Samurai school.

“Halt and Catch
Fire,” 10 p.m., AMC. At home, the Mutiny founders struggle with a
crowded house and frayed emotions; Gordon grasps for the solitude of
his ham-radio days. At work, they've been wobbling since
super-programmer Ryan left to work for Joe, the imposing Steve
Jobs-type figure. In a good episode tonight, Ryan tries to find his
role with Joe; Mutiny chases an acquisition.

“Fresh Off the
Boat,” 10:30 p.m., ABC. Eddie's parents tend to be serious sorts.
Tonight, his mother learns to relax; his father combines a business
trip with a family trip to Gator World.

TV column for Monday, Aug. 29


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

One of TV's best
competition shows has its 250th episode .... sort of. This
season bears the sub-title “The Next Generation”; it's not quite
the show that for 12 seasons offered stunningly gifted grown-ups.

Still, credit
“Dance” for persisting. Its final six contestants are ages 10,
10, 12, 12, 13 and 14; two prefer hip hop, the others range from tap
to ballet. For the first time, they'll do their own choreography
tonight. Also, one number will be choreoraphed by Tony-winner Savion
Glover. Another will be by Emmy-winner Travis Wall; he'll dance it
with Maddie Ziegler, the show's 13-year-old judge.

TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE
II: “Mom,” 8 and 9 p.m., CBS.

This witty comedy
hit a peak with an episode that aired in May. As usual, Christy (Anna
Faris) was mad at her mom Bonnie (Allison Janney); as usual, she had
good reason to be: Bonnie was indifferent to the fact that Christy
had made the Dean's List, against great odds. That leads to a
hilarious fight scene ... and to a funny dream scene that recalls
Janney's Emmy-winning work on “The West Wing.”

That's the first of
two reruns tonight. In the second, also a good one, there are
conflicting accounts of Christy's daughter Violet's break-up. Linda
Lavin returns as the mother of Violet's ex-fiance.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: “The Fosters” mid-season finale, 8 p.m., Freeform.

Like a “Scandal”
episode in overdrive, this piles every trouble into one crowded hour.
As Stef (Teri Polo) weighs risking her police career to stop a
corrupt cop, her kids (foster/adopted/biologic) implode.

Callie scrambles to
save a prisoner, while juggling her friend Aaron and AJ, her hothead
boyfriend. Mariana frets over grades and her boyfriends past (and
dangerous) and present (and leaving); she keeps taking medication
stolen from her brother. There's more, building to an odd but
involving crescendo.

Other choices
include:

“Janet King,”
any time, www.acorn.tv. In the
eight-episode second season, Janet (Marta Dusseldorp, an Australian
star) becomes Royal Commissioner of serious gun crime in New South
Wales.

“American Ninja
Warrior,” 8-10 p.m., NBC. The finals begin, with the first of four
obstacle phases.

“Supergirl,” 8
and 9 p.m., CW. In the first rerun, Cat (Calista Flockhart) suspects
Kara is Supergirl (which, of course, she is); in the second, she
hires Lucy (Jenna Dewan-Tatum.). In the first hour, Hank (David
Harewood) is captured by Astra's husband; in the second, he's asked
by Alex (Chyler Leigh) to use his powers to help uncover Maxwell
Lord's plans.

“The Odd Couple,”
9:30, CBS; and “Odd Mom Out,” 10 p.m., Bravo. Joanna Cassidy is
everyone's mom these days. In the “Odd Couple” rerun, she's
Emily's mom, whom Felix thinks (wrongly) would be fun to meet. In
“Odd Mom Out,” she's Jill's mother-in-law; in tonight's
season-finale, her other son has a vow-renewal ceremony that could go
terribly wrong.

“Scorpion,” 10
p.m., CBS. To test the security sytem, the team is hired to breakinto
Fort Knox. The problem, in this rerun, comes with trying to do it
again.

“Running Wild With
Bear Grylls,” 10 p.m., NBC. We've never thought of Shaquille O'Neal
as the nimble type. But now he's in the Adirondacks, facing a dense
forest, blood-sucking leeches and more.

“Mistresses,”
10:01 p.m., ABC. Two weeks from its season-finale, this is another
show with cascading events. Joss and her class friends go to find the
man who killed their friend; she also tells the truth to Harry ...
who has his own troubles, juggling business opoortunities. Also, Marc
is furious at April; Karen is furious at Lydia, who was posing as her
online. No one, it seems, is terribly happy.