TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE: “The Tonight Show,” 11:35 p.m., NBC.
A 20-year TV tradition is down to its final four days. Jay
Leno departs, with key guest s.
Tonight, he has Jimmy Fallon – who inherits the show after
the Olympics – and Betty White, 91 and making her 19th appearance.
Coming are Matthew McConaughey on Tuesday, Blake Shelton and Sandra Bullock on
Wednesday and Billy Crystal (Leno’s first guest, 20 years ago) and Garth Brooks
Ironically, Leno is being nudged out at the top. A recent
week (Jan. 21-24) saw him beat David Letterman by more than 40 percent in total
viewers and in ages 18-49.
TONIGHT’S MIGHT-SEE: “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit: 50 Years
of Beautiful,” 9-11 p.m., NBC.
Guys seem to be very interested in fashion, especially as it
relates to beachwear. This would explain the high circulation of Sports
Illustrated’s annual swimsuit edition.
This special celebrates the 50th edition with old
and new views, plus interviews. It has former swimsuit models -- Heidi Klum
(who hosts), Tyra Banks, Christie Brinkley, Kathy Ireland, Marisa Miller, Kate
Upton – plus music from Lady Antebellum, Enrique Iglesias, John Legend, Tim
McGraw and The Fray.
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE: “POV: American Promise,” 10 p.m., PBS
(check local listings).
The idea began with optimism. Joe Brewster, whose dad learned
to read at 40, is a psychiatrist; Michele Stephenson, a law-school grad, is a
filmmaker. Their son Idris was starting at what was once an all-white private
school; the parents would record all 12 years of Idris and another black
student, Seun Summers.
Then the problems came – some external tragedies, some
internal. Alternately compelling, disturbing and mildly hopeful, this film
leaves questions. Do some educators and parents obsess on results while
ignoring humanity? “Promise” can spark strong debates.
Other choices include:
“Wallykazam” debut, 1 p.m., Nickelodeon. Knowledge and fun
intermingle, in this world of trolls and such. In the opener, Wally learns “S”
words while trying to keep an ogre’s pet away from purple flowers.
“The Bachelor,” 8-10:01 p.m., ABC. A generation ago, who
would have imagined Vietnam as a romantic location for a dating show? That
happens tonight, before the field is trimmed from 11 to eight.
“Antique Roadshow,” 8 p.m., PBS (check local listings). Some
30,000 people applied for the Detroit visit, we’re told, more than for any
other city. Here’s the second of three Detroit hours (followed, at 9, by
Eugene, Oregon). It has a few local nods – Marvin Gaye’s passport, a skilled
architect, a brief visit to a fascinating museum for small-company cars – and
more, concluding with an amazing photo book.
“Beauty and the Beast,” 9 p.m., CW. Vincent and Cat scramble
to rescue the kidnapped J.T.
“Castle,” 10:01 p.m., ABC. When a mean girl is killed, other
teens become suspects.
“Inside Comedy” season-opener, 11 p.m., Showtime. Before his
Leno visit, watch Fallon (and Zach Galifianakis) chat with David Steinberg.
Also: films about Richard Pryor and Steinberg, at 8 and 9:30 p.m.