“This Is Us,” 9 p.m., NBC.
By now, we're used
to this show's clever design: We follow three adults – twins and an
adopted brother, born the same day – and flash back to moments in
their childhood. But now comes a splendid detour.
Tonight, there's no
flashing back and forward; the entire episode focuses on the day the
kids were born. Gerald McRaney gives another beautifully understated
performance as the widowed doctor. We also meet the firefighter who
played a key role; the result is deeply involving.
“New Girl” and “The Mick,” 8 and 8:30 p.m., Fox.
The Tuesday comedies
have brough mixed news to Fox – sharp scripts, likable actors, weak
ratings. Now “The Mick,” newly extended from 13 to17 episodes --
has added mid-season zest. It has a brash premise (amiable slacker,
suddenly in charge of her rich niece and nephews) and broad humor.
(Kaitlin Olson) tries to quit smoking; her younger nephew meets a new
friend. Earlier, “New Girl” has decision time: Jess (Zooey
Deschanel) tries to choose a new vice-principal; also, she and Reagan
(Megan Fox) help Cece recruit new models.
ALTERNATIVE: “Frontline,” 9-11 p.m., PBS (check local listings).
How did the Obama
administration reach a state of gridlock? Today and Wednesday,
“Frontline” takes a four-hour look. Sarah Palin's anti-elite
words planted the seed, it says. Then President Obama took drastic
steps to solve the financial crisis he'd inherited. The plan worked,
but stirred new rage.
Tied into that was
Obamacare and more. “Who he was – the color of his skin, the
sound of his name – forced more polarization and gridlock,”
Wesley Lowery of the Washington Post says in the film.
“NCIS,” 8 p.m.,
CBS. After spotting the brother of a most-wanted criminal, Gibbs
resumes his old alias. He's soon undercover, inside anti-government
“The Middle,” 8
p.m., ABC. There are problems for all the kids: Axl is near college
graduation and still hasn't sent any job resumes. Sue wants Brad to
lead her no-cut singing group. And Brick faces a true crisis; his
girlfriend says he reads too much and threatens to break up with him.
“No Tomorrow,” 9
p.m., CW. Here's the season-finale – and probably the series finale
– of a well-made show. From the star, Xavier has clung to his
belief that an asteroid is on target to destroy the Earth; now some
scientists agree with him. Meanwhile, Evie takes a solo flight, to
think things over.
“Bones,” 9 p.m.,
Fox. As its final season continues, the team discovers nursing-home
intrigue. Back at the lab, that brings fresh discussion of marriage
“Being Mary Jane,”
9:02 p.m., BET, rerunning at 10:04. Last week's season-opener
(rerunning at 8 p.m.) saw Mary Jane (Gabrielle Union) land her dream
job, as a correspondent for “Great Day USA” in New York. Alas,
she soon found her hero Ronda Sales (Valarie Pettiford) to be a
disappointment. Tonight, they clash; back in Atlanta, Niecy tries to
balance her life.
O'Neals,” 9:30, ABC. Kenny ponders how to tell his parents that he
and Brett are a couple. Meanwhile, his brother surprises everyone
with a high SAT score; now their mom must make good on a promise to
take him car-shopping.
Orleans,” 10 p.m., CBS. Some of the supporting players get the
focus, as the team tries to catch Garcia. Sebastian (Rob Kerkovich),
the forensic scientist, goes undercover; Patton (Daryl “Chill”
Mitchell), the computer guy, tries his old gambling skills.