“Kennedy Center Honors,” 9-11 p.m., CBS.
Stevens Jr – who made this one of the classiest shows on TV – was
replaced. Wisely, the new people copied his formula, with a smart
mixture of comments, films and performances.
Good stories are
told about George Lucas, Cicely Tyson and more; Lin-Manuel Miranda
describes Rita Moreno leaping onstage “like an altruistic Kanye
West” to tell rich people to hush and listen to a youth orchestra.
Resist any impulse to quit during the Seiji Ozawa tribute; next is
thenwondrous Carole King finale. Wrapped up powerfully by Aretha
Franklin, it's one of the year's best TV segments.
“The Expanse,” 10 p.m., Syfy.
After a slow start,
this show is adding depth and impact. Tonight skips quickly past two
so-so stories – a cynical detective in the tough asteroid belt and
the United Nations head on Earth. Instead, it focuses on the five
survivors who were out on a mission. when the freight ship Canterbury
Holden, sent a message blaming the high-tech colonists on Mars. But
now he's been captured by a Martian ship ... which is being attacked
in the same way the Canterbury was. Alongside the battle scenes,
there are complex views of people sandwiched by perplexing forces.
ALTERNATIVE: Matt Damon movies, cable.
Rainmaker” in 1997 to “The Martian” now, Matt Damon keeps
landing in excellent films. Now we can trace his career.
There's one break he
made for himself – co-writing and starring in the superb “Good
Will Hunting” (1997); it's 6:45 p.m. on Showtime. Also today is his
dandy little role in the masterful “Saving Private Ryan” (1998);
it's 8 p.m. on Sundance. And “The Bourne Ultimatium” (2007),
wrapping up a high-octane thriller. It's 7:30 p.m. on Syfy ... even
though it has only a tiny touch of science fiction.
8-10 p.m., PBS (check local listings). Three days before Ken Burns is
grand marshal of the Rose Bowl parade, here's the conclusion of one
of his superb documentaries. Earlier, we saw that Prohibition was
born amid good intentions; by this finale, the crime and corruption
“NCIS,” 8 p.m.,
CBS. Rerunning the season-opener, this offers a neatly offbeat
performance by Jon Cryer, as the Navy surgeon trying to save the
critically wounded Gibbs. Meanwhile, Tony and a CIA agent (Mimi
Rogers) head to Shanghai to try to take down The Calling.
“New Girl,” 8
and 9 p.m., Fox. Next week, this dandy comedy starts its fifth
season. First, here are the final episodes of the fourth, including
the departure of Coach (Daman Wayans Jr.). Also, Fawn (Zoe Lister
Jones, now of “Life in Pieces”) faces a political scandal; Jess
and Nick try for a clean break-up.
8:30, Fox. Following comedy traditions, a small lie soon magnifies
wildly. This rerun involves an elite pre-school; it has its moments,
then wallows in excess.
p.m., CW. Liv already had enough troubles, what with being a zombie
whose former fiance is distancing himself. To make things worse, the
latest murder victim she munches (absorbing some of the thoughts and
emotions) was an illusionist, obsessed with death.
10 p.m., NBC. In this rerun, people band together to help a colleague
who faced a near-disaster. That concludes NBC's rerun night, which
has “Hollywood Game Night” at 8 p.m. (its new slot, with fresh
episodes starting next Tuesday) and “Chicago Med” at 9.
Guide to Divorce,” 10 p.m., Bravo. Abby hesitently tries a second
date with Dr. Harris. Also, Phoebe finally has her GED, so friends
throw her a party with a 1990s theme.