By MIKE HUGHES
TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE: “American Experience,” 9-11 p.m., PBS
(check local listings).
Fifty years ago this summer, about 1,000 idealists
confronted segregation in Mississippi. They were undermanned and overwhelmed;
they sparked crucial changes in America.
Filmmaker Stanley Nelson – whose splendid “Freedom Riders”
(2011) reran last week – shows the same touch here. He interviews people who
grew up in Mississippi and those who arrived for a summer of registering voters
and running “freedom schools.” News clips do the rest; the result is
TONIGHT’S MUST-SEE II: “The Night Shift” (NBC) or
“Perception” (TNT), both 10 p.m.
Scott Wolf has become the go-to boyfriend for dramas. On
both shows tonight, his relationship with the
female lead expands. In “Perception,” he’s a federal lawyer who is the
ex-husband – and new fiancé – of a key cop; in “Night Shift,” he’s a surgeon
dating the doctor who heads the shift.
The “Perception” story – with a prosecutor who dies mid-testimony
– is OK; the “Night Shift” one is quite good. Previous episodes have been chaotic,
in this story (a giant storm hits San Antonio), the chaos makes sense. June Also,
the show’s absurd administrator character finally turns human.
TONIGHT’S ALTERNATIVE: “Tyrant” debut, 10 p.m., FX.
In Pasadena, Barry is a pediatrician who’s married to
another professional; they have two kids and a comfortable life. In his
homeland, he’s known as Bassam, son of the tyrannical ruler and younger brother
of the crazed heir to power. A trip home means confronting boyhood.
Molding cable’s latest anti-hero, “Tyrant” sometimes hits
overkill. The final minutes in this opener give Barry surprising depth, while
making him hard to care about. The opener also takes evil-Arab stereotypes to
an extreme … yet crafts characters and a situation worth following.
Other choices include:
“The March,” 8 p.m., PBS (check local listings). Leading
into “Freedom Summer,” here’s a rerun of last year’s film, looking back at the
1963 March on Washington.
“NCIS,” 8 p.m., CBS. In a rerun, a truck full of stolen
Marine gear includes faulty bulletproof vests.
“NCIS: Los Angeles,” 9 p.m., CBS. This rerun finds the team
linking with an undercover drug agent.
“Rizzoli & Isles,” 9 p.m., TNT. The so-so season-opener
(rerunning at 8 p.m.) ended with the off-camera death (in a car accident) of Rizzoli’s
colleague Frost. Now she deals with that (and tries to keep her pregnancy
secret), while tackling an interesting case, involving an amnesiac with a gun.
“Motor City Masters” debut, 10 p.m., TruTV. Yes, this show
copies the form used by competition shows for designers, tattoo artists,
make-up people and more. Still, it visits an interesting world (car styling),
populated by people worth knowing. The opener asks them to craft a quick
“Covert Affairs,” 10:01 p.m., USA. Last season, Annie faked
her death and gunned down a villain. Now she tries to come in from the cold and
resume normal CIA life. It’s a so-so episode, but does introduces a fresh
force, an independent contractor, nor bound by the agency’s rules.