“American Crime” season-opener, 10 p.m., ABC.
Last year's “Crime”
was an achingly brilliant journey with all the people surrounding a
murder probe. This second season has different characters, but some
of the same actors (Tim Hutton, Felicity Huffman, Elvis Nolasco), the
same creator ... and the same gripping sense of human detail.
This starts with a
voice reporting an alleged rape; then it flashes back, with no quick
hints about the victim or the perpretator. We're at an upscale
private school that prides itself on diversity. A mom (beautifully
played by Lili Taylor) sees the pain of her son and his girlfriend.
Then emotions build.
II: “American Idol” season-opener, 8-10 p.m., Fox.
What has this show
meant to some young fans? “'American Idol' is what I base my life
off of,” one teen says here. Another lives on a distant ranch, with
no electricity; twice a week, she says, her dad would crank up the
the generator so she could watch “Idol.”
Now they audition in
Atlanta and Denver, as the final season begins. So do others, ranging
from huge vocal gymnastics to a quiet ballad sung with heart-tugging
simpliciy and beauty. And so are some shaky talents who somehow get
approved; “Idol” is far from its days of Simon Cowell put-downs.
ALTERNATIVE: “It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia” season-opener,
10 p.m., FXX.
The comedy of
exaggeration can be tricky. Tonight's “Man Seeking Woman” opener
(10:30 p.m., FXX) tries it and soon becomes one-note; “Sunny,”
by comparison, keeps concocting new, funny twists.
The gang wants to
sell its creation to a board-game executive, so the entire episode
involves playing it with him. Wonderfully wierd, with oddly
expandable rules, the game brings great detours, including some
hilarious sculpture-charades. Then Frank (Danny DeVito) takes things
ALTERNATIVE II: “Particle Fever” (2013), 10 p.m., PBS.
This is science on
an epic scale. Underground at a quiet Swiss village, the Large Hadron
Collider stands 300 feet and is variously estimated at $5 to $10
billion. It helps find answers to the start of life.
Now its story is
told by skilled people. “Fever” is co-directed by David Kaplan (a
physicist) and by a Hollywood sound engineer who has a physics
doctorate. Sharply edited by Walter Murch, a three-time Oscar-winner,
it ranges from animation to interesting people. Some are veterans,
their lives' work at stake; one is a young post-doctoral student,
zipping around on her bicycle, being part of epic science.
“The Myseries of
Laura” return, 8 p.m., NBC. After taking six weeks off, “Laura”
returns with an “urban treasure hunt” -- from gritty rooftops to
a symphony hall – that becomes a murder case.
Movies, 8 p.m.,
cable. Beautifully directed by Penny Marshall, “Big” (1988, E) is
full of charm, with Tom Hanks as a 12-year-old kid suddenly in a
grown-up's body. Meanwhile, the third “Night at the Museum” film
(2014, HBO) is a pleasant trifle. And MTV has an instant rerun of
“The Shannara Chronicles,” a big-budget adventure in the mode of
“Lord of the Rings” and “Game of Thrones.”
Molly,” 8:30 p.m., CBS. The sixth season finally begins, as the
second half of a comedy block with “2 Broke Girls.” Mike and Carl
try couples counseling, after their police partnership wobbles.
Awards,” 9-11 p.m., CBS. Jane Lynch is busy filling every night. On
Tuesday, she hosted the season-opener of NBC's “Hollywood Game
Night”; on Thursday, she'll star in the opener of “Angel From
Hell.” In between, she hosts this, with music from Jason Derulo and
9 p.m., ABC. Two stories involve friendships with couples. Jay is
sensitive about the fact that the guy is in his 80s; Phil is
challenged by the fact that he always ends up with the check.
10 p.m., NBC. This wraps up the two-night, three-show link between
the Chicago dramas. Police investigate, after four of a doctor's
patients have chemo overdoses.