“American Masters,” 9 p.m., PBS (check local listings).
Jascha Heifetz was
born into the old world. That was 1901 Russia; he was fiddling at 3,
taking violin lessons at 5, moving to Saint Petersburg at 9 to work
with a master. He had an American tour at 16 .. and then the world
changed around him.
As the Russian
revolution began, he stayed in the U.S. Eventually, he would live in
Beverly Hills, marry (and divorce) an actress, even write a hit Bing
Crosby song. Still, this superb film says, he kept one old-world
habit: After one lapse, he practiced intensely, remaining one of
music's all-time greats.
“The Messengers” debut, 9 p.m., CW.
These people seem to
have nothing in common. A nurse just got engaged; a mom has an
abrasive ex-husband. There's an earnest swimmer, a brainy astronomer,
an intense preacher, an endangered cop.
meteor-crash impacts them all. In the “X-Files” style, far-flung
events will gradually link. The difference? “Messengers” has an
overload of overwrought males. Also, “X-Files” finished a story
each week; this hour leaves us hanging. Still, it's a compelling
start that will bring us back next week.
ALTERNATIVE: “Bitten,” season-opener, 8 and 9 p.m., Syfy.
found fame as Supergirl on “Smallville.” Now she's super again as
Elena, the only female werewolf; she has supernatural skills, plus
Her boyfriend was
beheaded three days ago. Instead of grief-counseling, she throws
herself into intense fighting and lovemaking. Some of this is very
nasty (especially for 8 p.m.), but the characters are well-drawn ...
especially this season's additions -- witches who spark tonight's
Mermaid” (1989) and “Happy Feet Two” (2011), 7 and 9 p.m., ABC
Family. The entire ABC Family weekend is stuffed with animated
movies, starting with Disney's lovely “Mermaid.” The marathon
continues at 8 a.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday.
(2011), 8-10 p.m. Fox. Cameron Diaz plays a teacher who doesn't care
about her work ... but does like her paycheck and luring a colleague
(Justin Timberlake) whose family is rich.
Race,” 8-10 p.m., CBS Two episodes are lumped together, starting
in Namibia. This edition began with some couples who were already
dating and some who were thrown together. Now three of the five
blind-daters are still in the race, alongside three of the six
Battle” debut, 8 p.m., CW. Neighborhood barber shops, we're told,
are sometimes filled with zesty jibes and fun. Now Cedric the
Entertainer tries to capture that. Each week, three barbers try to do
difficult cuts ... while verbal jests bounce around the room.
10 p.m., CBS. In a rerun, Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) is accused of using
excessive force. His dad (Tom Selleck), the police commissioner, must
p.m., PBS (check local listings). “Giant” (1956) brought big
stars – Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean – to Marva, a
West Texas town that has 1,900 people and separate cemeteries for
Anglos and Hispanics. This interesting film views the cultural
season-opener, 10 p.m., Syfy. Tonight has turned into a sci-fi
festival, with “Messengers,” double-“Bitten” and NBC's
“Grimm.” Now it wraps up on a lighter note: Bo – a succubus
from the Fae world – tries to rescue her friend Kenzi, who finds
that even the Netherworld can be kind of giddy.