1) “Fosse/Verdon” debut, 10 p.m. Tuesday, FX. For Broadway, this was the perfect fit. Bob Fosse directed and choreographed; Gwen Verdon starred. The result — “Chicago,” “Sweet Charity,” “Damn Yankees” — soared. But they were opposites, this series says. Haunted by his rough childhood, Fosse (Sam Rockwell) was obsessive and adulterous; Verdon (Michelle Williams) brought balancing warmth. Bouncing back and forth in time, this complex series offers rich visuals and deeply layered characters.
2) “The Code” debut, 9 p.m. Tuesday, CBS. While other networks prefer tangled serials, CBS sticks to what it knows – straight-ahead dramas, with heroes pushing toward happy endings. This one is set amid military lawyers, with Col. Turnbull (Dana Delany) in charge of both sides. Abe is a prosecutor, Maya is a defense lawyer, but they’re also friends … and the opener finds a way for them to work together. The story starts with a sudden and unprovoked murder … then throws in some smart complications.
3) “In the Dark,” 8 p.m. Wednesday and 9 p.m. Thursday, CW. Now we’re back to serialized stories. In the opener (rerunning Wednesday), Murphy is convinced she found her friend’s body. But she’s blind, the body had disappeared and people are doubtful. On Thursday, questions linger. “Dark” has its flaws, but it avoids all the blind-hero cliches. Sullen and shiftless, Murphy is given to sex, sarcasm and alcohol. On Thursday, a scene with her friend’s mother is written and played with subtle perfection.
4) Basketball, 9 p.m. ET today, CBS, with preview at 8:30.The college tourney has been filled with fresh twists and surprises. Now we have the finals, with Jim Nantz, Bill Raftery and Grant Hill at the mikes. After that, fans will feel a sharp letdown … or will simply switch to the pro playoffs. Hockey starts Wednesday; there are games for three straight night on the NBC Sports Network, then on NBC on Saturday … which is when the basketball playoffs start on ABC. Also, baseball season just started.
5) “Les Miserables” debut, 9 p.m. Sunday, PBS. Yes, there’s a “Les Mis” in which no one wants to sing. The novel preceded the musical by 118 years; there were at least 14 filmed versions, before Hugh Jackman starred and sang. Now we’re back to the gritty roots … and we’re reminded of how unrelenting the story is. Director Tom Shankland gets an epic look and perfect performances from Dominic West, David Oyelowo and Lily Collins, but this first of six hours is brutally hard on characters and viewers.
6) “Hostile Planet,” 9 p.m. ET today, National Geographic, rerunning at 11:01. Human babies get coddled, but some turtles don’t. Their first task in life is to spend hours breaking through the sand and reaching the surface; their second is to dash to the sea, amid marauding birds and crocodiles. That stark sequence starts an hour that ends with stunning views of creatures at ocean’s bottom. This sea-view hour is beautifully done … as was last week’s mountain-top opener, rerunning at 8 p.m. and 1:01 a.m.
7) “American Idol” and “The Voice,” 8-10 p.m. today, ABC and NBC. In other time zones, viewers might be torn between basketball and music. In the West, however, the game will be almost over before the singing begins. “Voice” will wrap up its “battle rounds” today and Tuesday. “Idol” today concludes its celebrity duets: Half the top-20 singers sang Sunday; the others get their turn tonight, with two duets apiece for Ben Harper, Julia Michaels, Lukas Graham, Chris Isaak and Tony-winner Cynthia Erivo.
8) “New Amsterdam” return, 10 p.m. Tuesday, NBC. When we last saw this show, a winter storm was lashing New York, knocking out electricity. Now (after a three-week break), we find that the ancient hospital’s generator won’t work. Patients – including a nursing mom and a man undergoing open-heart surgery – are endangered. What follows are hideous plot excesses – coincidences and people saying and doing things few humans would do. But despite it all, this fiercely paced hour remains compelling.
9) “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “Abby’s” 9 and 9:30 p.m. Thursday, NBC. Now that “Will & Grace” has wrapped its season, NBC juggles its comedies. Back from a two-week break, “Nine-Nine” moves to 9 p.m., with an intimate episode: Jake and Amy spend their anniversary in a hospital, guarding a patient; they use the time to ponder their relationship. That leads to “Abby’s,” about the special day when a rep brings free liquor. It’s moderaely funny and has insights about Abby and how this outdoor bar started.
10) “American Masters: Joseph Pulitzer,” 9 p.m. Friday, PBS (check local listings). Encased in tragedy – family bankruptcy, deaths of his father and six of seven siblings – Pulitzer moved from Hungary to the U.S. at 17. He had no money, little English and a job as a Union soldier in the Civil War. He would own two mega-newspapers, champion the common man and create awards for great journalism. It could be a feel-good story, but this fine film adds the flip side, with his descent into sensationalism.
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