Mike Hughes

Clean-cut crimesolving, Canadian style

Life is different in Canada, it seems. Streets are clean, people are calm and “Murdoch” is forever.
“Murdoch Mysteries” arrived in 2008, with Yannick Bisson as a polite policemen solving crimes in early-1900s Toronto. “I thought, ‘Wow, this will go a couple good years,’” Bisson recalled.
And now? Its 12th season recently concluded in Canada and has just started on Ovation, an American cable network. Compared to U.S. crimesolvers, that ties it with “Bones,” “Dragnet,” “NYPD Blue,” “Hawaii Five-0” and “Murder, She Wrote,” trailing only a couple “Law & Order” series. Read more…

Best bets for April 21: Motown glory

1) “Motown 60: A Grammy Celebration,” 9-11 p.m., CBS. Here is a cascade of stars, young (Tori Kelly, Chloe x Halle, Fantasia) and old, with Thelma Houston, 72, Diana Ross, 74, and co-host Smokey Robinson, 79. There are potent medleys from Ne-Yo (shown here) and Jennifer Lopez, plus a rousing tribute to Motown women. And there’s deep emotion: Watch Ross sing to Motown founder Berry Gordy … Stevie Wonder sing to a montage of departed stars … and John Legend soar with the music of Marvin Gaye. Read more…

Best bets for April 20: A commanding epic

1) “The Ten Commandments” (1956), 7-11:44 p.m., ABC (check local listings). This has become an ABC tradition – on the night before Easter, showing Cecil B. DeMille’s epic. In its time, the mega-movie – with Charlton Heston as Moses – was well-regarded; it drew seven Oscar nominations (including best picture), winning for special effects. By modern standards, it feels stiff and the effects aren’t that special. Read more…

Best bets for April 19: Lucy, loosely

1) “I Love Lucy Funny Money Special,” 8-9 p.m., CBS. When not obsessing on show-business, Lucy schemed about money. These 1954 episodes (with color added by computer) are vivid examples. The first – selling homemade salad dressing – is moderately funny, if we forgive the cliche that only men figure finances. The second – a scramble to win the “bonus bucks” contest – is a giddy crescendo of greed and error, boosted by Lucille Ball’s mastery of sight gags. Read more…

Best bets for April 18: Vacation falls to pieces

1) “Life in Pieces” season-opener, 8:31 and 9:30 p.m. CBS. John (James Brolin) chose the site for the family vacation. which is short on a few luxuries — toilets and water, for instance — but long on bugs, bats and snakes. That’s in the first episode. which skips the usual, four-story format and focuses on the vacation, with hilarious results. The second has Joey King (who’s brilliant in Hulu’s “The Act”) as a pregnant teen. Colleen and Matt want to adopt her baby, but must compete with a rich couple. Read more…