TV column for Friday, Jan. 12


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE:
“The Gershwin Prize,” 9-10:30 p.m., PBS.

Here is some truly
great musical television. Tony Bennett is honored, in a night that
has short films, no speeches and superb music.

There are gorgeous
duets early (Josh Groban and trumpeter Chris Botti) and late (Stevie
Wonder and Gloria Estefan). There are familiar stars – Vanessa
Williams, Michael Buble, Savion Glover, Brian Stokes Mitchell –
plus strong moments from emerging singers Lukas Nelson (Willie's
son), 29, and We McDonald, 18. Then Bennett – still in great voice
at 91 – wraps up his own tribute.

TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE:
“Taken” season-opener, 9 p.m., NBC.

The first season –
with a young version of Bryan Mills, the hero Liam Neeson played in
the movies – had only modest success. Instead of dumping the show,
NBC has rebuilt it.

Now Bryan (Clive
Standen) is in a secret Mexican prison, where brutal fights happen
daily. Things can't get any worse ... but do, when he and a young
migrant girl are taken by human traffickers. Back at headquarters,
his boss (Jennifer Beals) gets powerful new software that might help
find him.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” 8 p.m., CW.

Lately, Rebecca's
obsessive nature has ruled (and ruined) her life. Now she's sort of
obsessed with shedding obsessions. She even fantasizes the show's
nine top characters combining to sing the zesty message: “Without
love, you can save the world.”

Alas, Rebecca isn't
good at saving anything, including a friend's struggling
party-planning business. In a fairly funny hour, she leaves her
everyone struggling. That include three hunky guys, delivering the
topless (and unconvincing) musical message: “Fit, hot guys can have
fun too;”

Other choices
include:

Streaming shows, any
time. There have been plenty of rock-biography movies, but how about
a polka biography? Jack Black plays Jan Lewan,who was famous and
jailed, in “Polka King.” That arrives today on Netflix, as does
the second half of the “Disjointed” season, with Kathy Bates
trying to re-launch her pot business. Also, Amazon starts a sci-fi
anthology, “Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams.”

“Blindspot,” 8
p.m., NBC. The team has a lot of internal disputes now, but it tries
to put them aside. After all, nuclear warheads are missing. This is
considered a major problem.

“Hell's Kitchen,”
8 p.m., Fox, Three tough challenges are packed into the hour,
including this one: Taste a dish (without being told what's in it)
and then re-create it.

“MacGyver,” 8
p.m., CBS. Old relationships return: Jack heads to his class reunion,
hoping to confront the guy who beat him for Homecoming king. Mac is
competing with his fomer girlfriend (Ashley Tisdale), now a CIA
operative, in a robotics contest; then he helps her when she's
hacked.

“Hawaii Five-0,”
9 p.m., CBS. Grover (Chi McBride) gets an intensely personal moment,
dealing with a man who is threatening suicide.

Sci-fi shows, 9 p.m.
On ABC's “Agents of SHIELD,” the team is finally back together
... and promptly faces an undefeated Kree warrior. That goes against
Fox's rerun of the “X-Files” season-opener. Focusing on the
show's overall arc, the hour has rich, heightened dialog, but no real
ending. And the Syfy channel? At 8 p.m., it has a marathon of the
clever cartoon “Futurama.”

“Blue Bloods,”
10 p.m., CBS. Anthony, who does detective work for Erin, has been
shot. Now she asks her brother Danny – who happens to be Anthony's
enemy – fo find out who did it. Meanwhile, Jamie's in the middle of
a dangerous stand-off and Nicky prepares to take the police exam.