TV column for Monday, March 12

“Jane,” 8 p.m., National Geographic and NatGeo Wild; reruns at

When Jane Goodall
reached Tanzania, she was 26, with no college education or science
background: She was becoming the first person to do a close-up study
of chimpanzees in the wild.

At 83, she still has
a research station there, continuing to study generations of chimps.
She also has a doctorate and world fame. This is an epic story, with
sweeping emotions in her own life and in the lives of the chimps.
“Jane” (shown commercial-free) tells it beautidully. It uses
gorgeous film by Hugo van Lawick (Goodall's ex-husband) and
resounding music by Philip Glass, plus Goodall's own rich writing.

“Good Girls,” 10 p.m., NBC.

These women have
already learned a life lesson: Robbing a grocery store and grabbing
$500,000 isn't as much fun as it seems. The money belonged to a gang
that wants it back; some of it has already been spent, so now they
women must do a dangerous favor for the gangsters.

Two side stories –
a church crisis for Ruby, a custody meeting for Annie – are so-so.
The main plot, however, has this show's knack for serious drama,
sprinkled with occasional comedy.

ALTERNATIVE: “American Idol” (ABC) or “The Voice” (NBC), 8-10

Two music-reality
giants collide. “Idol” is the original one and spent years at No.
1 in the Nielsen ratings; “Voice” is the latecomer that helped
topple it.

Now, after missing a
year and jumping networks, “Idol” is back. Its opener Sunday
offered talented contestants, feel-good stories and likable judges.
There's Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan ... who's a lot like
the guy he used to host award shows with, Blake Shelton of “The

ALTERNATIVE II: “Mary Kills People” season-opener, 10 p.m.,

By the end of the
first season, Mary and Des had strayed far from their original plan
to simply help dying people end their lives. They framed Grady for
the deaths of their patients; also, Des took a prison sentence to
protect her. Now he's out and their world gets more complicated.

She's in Mexico to
buy deadly drugs .... they're both dealing with a patient who adds a
moral complication ... and Des meets a mysterious beauty (Rachelle
Lefevre) who launches a season-long crisis. It's a strong hour,
stylishly filmed.

Other choices

“The Departed”
(2006), 6:30-10 p.m., AMC. This tangled crime tale won the Academy
Award for best picture, plus Oscars for the editing, the screenplay
and director Martin Scorsese. On the light side, Turner Classic
Movies has early Elizabeth Taylor, including “National Velvet”
(1944) at 8 p.m. ET.

“Lucifer,” 8
p.m., Fox. A music superstar's life has been threatened. Now Lucifer,
who has known other hellish conditions, enters the world of arena

“The Big Bang
Theory,” 8 p.m., CBS. Its Thursday spot goes to basketball this
week, so TV's best comedy slides to a Monday. This rerun finds Raj
with divided loyalties: His friend Bernadette suspects that his
sometimes-lover Ruchi is trying to steal her job.

“Young Sheldon,”
9 p.m., CBS. Here's another Thursday show, temporarily displaced. To
satisfy his mother, 9-year-old Sheldon goes on a quest to find one
friend in high school.

“iZombie,” 9
p.m., CW. Liv, the reluctant zombie, keeps assuming the personality
of the murder victim whose brain she's just eaten. That gets messy
tonight, when she munches a romantic-novel buff. It's a funny story,
sandwiched inside a serious one (continuing next week) about a serial

“The Good Doctor,”
10 p.m., ABC. A patient has the option of dangerous surgery that
could change his life. He asks Shaun – a doctor with little life
experience – what he would do.