TV column for Tuesday, Feb. 13


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE:
“American Experience,” 9 p.m., PBS.

Long before modern
car bombs, a horse-drawn wagon lumbered down Wall Street. Its
dynamite exploded in front of the Morgan Bank, killing 38 people and
seriously injuring hundreds.

That was in 1920;
the crime was never solved, but this well-crafted documentary shows
its aftershocks. There had been other bombing attempts; in reaction,
the attorney general created a “Radical Division,” led by
24-year-old J. Edgar Hoover. He began a crackdown on people who had
voiced anti-capitalist feelings; one series of raids sent 249 people
(including famed activist Emma Goldman) to Russia.

TODAY'S MUST-SEE:
Winter Olympics, NBC and cable.

Things start early
on the NBC Sports Network, with the U.S. women's hockey team facing
Russian players at 7 a.m. ET. That's followed by luge, cross-country
skiing, speedskating and (at 2:30 p.m.) the bronze-medal curling
match. The gold-medal match is at 5 p.m. on CNBC.

NBC joins from 3-5
p.m. ET, with speedskating, luge and cross-country skiing. At night
(8-11:30 p.m., then 12:05 a.m.) it has Alpine skiing, snowboarding,
short-track speedskating and lots of figureskating. The team
competition ended Sunday and others start now; pairs will swirl today
and Wednesday.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: “The Bachelor Winter Games,” 8-10:01 p.m., ABC.

This is the new
strategy for facing the Olympics: Concoct a short-term reality show
with some familiar faces. CBS has “Celebrity Big Brother”; ABC
has this, on two Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Winter-type games
are played, alongside romantic opportunities. This includes a dozen
people from “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette,” plus 13 from
overseas. Ben Higgins – newly single, after being the 2016 bachelor
-- will compete; JoJo Fletcher -- the 2016 bachelorette, after being
Higgins' runner-up – will visit. Also visiting: Ryan and Trista
Sutter, Rachel Lindsay, Arie Luyendyk Jr. and past Olympians.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE II: “20/20,” 10 p.m., ABC.

On the eve of
Valentine's Day, the subject turns to romantic movies. Several of the
interviews involve the “Fifty Shades” films – their author,
stars and set designer – but there are others.

Nia Vardalos talks
about “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” which she molded from her own
life. Taylor Hackford discusses directing Richard Gere and Debra
Winger, who were chilly off-screen and passionate in “An Officer
and a Gentleman.” Also: Ione Skye (“Say Anything”) and more.

Other choices
include:

“Westminster
Kennel Club Dog Show” conclusion, 1-4 p.m. ET, NatGeo Wild; and
8-11 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1. The evening portion will hand out the top
prize. The NatGeo Wild portion leads into a Cesar Millan marathon,
from 4 p.m. to 3 a.m. ET; including new “Cesar 911” hours from
8-11 p.m. ET

“The Color Purple”
(1985), 7-10:30 p.m., Sundance. Some Oscar-nominees can be far more
interesting than the winners. This one – 11 nominations, zero wins
– is a stirring Steven Spielberg classic. By comparison, Turner
Classic Movies focuses tonight on foreign-language films, an uneven
bunch. The nominated “Babette's Feast” is 6 p.m. ET, followed by
winners, including Fellini's “La Strada” at 8.

“Black Lightning,”
8 p.m., CW. As a fierce drug rips through the community, Jefferson
Pierce looks for answers ... unaware that his daughter is secretly
becoming a superhero – just as he did long ago. It's a good
episode, despite the show's inconsistencies. It preaches
non-violence, yet has brutal moments; it's dead-serious, but gives
the daughter a silly, “Pretty Woman” kind of costume scene.

“NCIS,” 8 p.m.,
CBS. This reruns the episode that added a forensic psychologist
(Maria Bello).

“LA to Vegas,” 9
p.m., Fox. Ronnie figures that one of the regular passengers is
cheating on his wife, but isn't sure what to do about it. Meanwhile.
The cocky Captain Dave is timid about romance.

“NCIS: New
Orleans,” 10 p.m., CBS. This reruns the season-opener, with Pride
(Scott Bakula) suspended and a by-the-books supervisor (Becky Ann
Baker) in charge.