TV column for Wednesday, July 11


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE:
“Kingdoms of the Sky” debut, 9 p.m., PBS.

After promising a
“summer of adventure,” PBS soars to the top –literally. This
three-week series will spend its next weeks in the Himalayas and the
Andes; first, it's closer to home, with the Rockies.

That's a world of
brutal extremes – highs reaching 110, lows reaching minus-40, a
single-day having six feet of show or a 100-degree temperature swing.
But the animals that thrive there are amazing; so are the humans:
Hilaree O'Neill climbs up mountains and then skis down; Jeff Shapiro
floats down, via hang-glider. They're included in a gorgeous portrait
of America at the top.

TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE:
“Young & Hungry,” 8 and 8:31 p.m.; “Beauty and the Beast”
(1991), 9:02 p.m., Freeform.

Gabi is so giddy in
love that she forgets everything else ... including her friend
Sofia's 25th birthday. She promptly hides her mistake by
whisking Sofia to a vacation in Mexico.

That starts a
two-parter that gets way too silly. (We're to believe Gabi knew
nothing about the border crackdown? Or that people would cavort near
a $3 million painting?) Still, this has fun people and enough laughs
to keep us watching. And it's followed by one of the all-time great
animated movies.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: “TKO: Total Knockout” debut, 9 p.m., CBS.

For weeks, CBS has
hit us with loud, blunt promos, saying only that this is a loud,
blunt show. Players race through obstacles, while others fire
projectiles; last year's failed “Candy Crush” comes to mind.

Still, this could
succeed for two reasons -- Kevin Hart is the host and Mark Burnett is
the producer. In the summer of 2000, Burnett transformed TV with
“Survivor.” He's gone on to do “The Voice,” “Shark Tank,”
“Beat Shazam” and more; most, like “TKO,” seemed like long
shots.

Other choices
include:

“America's Got
Talent,” 8-10 p.m., NBC. The auditions have ended now and the
judges will start their cuts on Tuesday. First, here's a “best of
auditions” recap.

“The Outpost,” 8
p.m., CW. This rerun of Tuesday's debut is sort of like “Game of
Thrones,” but a little younger, a lot cheaper and quite inept. A
warrior seeks revenge for the massacre she saw long ago.

“The Originals,”
9 p.m., CW. After a two-week rest, this is back for its final four
episodes. They'll point us toward next season's spin-off, focusing on
Hope, the tribrid (witch, werewolf, vampire) daughter of Niklaus and
Hayley. Tonight, Klaus helps her cope with pain; also, Marcel takes
on the nightwalkers.

“Modern Family,”
9 p.m., ABC. In a rerun, Phil is rushed to the hospital for surgery.

“Code Black,” 10
p.m., CBS. Last week, Rox (Moon Bloodgood) was seriously injured. Now
Dr. Willis (Rob Lowe), her EMT partner, continues to tend to her.
Also, Leanne searches for Ariel.

“Reverie,” 10
p.m., NBC. Ever since a recent tragedy, a young dancer has been
spiraling into deep despair. While trying to help her, Mara meets the
guy she left when her own life fell apart.

ALSO: This is TV's
Kevin Costner night, starting slowly. At 6 p.m., Showtime has “The
Big Chill” (1983), with Costner only as the corpse; his flashback
scenes were deleted. At 8, he stars in Showtime's “No Way Out”
(1986), a terrific political-intrigue thriller ... until its
way-too-cute ending. At 10, Paramount has the third week of the epic
“Yellowstone,” as his family faces a solemn anniversary.