TV column for Wednesday, June 13


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE:
“24 Hours to Hell and Back” debut, 9 p.m., Fox.

Here, remarkably, is
someone who's more irritable and irritating than Gordon Ramsay. The
guy owns a failing restaurant in a gorgeous setting, an hour from
Manhattan. He yells at employees and snipes at customers – all
while he has outdated equipment and past-its-date food.

That puts Ramsay in
the rare position of urging him to mellow out. Meanwhile, Ramsay's
team has 24 hours to re-decorate and re-equip the restaurant,
re-train its staff and revise its menu. The result is fun.

TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE:
“Modern Family,” 9 p.m., ABC.

Our summer
Wednesdays settle in. There's no more basketball (which took over ABC
last Wednesday) and no more hockey (which was supposed to be on NBC
tonight, before things ended abruptly).

So now we savor
ABC's reruns – led by “Modern Family,” with five best-comedy
Emmys. Tonight, Claire and Phil are out of their comfort zones: She
drives a big rig; he tries survival camping

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: Season-openers, 10 p.m., cable.

For some reason,
three reality openers collide, pondering real-estate, hamburgers and
sunken treasure.

That last one is
“Caribbean Pirate Treasure,” on Travel; Philippe Cousteau –
whose granddad Jacques pioneered underwater TV – dives with his
wife Ashlan. CNBC counters with “The Deed,” with Sidney Torres
buying into wobbly properties. And A&E has “Wahlbergers”: The
famous Wahlbergs (Mark and Donnie) help their brother Paul expand
their burger busines.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE II: “The Split,” 10 p.m., Sundance.

Last week, two
people were rebuffed after clumsy moves: Hannah's husband tried to
kiss her sister Nina; Hannah's younger sister tried to kiss the vicar
... who was giving her pre-marriage counseling, Then the sisters
found that their mom had been concealing letters and presents from
their dad.

All of this strained
believability, but packed a fierce emotional impact. And yes, these
things will resurface tonight: When the family gathers for a dinner,
Nina has a lot of alcohol and a lot of words.

Other choices
include:

“American Ninja
Warrior,” 8-10 p.m., NBC. With the hockey season ending early (just
as basketball did), NBC has quickly inserted its “Ninja” try-outs
from Miami.

“MasterChef,” 8
p.m., Fox. Yes, it's an all-Gordon-Ramsay night. Before his new show
debuts, this one has Ramsay show contestants how to break down a crab
and how to prepare crab Benedict.

“The Goldbergs,”
8 and 8:30 p.m., ABC. Giving his son Adam a driving lesson, Murray
learns something about his own dad. In the second rerun, Beverly has
a solution to “empty nest” despair.

“The Originals,”
9 p.m., CW. After all their fights and squabbling, the Mikaelson
siblings must work together, as rage soars in New Orleans.

“Reverie,” 10
p.m., NBC.What does an ordinary family guy do in his virtual-reality
dreams? This one robs banks; Mara tries to learn why ... and finds
her life in danger.

“Code Black,” 10
p.m., CBS. Willis and Rox (Rob Lowe and Moon Bloodgood) rush to the
scene of a boat crash. Leanne (Marcia Gay Harden) tries to save a
brother and sister who tried a viral challenge.

“Particle Fever,”
10 p.m., PBS. How do you turn physics into an entertaining
documentary? This film starts with interesting people and an imposing
subject – the giant Hadron super collider. Monica Dunford – a
young physicist who bicycles to work each day – compares it to “a
five-story Swiss watch.” The film adds clever animation and is
slickly edited by Walter Murch, a triple Oscar-winner.