TV column for Saturday, Sept. 22


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE:
“Saturday Night Live,” 11:29 p.m., NBC.

Right now, “SNL”
is coming off an Emmy high. Its producer (Lorne Michaels) produced
the Emmycast – a fairly good one – with his “Weekend Update”
anchors as hosts. He was also onstage when “SNL” won its second
straight Emmy for best variety sketch show.

The night was filled
with “SNL” people plus alumni who were winners (Bill Hader, John
Mulaney) and presenters. That included Will Ferrell, who hosts
tonight's rerun, with Chris Stapleton as music guest.

TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE:
“No One Would Tell,” 8-10 p.m., Lifetime.

When the original
version of this movie came out in 1996, it sort of fit the times: A
shy teen dated a popular jock; when he became possessive and
demanding, she gave in. Friends didn't speak up; quite often back
then, people didn't tell.

Now the story has
been remade for a speak-up era. This version, which debuted Sunday,
has Shannen Doherty as the girl's mother and Mira Sorvino as the
judge.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: “Inside Out” (2005), 7:10 p.m., Freeform.

Ever since its first
movie, 23 years ago, Pixar has made one thing clear: Yes, these are
animated films that kids will like; still, their scripts will be
stuffed with grown-up wit. That first one (“Toy Story”) drew an
Oscar nomination for best original script; so, two decades later, did
“Inside Out.”

As a teen goes
through life crises, we peek inside her head and hear separate
voices, from Joy (Amy Poehler) to Anger (Lewis Black). It's a
terrific film, in an animation marathon that has “Hunchback of
Notre Dame” (1996) at 3 p.m., “Meet the Robinsons” (2007) at
5:05, “The Incredibles” (2004) at 9:15 and “Despicable Me”
(2010) at 11:55. They all return Sunday, starting at 12:40 p.m.

Other choices
include:

Sylvester Stallone
films, all day. If you prefer the “Rocky” films, look for the
Viceland channel. It has the rousing original (1976) at 5:30 p.m. and
varied follow-ups at 7:30 (1979), 10 p.m. (1982) and midnight (1990).
But the Paramount Network has later Stallone, with “Expendables 2”
(2012) at 2:30 p.m., “Expendables 3” (2014) at 5 and “Creed”
(2015) – yet another “Rocky” film – at 8.

Football, 4:30 and
8:30 p.m. ET, Fox. It's a double-header this week for Fox – first
TCU (ranked No. 17) at Texas, then Wisconsin (18) at Iowa. That
collides with ABC's 8 p.m. game with Stanford (No. 7) at Oregon (26).
There's much more today, including key 3:30 games: CBS has top-ranked
Alabama hosting Texas A&M (No. 22); ABC has Clemson (No. 3) at
Georgia Tech.

“America's Got
Talent,” 8-10 p.m., NBC. Here's a rerun of Wednesday's finale,
naming the winner.

“NCIS: Los
Angeles,” 8 p.m., CBS. In a rerun, a skilled assailant wants to
avenge her father's death by killing a Brazilian diplomat. The team
rushes to stop her.

“NCIS: New
Orleans,” 9 p.m., CBS. It's a night of deadly women for CBS. In
this rerun, she seems to be targeting men with high security
clearances.

“Truly, Madly,
Sweetly,” 9-11 p.m., Hallmark. Already a busy Hallmark actor (via
the “Cedar Cove” series and “Gourmet Detective” movies),
Dylan Neal produced this film and plays a money man who instantly
dislikes a cupcake-truck woman (Nikki DeLoach). Then they jointly
inherit a bakery.

“You,” 10:03 and
11:03 p.m., Lifetime. Before the third episode airs Sunday, here's a
chance to catch the second one. Beautifully written and directed, it
slides from love story to stalker tale.

TV column for Friday, Sept. 21


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE:
“The Good Cop,” any time, Netflix.

It's been nine years
since “Monk” ended, leaving a hole in the TV universe. Since
then, creator Andy Breckman has been quiet; now – on a night
stuffed with Netflix debuts -- he has a worthy successor.

He again has a
straight-arrow crime-solver, this time a police detective (Josh
Groban). The difference is that Monk rarely had interesting people to
bounce off; this guy has two. His dad (Tony Danza) was a skilled and
corrupt cop who was convicted -- possibly framed; the probation
officer (Monica Barbaro) likes the son and distrusts the dad. That
starts with a clever hour that makes both men suspects.

TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE:
“MacGyver,” 8 p.m., CBS.

With the new season
starting in three days, everyone is in a rush to remind us where
things stand. Tonight has reruns of the season-finales for Fox's “The
Resident” and “The Orville,” ABC's “Fresh Off the Boat” and
“Speechless” and CBS' “Blue Bloods.”

Still, “MacGyver”
may feel more important, because it's been missing all summer.
Tonight, Mac tries to tell Matty he's quitting the Phoenix Foundation
– then gets a shock.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: “Art in the Twenty-First Century,” 9 and 10 p.m.,
PBS.

After showing three
fascinating “American Masters” profiles of late artists, PBS'
Friday slot begins a two-week, three-hour look at the current art
scene worldwide.

Tonight views beauty
emerging from two places with brutal pasts. First, we meet four
artists from diverse backgrounds in Johannesburg, South Africa; then
we see the post-Cold War rebirth of Berlin, from big public projects
to intimate personal ones. Next week, this wraps up with San
Francisco.

Other choices
include:

More arrivals,
Netflix. In the final weekend before broadcast networks start their
seasons, Netflix hits overload. There's another big-deal series --
“Maniac,” with Emma Stone and Jonah Hill in mind-bending
experiments – plus a movie (Sanaa Lathan in “Nappily Ever
After”), a documentary (“Quincy,” about music great Quincy
Jones) and two animated series (“Hilda” and “Dragon Pilot”).

“The Resident,”
8 p.m., Fox. Nicolette (Emily VanCamp) has been trying to expose Dr.
Hunter (Melina Kanakaredes); now Hunter is sabotaging her. Also, Dr.
Bell's alliance with Hunter is put to the test when one of her
patients is rushed to the hospital.

“I Feel Bad,” 8
and 8:30 p.m., NBC. The network really wants us to see the show's
first two episodes. It ran them after the “America's Got Talent”
finale and reruns them now, before other new-season shows arrive.
This is a fairly good show about a too-busy life, brightened by some
funny workplace scenes.

“Fresh Off the
Boat” and “Speechless,” 8 and 8:30 p.m., ABC. First, Eddie and
Nicole plan a protest, when the school dance requires girls to wear
dresses. Then JJ goes to a film festival.

“The Orville,” 9
p.m., Fox. Just as Kelly and Ed are pondering getting back together,
she heads out on a mission and crash-lands on a planet from another
universe.

“Wynonna Earp”
and “Killjoys,” 9 and 10 p.m., Syfy. In this sea of finale
reruns, here are some new episodes. First, a mysterious woman seems
to know a little too much about Wynonna and Waverly; then the
brothers are brought to the Greenspace, to fight the Lady.

“Blue Bloods,”
10 p.m., CBS. After six wrongly convicted men are released, there's a
string of drive-by shootings. Danny worries that the men might be
responsible, out of revenge.

TV column for Thursday, Sept. 20


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE:
“The Big Bang Theory,” 8 p.m., CBS.

Here is TV at its
peak – the best comedy series, rerunning possibly its funniest
episode. Like most TV weddings, this one has a crisis; unlike most,
the bride and groom are obsessing on a math problem.

Meanwhile, some
varied characters are waiting. There's Sheldon's mom (Laurie
Metcalf), who wants to slip some religion into the service ... And
Amy's dominant mom (Kathy Bates) and passive dad (Teller, of
Penn-and- fame, who has a great moment) ... And Mark Hamill (as
himself), officiating ... And Kripke, whose closing song offers a
hilarious finish to a wonderful half-hour.

TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE
II: “Grey's Anatomy,” 8 p.m., ABC.

Maybe there's some
truth to the belief that a bride and groom shouldn't see each other
in the hours before a wedding. At least, they shouldn't do math
together (as in “Big Bang”) or make passionate love in a nearby
shed -- as Jo and Alex do here, with major repercussions.

That's in a rerun of
the season-finale, which reminded us how much can go wrong at a
wedding – at least, at a TV wedding. That includes a wrong address,
two medical emergencies and much commotion.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: “Straight Outta Compton” (2015) and “Snowfall,”
7 and 10 p.m., FX.

Here are two tales
of ambitious young men, growing up tough in 1980s California. One
conclusion: Maybe “rap star” is a safer career choice than “drug
lord.”

“Compton” tells
the true story of N.W.A., which would rap its way to mega-success.
(Ice Cube has also become a successful actor; Dr. Dre is close to
being a billionaire.) “Snowfall” tells a fictional story, based
on the early cocaine scene; tonight, Franklin faces consequences and
Lucia makes a sacrifice.

Other choices
include:

“The Gifted,”
8-10 p.m., Fox. After tonight, Fox will have pro football on 11 of
the next 12 Thursdays. Tonight, however, the game (Jets at Browns,
8:20 p.m. ET) is only on the NFL Network. Fox reruns these two hours,
with Dr. Campbell trying to take his anti-mutant program national.

“The Good Place,”
8 and 8:30 p.m., NBC. Here's another show rerunning its season-finale
a week before the new season starts. Michael (Ted Danson) faces
trouble for his actions. Eleanor (Kristen Bell) ponders how much she
has or hasn't improved; then she considers taking the high road.

“Young Sheldon,”
8:31 p.m., CBS. In a fairly good rerun, Sheldon keeps getting
involved in his grandmother's dating life with two very different men
(Wallace Shawn and Richard Kind).

“Law & Order:
Special Victims Unit,” 9-11 p.m., NBC. This two-part season-finale
rerun has a young woman kidnapping a man. By the second hour, Benson
has found jolting reasons why she did it.

“Station 19,” 9
p.m., ABC. A skyscraper fire breaks out, in this rerun; at Station
19, people fidget when they're told to merely be on standby.

“How to Get Away
With Murder,” 10 p.m., ABC. Fans of this show need patience and a
long memory. It was six months ago that this season-finale aired,
offering a suspicious death and a jolting arrest. A week before the
new season starts, here's a reminder.

“St. Vincent”
(2014), 10 p.m., TNT. Two comedy actors – Bill Murray and Melissa
McCarthy – give subtly perfect performances in this comedy-drama.
She's the neighbor who reluctantly leaves her son with him. The
result drew well-deserved Golden Globe nominations for the film and
for Murray.

TV column for Thursday, Sept. 20


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE:
“The Big Bang Theory,” 8 p.m., CBS.

Here is TV at its
peak – the best comedy series, rerunning possibly its funniest
episode. Like most TV weddings, this one has a crisis; unlike most,
the bride and groom are obsessing on a math problem.

Meanwhile, some
varied characters are waiting. There's Sheldon's mom (Laurie
Metcalf), who wants to slip some religion into the service ... And
Amy's dominant mom (Kathy Bates) and passive dad (Teller, of
Penn-and- fame, who has a great moment) ... And Mark Hamill (as
himself), officiating ... And Kripke, whose closing song offers a
hilarious finish to a wonderful half-hour.

TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE
II: “Grey's Anatomy,” 8 p.m., ABC.

Maybe there's some
truth to the belief that a bride and groom shouldn't see each other
in the hours before a wedding. At least, they shouldn't do math
together (as in “Big Bang”) or make passionate love in a nearby
shed -- as Jo and Alex do here, with major repercussions.

That's in a rerun of
the season-finale, which reminded us how much can go wrong at a
wedding – at least, at a TV wedding. That includes a wrong address,
two medical emergencies and much commotion.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: “Straight Outta Compton” (2015) and “Snowfall,”
7 and 10 p.m., FX.

Here are two tales
of ambitious young men, growing up tough in 1980s California. One
conclusion: Maybe “rap star” is a safer career choice than “drug
lord.”

“Compton” tells
the true story of N.W.A., which would rap its way to mega-success.
(Ice Cube has also become a successful actor; Dr. Dre is close to
being a billionaire.) “Snowfall” tells a fictional story, based
on the early cocaine scene; tonight, Franklin faces consequences and
Lucia makes a sacrifice.

Other choices
include:

“The Gifted,”
8-10 p.m., Fox. After tonight, Fox will have pro football on 11 of
the next 12 Thursdays. Tonight, however, the game (Jets at Browns,
8:20 p.m. ET) is only on the NFL Network. Fox reruns these two hours,
with Dr. Campbell trying to take his anti-mutant program national.

“The Good Place,”
8 and 8:30 p.m., NBC. Here's another show rerunning its season-finale
a week before the new season starts. Michael (Ted Danson) faces
trouble for his actions. Eleanor (Kristen Bell) ponders how much she
has or hasn't improved; then she considers taking the high road.

“Young Sheldon,”
8:31 p.m., CBS. In a fairly good rerun, Sheldon keeps getting
involved in his grandmother's dating life with two very different men
(Wallace Shawn and Richard Kind).

“Law & Order:
Special Victims Unit,” 9-11 p.m., NBC. This two-part season-finale
rerun has a young woman kidnapping a man. By the second hour, Benson
has found jolting reasons why she did it.

“Station 19,” 9
p.m., ABC. A skyscraper fire breaks out, in this rerun; at Station
19, people fidget when they're told to merely be on standby.

“How to Get Away
With Murder,” 10 p.m., ABC. Fans of this show need patience and a
long memory. It was six months ago that this season-finale aired,
offering a suspicious death and a jolting arrest. A week before the
new season starts, here's a reminder.

“St. Vincent”
(2014), 10 p.m., TNT. Two comedy actors – Bill Murray and Melissa
McCarthy – give subtly perfect performances in this comedy-drama.
She's the neighbor who reluctantly leaves her son with him. The
result drew well-deserved Golden Globe nominations for the film and
for Murray.

TV column for Wednesday, Sept. 19


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE:
“America's Got Talent” (NBC) and “MasterChef” (Fox) finales,
8-10 p.m.

Two big-deal summer
shows collide for their finales. “Talent” could go in any
direction – the 10 finalists range from an opera singer to two
acrobatic acts; “MasterChef,” however, is down to three.

It's a field
dominated by teachers. Gerron Hurt, 25, is an English teacher in
Louisville ... Cesar Cano, 33, teaches in Houston ... and Ashley
Mincey, 28, of Florida, is listed as a “professional grocery
shopper,” but she's also been a teacher. After getting a master's
degree in languages, she taught for three years ... then went back to
school to learn to be a chef.

TONIGHT'S MIGHT-SEE:
“I Feel Bad” debut, 10:02 and 10:31 p.m., NBC.

Unlike most TV
women, Emet (Serayu Blue) has an enviable life – a nice husband
(Paul Adelstein, the bad husband in “Girlfriends' Guide to
Divorce”), OK kids and a great job at a videogame company.

And like most TV
women, she's not sure she's happy. “Bad” walks the line between
comedy and drama and between clever and not. Emet is sometimes so
wrong-headed that it's tough to care about her; still, there are
funny moments, especially from her socially challenged co-workers.

TONIGHT'S
ALTERNATIVE: “American Horror Story,” 10 p.m., FX.

Last week's opener
brought the end of the world ... and beyond. A nuclear holocaust had
destroyed everything .... but the “Cooperative” had outposts for
the chosen elite. This story is at a West Coast spot firmly run by
Sarah Paulson and Kathy Bates. A Cooperative representative throws
things into chaos.

Paulson and Bates
have done past seasons, as have Evan Peters, Adina Porter and more.
Billy Eichner and Leslie Grossman, who played the awful neighbors
last year, were back in the opener; this time she's Coco St. Pierre
Vanderbilt, who in the opener came complete with parents and driver.

Other choices
include:

“The Amazing Human
Body,” 8-11 p.m., PBS. The first hour looks at how the body grows,
the second studies its survival techniques and the third views the
way the brain and body link to learn.

“Burden of Truth,”
8 p.m., CW. In the eighth of 10 episodes, Joanna and Billy find
horrific evidence that strengthens their case. The apparent polluter
does just what Joanna did when she was originally hired by a drug
company: Try to talk the girls into hurry-up settlements.

“SEAL Team,” 9
p.m., CBS. In a rerun of the season-finale, the team is about to end
its deployment. Jason (David Boreanaz) lies about his concussion, so
he can lead a mission to avenge previous deaths.

“Modern Family,”
9 and 9:30, ABC. A week before the 10th season starts, the
final episodes of the ninth rerun. First, Haley meets Arvin's parents
... and has an unexpected reunion with all her ex-boyfriends. Then
Gloria plans a dinosaur party for Joe – only to be topped by her
nemesis (Jane Krakowski).

“Greenleaf,” 10
p.m., Oprah Winfrey Network. In previous hours (rerunning at 8 and 9
p.m.), Clara said she would cover the church's $2 million tax bill.
But now the troubles between the pastor and his wife are public;
she's withholding the check. Meanwhile, the pastor's granddaughter is
hospitalized.

“Top Gun”
(1986), 10 p.m., CMT. Tom Cruise soared into stardom in this Tony
Scott film, which was dressed up by great casting and vibrant visuals
and music.

“The Sinner”
season-finale, 10:01 p.m., USA. Returning to his home town in rural
New York, Detective Harry Ambrose remains perplexed by an 11-year-old
who killed his parents. He finds that secrets are being clung to by
the mysterious Vera, played by recent “Fargo” star Carrie Coon.