Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Screw it, let’s just watch NCIS and forget all our non-Navy troubles

He'll always be Sam Beckett and/or Jonathan Archer to us, dammit!

Here’s what’s up in the world of television for Tuesday, April 5. All times are Eastern.

Top picks

NCIS/NCIS: New Orleans (CBS, 8 p.m./9 p.m.): The recent What’s On Tonight format shift has led some to wonder whether there’s still a place to give some much-needed attention to those incredibly highly rated procedural shows that none of you—fine, fine, one of you—watches but probably a good percentage of your parents do. And since our run as a heel What’s On Tonight correspondent mostly consists of calling you all losers even as we give you losers exactly what you demanded, here’s a double-barreled top pick for the NCISes! And let us tell you something, these descriptions sound pretty great in that NCIS sort of way, starting with original flavor: “Tony’s identity is stolen by multiple perpetrators who then start blackmailing senators.” The talk of multiple perpetrators has us hoping this episode is basically the It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World of identity theft and senator blackmail. And how about NCIS: The Sodom And Gomorrah On The Mississip? “The team investigates the murder of a Navy lieutenant during a second-line funeral procession, a New Orleans tradition involving a parade in honor of the deceased one’s life.” We think we can all agree: That story is quite Navy and/or New Orleans. All you can ask for, really.


10 Homes That Changed America/The Secrets Of Saint John Paul (PBS, 8 p.m./9 p.m.): Meanwhile, PBS takes a couple unusual angles to explore familiar topics. First up, 10 Homes That Changed America looks at everything from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello to 19th century tenement buildings to understand the country’s history. Then, The Secrets Of Saint John Paul isn’t nearly as salacious as it might sound—this is PBS, not some reprobate channel like Fox or TLC or, sigh, History—as the documentary looks at the correspondence between the newly canonized Pope John Paul II and Polish-American philosopher Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox, 9:30 p.m.): American Idol is doing something stupid tonight—by which we mean, “airing 90 minutes of American Idol,” because we’re pretty sure we’ve all been done with American Idol for a while now—so Brooklyn Nine-Nine is left as the sole survivor of the Tuesday-night sitcom lineup, and even then it’s had to push back into The Grinders spot this week. Anyway, as we all try to pick up the pieces in the wake of Adrian Pimento’s departure, Amy goes undercover in a women’s prison, which, yes, LaToya Ferguson can see lots of way that could go well.


Premieres and finales

American Crime Story: The People Vs. O.J. Simpson (FX, 10 p.m.): This show is wrapping up its season this week, so let’s totally blur the lines between “Top Picks” and “Premieres and finales” by throwing it in here. (Hey, we had to make room for NCIS somehow, you jerks!) Anyway, tonight’s 93-minute finale has closing statements, jury deliberations, and the verdict, which unless American Crime Story feels like pulling an Inglourious Basterds-style swerve on us, is probably all going to be fairly predictable, at least right up to the point when the show does an extended flash-forward to the present-day Kardashians reflecting on the case. (We made that up, but it sounds terrifyingly plausible.) Pilot Viruet is ready to hear pitches for the next season of American Crime Story. While we’re intrigued by the instant history of American Crime Story: Hogan Vs. Gawker—which, whatever you might think of the legal merits of the case, is insane and perfect in all the ways that trashy prestige TV was made to explore—but we’re actually going to go historical with this one and stump for American Crime Story: The Trial Of Charles Guiteau.


Shadowhunters (Freeform, 9 p.m.): Huh, we totally thought this show was The Shannara Chronicles. Even initially listed it as an MTV show and everything. Anyway, we can confidently report that this is not The Shannara Chronicles, that its first season ends tonight, and it’s been renewed for a second season. Beyond that… something about spells, we guess?

America’s Greatest Makers (TBS, 9 p.m.): That reference to “Makers” had us thinking this was some kind of conservative reality show from the mind of House Speaker Paul “Makers And Takers” Ryan. But no! It’s actually got more of a Silicon Valley “DISRUPTION!” vibe to it, as “12 maker teams from across the U.S. present their inventions in the series premiere of this reality-competition show about tech wizards battling to create game-changing technology.” Either way, some asshole’s probably got The Fountainhead on his bookshelf.


Saving Hope (Ion, 11 p.m./12 a.m.): Canadian shows can go on some weird journeys in their attempts to immigrate to American airwaves. In the case of this supernatural hospital drama, it was initially aired simultaneously on NBC and Canada’s CTV, but after it did what damn near every NBC show does and flamed out before the end of the first season, CTV had to go it alone. In what is probably a demotion—but hey, it’s NBC, so maybe not?—the show is now airing its seasons at weird hours on the out-of-the-way network Ion, and the third season kicks off tonight with a two-part premiere.

NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship: Connecticut Vs. Syracuse (ESPN, 8:30 p.m.): Hey, this technically counts as a finale, what with it being the last game of the college basketball season and all. The Syracuse Orange are the last team standing in the way of the undefeated UConn juggernaut. There’s honestly not a whole lot of reason to think this will be anything but an easy Huskies victory, but this could be worth a check-in just to see history in the making, as senior Breanna Stewart has a chance to become the first college basketball player to win four national championships. Also, head coach Geno Auriemma is a salty dude who loves to swear, even when he’s not ripping into his team’s critics, so that’s fun.


Regular coverage

Marvel’s Daredevil (Netflix)
Fresh Off The Boat (ABC, 8 p.m.)
Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, 9 p.m.)
iZombie (The CW, 9 p.m.)


Streaming pick

NXT Takeover: Dallas (WWE Network): Hey, so Wrestlemania XXXII was kind of hot garbage, which might lead a lesser What’s On Tonight correspondent to downplay the wrestling this week. But since that would mean giving Les Chappell a moment’s satisfaction, we’re going to just point you toward the actual highlight of Wrestlemania weekend, which was this two-hour showcase from WWE’s developmental promotion NXT. For all our heel posturing and goofy posting of old Steve Austin clips, we would sincerely point to something like this as the best example of why, even to those just parachuting in, clear storytelling and great technical work in the ring can create entertainment like nothing else. The first month of a WWE Network subscription is free, which is a preposterously good deal to get to sample the Sami Zayn-Shinsuke Nakamura match in the middle of the show.


Late-breaking, not copy-edited addendum a.k.a. wrestling totally just won us back!



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