What's On: 'Citizen Rose' Speaks Out, 'Black Lightning,' Back-to-Back 'Fresh Off the Boat,' Late-Night TV Goes Live
Nafessa Williams as Anissa Pierce in the "LaWanda: The Book of Burial" episode of 'Black Lightning'
A selective critical checklist of notable Tuesday TV:
Citizen Rose (8/7c, E!) Actress/activist Rose McGowan, instrumental in exposing sexual abuse in Hollywood, most particularly that of Harvey Weinstein, is the focus of a two-hour documentary that will be followed in the spring by four more episodes. The series follows her as she prepares her unflinching memoir, Brave, and takes on all those who would silence women in the call for justice and equality.
Black Lightning (9/8c, The CW): Activism is also at the center of this topical series, which is so much more than a superhero show, as it deals frankly and forcefully with a minority community under fire from all sides. “If it ain’t the police killin’ us, we killin’ us,” says a preacher who’s ready to take to the streets, confronting the dread gang The 100 with a hundred of his own marching activists. For them, the return of Black Lightning signifies hope, though the conflicted man inside the suit, known to the public as Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams), worries, “I don’t want to inspire people to get themselves killed.” On the home front, daughter Annisa (Nafessaq Williams) is testing her own super powers while doing some meta cosplay, while younger sister Jennifer (China Anne McClain) is unafraid to declare to her folks that she’s about to take the next step with her boyfriend. Which scares Jefferson more than any killer gang could.
Fresh Off the Boat (8/7c, ABC): Another reminder of TV’s welcome diversity is this family sitcom, airing back-to-back episodes on a night most go dark to make way for the State of the Union address (9/8c, most broadcast and all news networks). The first has a timely Olympics theme, featuring Nancy Kerrigan as herself—an answer, perhaps, to the exposure her former nemesis is getting in I, Tonya?—when Emery (Forrest Wheeler) and Evan (Ian Chen) try to make sense of Michelle Kwan coming in second at the Olympics. Evan is also the focus of the second episode, feeling the pressure when Jessica (Constance Wu) pushes him too hard to win Student of the Month honors.
Late Night Goes Live: Following the president’s speech, his satirists take center stage, several going live for the night. CBS’s Late Show With Stephen Colbert (11:35/10:35c) features commentary from Tommy Vietor, Jon Favreau and Jon Lovett (“Pod Save America”), with an appearance from HBO’s 2 Dope Queens comediennes Jessica Williams and Pheobe Robinson. Comedy Central’s tag team of The Daily Show With Trevor Noah (11/10c) and The Opposition With Jordan Klepper are also live, with Noah bringing on The New Yorker editor in chief David Remnick, and Klepper welcoming journalist Lauren Duca and radio/TV personality Charlamagne the God. ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live (11:35/10:35c) promises to upstage them all with ex-porn star Stormy Daniels (aka Stephanie Clifford) as his scandalous guest.