'Riverdale' Sings 'Carrie,' New 'POV' on Bill Nye, Michael J. Fox on 'Designated Survivor'
A selective critical checklist of notable Wednesday TV:
Riverdale (8/7c, The CW): If you thought Spring Awakening was an out-there choice for a high-school musical on Rise, get a load of the show they’re putting on over at Riverdale High: Carrie: the Musical, the cult Broadway flop based on Stephen King’s breakthrough horror novel. A risky choice, but when does Riverdale ever play it safe? Playing the tormented teen title heroine, queen bee Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) takes the mama drama home with her. But will the show even go on when director Kevin (Casey Cott) gets a threatening letter?
More CW action: The final season of The Originals (9/8c) begins by rejoining the Mikaelson sibs after seven years apart in order to save New Orleans from the Darkness. A turning point in Klaus’s (Joseph Morgan) reign of European terror: a chance encounter with old flame Caroline (Candice King).
Bill Nye: Science Guy (10/9c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): The POV documentary series checks in with the former kids’ science show host Bill Nye in his new mission to confront grown-ups who deny science, from climate-change skeptics to creationists. Beyond his crusade against the anti-science movement on Earth, he’s looking to the stars as CEO of the Planetary Society, whose goal is to launch a satellite propelled solely by sunlight in space.
Designated Survivor (10/9c, ABC): Is President Kirkman (Kiefer Sutherland) fit for the Oval Office? Michael J. Fox joins the series for a five-episode arc as prominent lawyer Ethan West, assigned to investigate the president’s past after more leaks emerge from Kirkman’s confidential therapy sessions.
Inside Wednesday TV: Hulu’s gripping docudrama The Looming Tower concludes amid the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, with John O’Neill (Jeff Daniels) nowhere to be seen amid the carnage at Ground Zero. … It’s the third and final night of Live Playoffs on NBC’s The Voice (8/7c), and after America votes, the coaches each get to pick one more singer from their team to take the last remaining spot for the live shows. … Former cast regular Stephanie March returns to NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (9/8c) as former AMA Alex Cabot, who crosses paths again with Benson (Mariska Hargitay) in a case involving an abducted woman and her daughter. … CBS’s Criminal Minds (9/8c) wraps its 13th season with back-to-back episodes. The first takes the BAU to New Mexico to finds a killer targeting temporal lobes. The second features James Urbaniak (Difficult People) as a former FBI Agent who claims a fiend code-named “The Strangler” locked him in a storage unit.