'Talent' Goes Live, A 'Passport' to D.C., 'Castaways'

Matt Roush
NBC

A critical checklist of notable Tuesday TV:

America’s Got Talent (8/7c, NBC): The summer hit narrows the field to a Top 36, who have now graduated to the live portion of the program, performing in the quarter finales at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre for America’s votes and the approbation of host Tyra Banks and judges Simon Cowell, Mel B, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel. First up are an even dozen of competitors, including “Wild Card” novelty act Human Fountains joining a roster of singers (Amanda Mena, Courtney Hadwin, rapper Flau’jae, the Angel City Chorale and We Three family band), dancers (Junior New System, the PAC Dance Team, projection/tap dancer Mochi), an escape artist (Lord Nil), a comedian (Vicki Barbolak) and a magician (Shin Lim). Seven of these will move on to the semi-finals after Wednesday’s results show, with viewers able to keep one act in the game by using the Instant Save.

'America's Got Talent' Judges Reveal Their Top Contestant Picks

'America's Got Talent' Judges Reveal Their Top Contestant Picks

These golden buzzer acts have wowed the judges.

No Passport Required (8/7c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): The wide-ranging culinary travelogue, all within the borders of the U.S., finishes its first season with Marcus Samuelsson exploring the Ethiopian cuisine and communities within Washington, D.C. Stops include a market in Little Ethiopia and a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony.

'No Passport Required': Chef Marcus Samuelsson Explores Food Across America

'No Passport Required': Chef Marcus Samuelsson Explores Food Across America

'Once you try food from another culture, you’re going to start understanding that culture better,' he explains.

Castaways (10/9c, ABC): This reality/survival series, about 12 people stranded on a chain of South Pacific island, is more introspective than the norm, as the participants (not contestants) reflect on a need for community or a desire for solitude as they begin to make connections. The first episode was a bit of a slow build, but Castaways promises to become closer to a true “social experiment” as more of the newbie islanders meet and reflect on the journeys and struggles that brought them to this remote, exotic and challenging location. At least one will decide that this sort of emotional and physical roughing it is too much.

ABC's 'Castaways' Challenges 12 Contestants' Will to Survive

ABC's 'Castaways' Challenges 12 Contestants' Will to Survive

'Self-reflection can be deafening,' says EP Grant Kahler.

Inside Tuesday TV: Syfy continues its campy countdown to the final Sharknado movie this Sunday with the off-season Santa Jaws (9/8c), in which a guy’s wish to survive a family Christmas is complicated when a shark suddenly appears and wipes out his nearest and dearest… In the last episode before the season finale, TNT’s Animal Kingdom (9/8c) finds Smurf (Ellen Barkin) desperate to bring Pope (Shawn Hatosy) back into the family fold after last week’s showdown… It’s party time on NBC’s Making It (10/9c), as the makers experiment with edible crafts to make a “snack stadium,” then turn to recycled materials to create a backyard space suitable for an outdoor activity… OWN delivers back-to-back drama, with Veronica (Angela Robinson) seeking revenge on the return of The Haves and the Have Nots (9/8c), while on the more satisfyingly romantic Love Is (10/9c), Nuri (Michelle Weaver) has personal and professional breakthroughs, leading to a very personal confession.

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