Announcing America’s Favorite Book, The World Series, ‘Rookie,’ New Digs for ‘Guest Book’
A critical checklist of notable Tuesday TV:
The Great American Read (8/7c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): After millions of votes, and several weeks of episodes devoted to various genres and themes of literature, which novel did we pick as America’s favorite read? Judging from the top-10 choices as of the final week of voting, it’s either going to be a classic/contemporary series (Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Outlander, Narnia) or a beloved work with decades or centuries of staying power: Charlotte’s Web, Gone With the Wind, Jane Eyre, Little Women, Pride and Prejudice or (my favorite) To Kill a Mockingbird. Meredith Vieira hosts the live grand finale, filmed in front of an audience of bibliophiles, with celebrity guests including Outlander author Diana Gabaldon, The Joy Luck Club’s Amy Tan and actor/fantasy enthusiast Wil Wheaton.
The World Series (7:30/6:30c, 4:30 PT, Fox): The fall classic gets underway with a classic bicoastal matchup pitting last year’s runner-up, the Los Angeles Dodgers, against the Boston Red Sox. The best-of-seven series gets underway at Boston’s Fenway Park.
The Rookie (10/9c, ABC): Nathan Fillion makes the most of a running gag in the second week of this promising procedural as his title character, rookie officer John Nolan, keeps ruining perfectly good squad cars in one well-intentioned mishap after another. His stern supervisor, Sgt. Grey (Richard T. Jones) is not as amused as we are—and neither is his training officer Bishop (Afton Williamson), who worries that her chances for promotion are tied to her success or failure with the middle-aged newbie. Which would be enough plot for most series, but is The Rookie going to put Nolan ludicrously front and center at every hot-button case of the week (this time a kidnapping)?
The Guest Book (10/9c, TBS): The quirky anthology comedy relocates to a new locale, a beach-house rental, for the second season of what amounts to a guest-star-driven Love Boat on land. Carly Jibson and Eddie Steeples reprise their characters, joining Dan Beirne and Kimiko Glenn as the new proprietors and Jimmy Tatro as a hunky but dim handyman. The episodes are hit and miss, but often twisty, including the back-to-back openers. Nat Faxon and You’re the Worst’s Kether Donohue guest in the bawdy first episode as a couple whose marriage is tested, then enhanced, by virtual reality. Will Arnett and Martha Plimpton appear in the second as a couple who go to extremes to manipulate addicts into hitting rock bottom so they’ll seek rehab.
Inside Tuesday TV: Sisters Darlene (Sara Gilbert) and Becky (Lecy Goranson) take center stage in ABC’s The Conners (8/7c). Darlene is unhappily surprised at a parent-teacher conference when David (Johnny Galecki) brings along his wacky girlfriend Blue (Juliette Lewis in an only slightly less obnoxious version of the character she plays in HBO’s appalling Camping). And when Dan (John Goodman) hires Becky on his work site, he begins to glean she has a problem not dissimilar to his late wife’s… PBS’s four-part series Native America (9/8c, check local listings at pbs.org) explores the history of indigenous cultures and traditions in North and South America. The first episode looks at Amazonian cave paintings, Mexican burial chambers and other artifacts to determine who were America’s “First Peoples”… Stacy Keach guests as Pride’s (Scott Bakula) father, Cassius, in the 100th episode of CBS’s NCIS: New Orleans (10/9c).