Traditional television has entered a “greatest hits” phase. The ratings success of “Roseanne” (7 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) will only encourage other networks to follow suit. The notion of a “new” “Murphy Brown” makes me sad.
It reminds me of the early 1990s, when the record industry offered its old(er) customers any number of ways to buy “new” CD versions of the Eagles’ greatest hits.
You can only mine your vault of golden oldies for so long, as the “Will & Grace” ratings demonstrate.
On that note, the Paramount Network will air a marathon of old “Roseanne” (8 a.m. to 7 p.m.) episodes today, introducing a daily weekday dose from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. beginning tomorrow.
PBS is hardly immune to the pressure to turn into an oldies act. And I’m not just talking about its pledge drive specials.
Public television digs deep to revive “Civilizations” (7 p.m., TV-PG), a nine-part survey history of creativity that purports to cover 20,000 years of art, architecture and human creativity. Liev Schreiber narrates.
This is a reprise of “Civilization,” hosted by Kenneth Clark in 1969.
The first episode of “Civilizations” is called “The Second Moment of Creation.” It begins on a sobering note before covering ancient art, from cave paintings to the dawn of prehistory. We’re reminded of the fragility of culture and the perverse distortion of art, with scenes of armed ISIS soldiers blowing up artifacts in the Syrian city of Palmyra. Like the Taliban, who destroyed Buddhist art in Afghanistan, these religious zealots attack a humanitarian legacy in the name of “anti-idolatry.”
Of course, Christians did the same thing when they looted the Roman Pantheon .
Hourlong installments will cover art from ancient to modern times. Next week recalls China’s ancient terra-cotta army and the wonders of Ramses’ Egypt. To give you a sense of the pace, we don’t reach the Renaissance until week five.
While pleasant to behold and noble in every intention, “Civilizations” is, by its definition, all over the place even as it barely scratches the surface. As such, it reminds me of the spate of bad “millennium” and “goodbye to the 20th century” specials that popped up around 1999, serious efforts hosted by grave talking heads hoping to cram a thousand years of history into an hour or two.
- A case of murder and domestic abuse on “Bull” (8 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
- Tobias regroups on the season finale of “Black Lightning” (8 p.m., CW, TV-14).
- “American Experience” (8 p.m., PBS, TV-PG) presents “The Island Murder,” recalling a racially charged Hawaiian mystery from 1931.
- Rehearsals become painful on “Rise” (8 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
- Bekker faces criticism on “Chicago Med” (9 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
- A rowdy bar turns deadly on “NCIS: New Orleans” (9 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
- A suspect is accused of stealing from hurricane relief on “For the People” (9 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).
- David undertakes the maze on “Legion” (9 p.m., FX, TV-MA).
- Alaskan survivors create useful tools and vehicles from salvage in the new series “Last Outpost” (9 p.m., Discovery).
A petty officer goes missing on “NCIS” (7 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) ... “The Voice” (7 p.m., NBC, TV-PG) ... Wedding ceremony madness on “Lethal Weapon” (7 p.m., Fox, TV-14) ... Second thoughts about the Thinker on “The Flash” (7 p.m., CW, TV-PG) ... A baby sitter just won’t quit “Alex, Inc.” (7:30 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) ... A dinner party goes to the dogs on “LA to Vegas” (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14) ... Marriage therapy on “blackish” (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) ... Standing up for Jess on “New Girl” (8:30 p.m., Fox, TV-14) ... Lena’s second date on “Splitting Up Together” (8:30 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).
© 2018 United Feature Synd.