Once upon a time, Friday nights were the place where unpopular shows went to die. CBS has become the place where terrible shows get to live.
The network that produced, aired and renewed the jaw-droppingly dreadful reboot of “Magnum P.I.” now revives the exceedingly mediocre “Man With a Plan” (7:30 p.m., TV-PG) for a third season.
For the uninitiated, “Plan” stars Matt LeBlanc as a regular guy who runs a construction company out of his home. This puts him in close proximity to his children and all of their newfangled attitudes and feelings. Not unlike Tim Allen’s character on “Last Man Standing.” The whole strategy of this series is the belief that some people will watch the charming Matt LeBlanc in anything. So “Man With a Plan” qualifies as “anything.”
The derivative predictability of “Plan” seems all the more depressing since LeBlanc was in “Episodes,” the British Showtime import that was really one of the smarter and more delightful media satires of recent years. It was smart enough for Leblanc’s character (who happened to be named Matt Leblanc) to make jokes about his horrible NBC spin-off sitcom, “Joey.”
Just because you’re in a great show doesn’t mean you’re inoculated from ever appearing in a bad one. I’m reminded of the time when Drea de Matteo went from a classic run as Adriana on “The Sopranos” to appear on “Joey.”
For the record, “Magnum P.I.” returns Feb. 18.
- The “Independent Lens” documentary “Black Memorabilia” (9 p.m., PBS, TV-14) takes a thoughtful look at the enduring appeal of collectibles based on stereotypes and racist imagery. We travel to China, where a third-generation ironworker operates an ancient forge to cobble together crude iron coin banks that sell all over the world as “antiques.” We meet a white woman from North Carolina who travels to collectible shows all over the country selling Confederate memorabilia and black historical pieces. This puts her in touch with a varied clientele, ranging from social historians to active Klansman and American Nazis. Then we meet an artist from Brooklyn who incorporates racist imagery in her paintings and performance art.
The film lets its subjects speak for themselves and concludes with a montage of racist logos for common products still being sold all over the world, many in countries with no black population or connections to America’s tortured racial past.
- Epix launches the new four-episode interview series “Elvis Goes There” (9 p.m.). Host Elvis Mitchell chats with filmmakers Paul Feig, Sofia Coppola, Ryan Coogler and Guillermo del Toro in the locations that inspired their works.