Friday TV: Singing Together for Justice

ShiningIn a country where musical concerts are seen as a way of solving problems, you’d think there’d be a benefit tonight for victims in Paris. But no, there are other long-simmering problems in the U.S. to address, hence “Shining a Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America” (A&E, History, Lifetime, FYI, 8 p.m.) in which artists get together to sing about recent uprisings.

And they’re not fooling around. The first song in the event taped Wednesday in Los Angeles was Bruce Springsteen, joined by John Legend and Tom Morello to sing a song at the heart of the matter, his 2001 “American Skin (41 Shots)” that ends with a chorus featuring most of the night’s other stars, including Smokey Robinson, Pharrell Williams, Sting, Jill Scott, Aloe Blacc, Sia, Ed Sheehan, Pink, Miguel, Eric Church, the Zac Brown Band Tori Kelly, Jamie Foxx, Big Sean and Nick Jonas.

It’s the kind of thing that would usually be a finale (and in the edit tonight may well prove to be so), but it will likely land a punch. Elsewhere, Nicki Minaj recites Maya Angelou and Morgan Freeman quotes Nelson Mandela, and there are other celebrity appearances through the two hours.  But perhaps more to the point will be the one hour special  “Shining a Light: Conversations on Race in America” (A&E, 10 p.m.) in which some of the stars accompany journalists to some of the hotspots, and singing a song before they go. It includes Pharrell in Charleston, Legend in Ferguson and Alicia Keys in Baltimore. I wish more of the town hall meetings could have been televised though.

It’s a high profile moment for streaming services, with new shows premiering today. The one with the most buzz may be “Man in the High Castle” (Amazon streaming), based on a Philip K. Dick story imagining a Nazi win, with America divided between German and Japanese control in 1961 and a healthy resistance movement underground. In the premiere episode, the concept takes precedence over the cast or plotting, with a plethora of interesting details about what kind of cars they drive or music they listen to. (Train travel has improved markedly). Still, Alexa Davalos’ role as a reluctant resistance courier makes it seem worth a few more episodes.

Much better out of the gate is “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” (Netflix, streaming), in which Krysten Ritter proves she was meant for more than “The Bitch in Apt. 3B” by playing the private investigator in this new series, who is still trying to shake the effects of a mind-controller. Well plotted by writer Melissa Rosenberg, it is the least superhero-like of any Marvel property out there (Jessica has a few powers but downplays them), and thus is more palatable to an adult audience. So good it practically invites binging.

The season finale for “Real Time with Bill Maher” (HBO, 10 p.m.) welcomes Andy Cohen, California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Sen. Angus King, Canadian Parliament member Chrystia Freehand and conservative blogger Ben Domenech.

Kate Baldwin, Heidi Blickenstaff, Norm Lewis, Julia Murney and Matthew Scott perform songs from “Cabaret” and “Chicago” to “Woman of the Year” on “First You Dream: The Music of Kander & Ebb” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings), recorded at the North Shore Center for Performing Arts in Skokie, Ill.

The finale begins for this season’s “America’s Next Top Model” (The CW, 9 p.m.).

Astronaut Tracy Dyson directs action tonight on “MasterChef Junior” (Fox, 8 p.m.).

Barbara Walters interviews Donald Trump on a “20/20″ (ABC, 10 p.m.).

The six remaining teams on “The Amazing Race” (CBS, 8 p.m.) face a U-turn in Agra, India.

“Big Game” (Starz, 9 p.m.), with Samuel L. Jackson, makes its premium cable debut.

“Triptank” (Comedy Central, midnight) offers more of its grab bag of animation and jokes.

Now you can count the remaining episodes of “The Soup” (E!, 10 p.m.) on one hand; it was announced this week it will end Dec. 18 after a 22 year run.

A tattoo upsets Thanksgiving dinner on “Dr. Ken” (ABC, 8 p.m.) and it’s a downsized holiday on “Last Man Standing” (ABC, 8 p.m.).

Turner Classic Movies memorializes the Irish-born actress Maureen O’Hara, who died last month at age 95, with 24 hours of her films with “Jamaica Inn” (6 a.m.), “The Deadly Companions” (7:45 a.m.), “Spencer’s Mountain” (9:30 a.m.), “McLintock!” (11:30 a.m.), “The Battle of the Villa Fiorita” (1:45 p.m.), “Big Jake” (3:45 p.m.), “The Wings of Eagles” (5:45 p.m.), “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (8 p.m.), “The Quiet Man” (10:15 p.m.), “At Sword’s Point” (12:30 a.m.), “Sinbad the Sailor” (2 a.m.) and “The Spanish Man” (4 a.m.).

Men’s college hoops today include a Puerto Rico tournament with Minnesota vs. Missouri State (ESPNU, 10:30 p.m.), Temple vs. Butler (ESPNU, 1 p.m.) and Miami vs. Utah (ESPNU, 7 p.m.). In Charleston, it’s George Mason vs. Oklahoma State (ESPNU, 1 p.m.) and Long Beach State vs. Virginia (ESPNU, 9:30 p.m.). Other games include Hofstra vs. Florida (CBS Sports, 3:30 p.m.), Georgetown vs. Wisconsin (ESPN2, 5 p.m.), DePaul vs. South Carolina (CBS Sports, 6 p.m.) and Duke vs. VCU (ESPN2, 7:30 p.m.).

College football includes Brown at Columbia (NBC Sports, 7:30 p.m.), Cincinnati at South Florida (CBS Sports, 8 p.m.) and Air Force at Boise State (ESPN2, 9:30 p.m.).

NBA action includes Philadelphia at Charlotte (NBA, 7 p.m.), San Antonia at New Orleans (ESPN, 8 p.m.) and Chicago at Golden State (ESPN, 10:30 p.m.).

Daytime Talk

Kelly & Michael: Elizabeth Banks, Shawn Mendes. The View: Donny Deutsch, Sharon Stone, Jeff Hephner. The Talk: Olivia Wilde, Jake Lacy, Holly Holm. Ellen DeGeneres: Gwen Stefani, Steve Spangler. Wendy Williams :D ennis Quaid. The Real: Moziah Bridges. Meredith Vieira: Cee-Lo Green.

Late Talk

Stephen Colbert: Michael Caine, Larry Wilmore, Boots, Vulfpeck. Jimmy Kimmel: Julia Roberts, Marcus Scribner, Yara Shahid, Miles Brown, Marsai Martin, Future (rerun). Jimmy Fallon: Gordon Ramsay, Billie Lourd, Randy Sphex, Erykah Badu. Seth Meyers:  Adam Levine, Bethenny Frankel, Alessia Cara, Jeremy Gara (rerun). James Corden: Julianne Moore, John Stamos, Jack Hanna (rerun). Carson Daly: Josh Peck, Cherry Glazerr, Derek Waters (rerun). Tavis Smiley: Bryan Cranston.

 

 

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