Friday TV: Elaine May on Mike Nichols

ammasters_mikenicholsIt’s a sly turn to have the “American Masters” (PBS, 9 p.m.) episode on director Mike Nichols made by his ex-comedy partner Elaine May.  She bookends what is essentially a long, revealing interview with him (not by her) with two awards speeches she did — one a hilarious salute to mediocrity that was a skit at an early 60s Emmys show; the other a more heartfelt tribute to him at the Kennedy Center Awards. And it’s about the only time she appears in the film, though it does feature words from Meryl Streep, Dustin Hoffman, Paul Simon, Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks, Matthew Broderick and Steven Spielberg, among others. Yet the film can only scratch the surface of the many great productions he directed on film and on stage. “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?” was his first film, we are reminded; “The Graduate” his second. And nothing from his fourth wife, Diane Sawyer.

Two nine-year-olds compete for the $100,000 prize in the season finale of “MasterChef Junior” (Fox, 8 p.m.).

In “Deadliest Job Interview” (Discovery, 10 p.m.), applicants try their hands at things like wind turbine technicians, hoping not to lose them in the process.

Having been a sensation on Netflix, the “Making of a Murderer” case has been taken up by other news organizations, including tonight, “Dateline” (NBC, 10 p.m.) with its “The State of Wisconsin vs. Steven A. Avery.”

Guests on a new “Real Time with Bill Maher” (HBO, 10 p.m.) include Dr. Sam Chachoua, former Rep. Trey Radel, Kristen Soltis Anderson, Thom Hartmann and Adam McKay.

Also live: Another episode of “Undateable” (NBC, 8 p.m.).

The pretty new series “Second Chance” (Fox, 9 p.m.) has been given a second time slot: It’s moved to Friday, never a good sign.

Also new on Friday: “The Vampire Diaries” (The CW, 8 p.m.) alongside its offshoot “The Originals” (The CW, 9 p.m.).

“Grimm” (NBC, 9 p.m.) reaches its 95th episode.

The $5 million winner behind “My Lottery Dream Home” (HGTV, 11 p.m.) is likely looking for a garish one.

Among the reality series with spinoffs are “Gold Rush” (Discovery, 9 p.m.) with “Gold Rush: The Dirt” (Discovery, 8 p.m.) and “Treehouse Masters” (Animal Planet, 10 p.m.) with “Treehouse Masters: Out on a Limb” (Animal Planet, 9 p.m.).

Contestants on “The Rap Game” (Lifetime, 10 p.m.) get advice from the “Whip/Nae Nae” dude.

A pizza magnate learns how to throw his own dough on “Undercover Boss” (CBS, 8 p.m.).

Turner Classic Movies gets mired in Vietnam with “The Quiet American” (8 p.m.), the documentary “Hearts and Minds” (10:15 p.m.), “The Green Berets” (12:15 a.m.) and “The Deer Hunter” (2:45 a.m.).

Men’s college basketball includes VCU at Davidson (ESPN2, 6 p.m.), Manhattan at Iona (ESPNU, 7 p.m.) and Kent State at Ohio (ESPNU, 9 p.m.). Women’s games include Villanova at Creighton (Fox Sports 1).

Men’s college hockey has Denver at Miami Ohio (CBS Sports, 7 p.m.) and the University of Nebraska at Omaha at Colorado College (CBS Sports, 9:30 p.m.).

Pro basketball has Houston at Oklahoma City (NBA, 8 p.m.) and Lakers at Clippers (NBA, 10:30 p.m.).

Seems time, though for X Games (ESPN, 7 p.m.) with snowmobiling, freestyle skinning and snowboarding from Aspen.

Stay up to watch the women’s championship in the Australian Open (ESPN, 3 a.m.).

Daytime Talk

Kelly & Michael: Joshua Jackson, Michelle Dockery. The View: Cast of “School of Rock.” The Talk: Boris Kodjoe, Chi-Lan Lieu. Ellen DeGeneres: Hilary Duff, Dereck & Beverly Joubert. Wendy Williams: Ali Wentworth, Don Lemon, Sharon Carpenter. The Real: Russell Simmons. Meredith Vieira: Timbaland (rerun).

Late Talk

Stephen Colbert: Jerry Seinfeld, Sen. Rand Paul, Andra Day (rerun). Jimmy Kimmel: Zach Galifianakis, Aubrey Plaza Weezer (rerun). Jimmy Fallon: Tyler Perry, Wagner Moura, Iliza Schlesinger (rerun). Seth Meyers: Danny DeVito, Whitney Cummings, the Front Bottoms, John Freese (rerun). James Corden: Carol Burnett, Fred Savage, Marcia Gay Harden, Catfish & Bottlemen (rerun). Carson Daly: Terry Golliam, Goldroom, Phoebe Robinson (rerun). Tavis Smiley: Diane Ladd.


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