America still leads the world in one export: entertainment. And in addition to its big screen movies and pop culture, its TV shows run all around the word. Sometime they’re just dubbed, other times whole new shows are created based on the U.S. scripts.
After shows like “Married with Children” and “The Nanny” became hits in Russian versions, executive producer Phil Rosenthal decided to try and adapt “Everybody Loves Raymond” (TV Land, 9 p.m.) shortly after it ended its nine season run.
Would its humor be universal? He found out, in an effort filmed for the documentary “Exporting Raymond” (HBO, 8 p.m.).
It’s remarkable, first of all, how much of its humor was memorable, but how tough it is to translate for a Russian audience. The actors get it wrong; the casting is mixed up; there’s a woman hovering over the proceedings thinking the most important thing is that everybody wears fashionable clothes. Finally, Russian men don’t like to think that it’s the wives that run the household.
But a bigger problem may be the network executives, dour people who just like to mess with a project, who come and go without any explanation. It’s an interesting look at the creative process of any show and instructive reminder of what made “Raymond” great.
Should we do away with Black History Month? Filmmaker Shukree Hassan Tilghman got some dirty looks when he led a Quixotic campaign to do away with it. But others signed his petition when he explained that every month should be black history month – that it should be ingrained into U.S. history overall and not relegated to the shortest, often coldest, month of the year.
But others on his journey, captured in “More Than a Month,’ debuting tonight on “Independent Lens” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings) insisted there would be no black history taught if there wasn’t the annual reminder in February. He comes to a more realization by the end of the film. A longer review I wrote on the film appeared in Salon. In another black history month documentary screening, “Heart of Stone” (Showtime, 8:30 p.m.) follows a principal trying to turn around a high school in troubled Newark.
The way kids keep fainting and being carted off during Hollywood Week on “American Idol” (Fox, 8 p.m.) it may be tough to watch the newest addition to the season, a Las Vegas bootcamp, featuring bigger stages, costumes, groups and band backing. Keep the ambulances running.
Louis CK reprises his role as the local cop on “Parks and Recreation” (NBC, 8:30 p.m.). Jack runs for mayor on “30 Rock” (NBC, 8 p.m.).
Morena Baccarin, most recently of “Homeland,” guest stars on “The Mentalist” (CBS, 10 p.m.).
There’s a crossover episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC, 9 p.m.) with “Private Practice” (ABC, 10 p.m.). I wish it was a crossover with “Wipeout” (ABC, 8 p.m.).
Billy Crystal isn’t doing many interviews before he returns to host the Oscars, but he sat down with David Steinberg some time back for an episode of “Inside Comedy” (Showtime, 11 p.m.).
“Remembering Whitney: The Oprah Interview” ((OWN, 9 p.m.) replays the two hour interview from 2009 that didn’t show the singer at her best.
Catherine Tate guest stars as a Sabre official at Dwight’s business trip on “The Office” (NBC, 9 p.m.). Alanis Morissette guest stars on a new “Up All Night” (NBC, 9:30 p.m.).
The remaining contestants on “Project Runway All Stars” (Lifetime, 9 p.m.) are put to work designing costumes for a Briadway revival of “Godspell.”
J-Woww fights with her boyfriend Roger on “Jersey Shore” (MTV, 10 p.m.).
A new season starts for the fishing and cooking show “Hook, Like & Dinner” (Cooking, 8 p.m.).
It’s off to Russia for the Oscar movies on Turner Classic Movies, “Fiddler on the Roof” (8 p.m.), “Doctor Zhivago” (11:15 p.m.), “Comrade X” (2:45 a.m.) and “Mission to Moscow” (4:15 a.m.).
In NBA action, it’s Celtics at Bulls (TNT, 8 p.m.) and Clippers at Trail Blazers (TNT, 10:30 p.m.).
In college hoops, it’s Wisconsin at Michigan State (ESPN, 7 p.m.).
Kelly Ripa: Tracy Morgan, Paul Delvecchio, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, Vinny Guadagnino, Josh Groban. The View: James Denton, Doug Savant, Ricardo Shavira. The Talk: Lisa Kudrow. Ellen DeGeneres: Sean “Diddy” Combs, Kate Upton.
David Letterman: Joan Rivers, Andrew Lincoln, Jason Mraz. Jay Leno: Amanda Seyfried, Billy Gardell, Monica, Brandy. Jimmy Kimmel: Chris Pine, Khloe Kardashian Odom, Puscifier. Jimmy Fallon: Maya Rudolph, Dylan Ratigan, Young Jeezy featuring Ne-Yo. Craig Ferguson: Jeffrey Tambor, Amy Smart. Tavis Smiley: Steven Van Zandt. Carson Daly: Jodi Kantor, Oren Peli, Dr. Dog. Jon Stewart: Arne Duncan. Stephen Colbert: Bill McKibben (rerun). Conan O’Brien: Steve Martin, Rebecca Romijn, Cake. Chelsea Handler: Lenny Kravitz, Natasha Leggero, Heather McDonald, Jo Koy.