Thursday TV: Two Looks at Pakistan

The Oscar winner for best documentary short gets its TV premiere tonight, The one-hour “Saving Face” (HBO, 8 p.m.) looks at the horrifying instances of throwing acid on women to purposely disfigure them in Pakistan.

About 100 cases are reported annually in Pakistan, with many more going unreported, according to the film by Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.

“Saving Face” looks at a couple of typically egregious cases and the Pakistani plastic surgeon who returns from England to help them rebuild their faces.

Dr. Mohammad Jawad is visibly shaken by the cases and is motivated to do something so that his country, and men in general, can save face.

For a fuller look at Pakistan, “Independent Lens” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings) relays its incisive film on the rise and fall of “Bhutto,” the first woman elected to lead an Islamic nation.

As if to give them something to do other than mindlessly praise each singer, the judges on “American Idol” (Fox, 8 p.m.) choose between the two lowest vote-getters among the males and females, and one goes home. Mary J. Blige, who was just about the most incisive mentor the show ever had on Wednesday, returns to sing her own song. Also, last year’s runner-up Lauren Alaina retuns to sing her single “Georgia Peach.”

The effort to get Kenneth a new job on “30 Rock” (NBC, 8 p.m.) has helped enliven the season, just as the new ventures on “The Office” (NBC, 9 p.m.) have.

A replay of Sunday’s premiere episode of “GCB” (ABC, 10 p.m.) replaces the previously planned rerun of “Private Practice.”

It looks like the two realities on “Awake” (NBC, 10 p.m.) won’t be settled anytime soon. In act, it will be supplanted by another ongoing mystery.

“Japan Tsunami: Caught on Tape” (TLC, 9 p.m.) looks at the disaster that occurred one year ago this week, using footage taken by amateurs, presumably on the run.

Sean Hayes stars as an Indianapolis talk show host who wants to interview Leslie for his show on “Parks and Recreation” (NBC, 8:30 p.m.).

They’re trying too hard to impress their gay neighbors on “Up All Night” (NBC, 9:30 pm.).

Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner are interviewed on David Steinberg’s latest “Inside Comedy” (Showtime, 11 p.m.).

Fighting and drinking take up a lot of “Jersey Shore” (MTV, 10 p.m.), as usual.

Think of “Marijuana Inc” (CNBC, 9 p.m.) as a gateway documentary, leading to “Pill Poppers” (CNBC, 10 p.m.).

Female murderers get the spotlight on Turner Classic Movies, with the films “Arsenic and Old Lace” (8 p.m.), “Pretty Poison” (10:15 p.m.), “What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice” (2 a.m.) and “The Nanny” (4 a.m.).

the tournaments continue in men’s college basketball. In the Big East, it’s Connecticut vs. Syracuse (ESPN, noon), Cincinnati vs. Georgetown (ESPN, 2:30 p.m.), Marquette vs. Louisville (ESPN, 7 p.m.) and South Florida vs. Notre Dame (ESPN, 9:30 p.m.). In the ACC, it’s Wake Forest vs. Maryland (ESPNU, 2:30 p.m.) and Boston College vs. North Carolina State (ESPNU, 2:30 p.m.). In the Big 12, Kansas State vs. Baylor (ESPN2, 12:30 p.m.) and Kansas vs. Texas A&M (ESPN2, 3 p.m.0,

In NBA action, it’s Magic at Bulls (TNT, 8 p.m.) and Mavericks at Suns (TNT, 10:30 p.m.).

Daytime Talk

Kelly Ripa: Ewan McGregor, Katie Brown, Martin Short. The View: Bill O’Reilly, Adam Scott. The Talk: Amy Brenneman, Jennifer Westfeldt, Curtis Stone. Ellen DeGeneres: Megan Fox, Carson Daly, Justin Willman.

Late Talk

David Letterman: Howard Stern, the Airborne Toxic Event (rerun). Jay Leno: Jennifer Aniston, Adam Levine, Chiddy Bang (rerun). Jimmy Kimmel: Joan Rivers, Maria Menounos, Mat Kearney (rerun). Jimmy Fallon: Maya Rudolph, Dylan Ratigan, Young Jeezy featuring Ne-Yo (rerun). Craig Ferguson: Raquel Welch, Carl Edwards. Tavis Smiley: David E. Kelley. Carson Daly: Maker Studios, Seth Olenick, Foster the People (rerun). Jon Stewart: Trita Parsi. Stephen Colbert: Don Fleming, Emmylou Harris. Conan O’Brien: Jon hamm, Rob Riggle, Mike Lawrence. Chelsea Handler: Jennifer Westfeldt, Jeff Wild, Natasha Leggero, Bobby Lee.

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