Brad Meltzer’s Decoded
History, 8 p.m.
He’s an imposing dude, this Brad Meltzer. The bestselling author holds a solid fan following among readers who lean toward breathless conspiracy-thriller fiction novels, and he’s darn serious when it comes to overseeing the case files in this popular series. Accompanied by members of his elite, all nicely dressed in business wear and carrying file folders, Meltzer oversees each investigation and he’s always seeing things lurking behind rocks and trees. Past episodes have reopened the existence or not of the Mafia and UFOs and the disappearance of D.B. Cooper. In tonight’s show, Team Brad reopens the death of famous escape artist Harry Houdini, who as everyone knows died in 1926, soon after he was punched in the gut at Montreal’s Princess Theatre by a McGill University student. Was it really a ruptured appendix? Mr. Meltzer says murder.
Fox, 8 p.m.; CITY-TV, 9:30 p.m.
If you’re a true fan of this offbeat sitcom, better start sending your postcards to Fox now, because it’s still pulling low ratings in the U.S., which bodes not well for its return next fall. Sort of a modern-day spin of Roseanne, the sophomore comedy focuses primarily on the déclassé existence of single dad Jimmy (Lucas Neff) who is trying to raise his baby daughter Hope best he can, with a little help from his hillbilly parents, Burt and Virginia (Garret Dillahunt, Martha Plimpton), and no help whatsoever from his slattern grandmother, Maw-Maw (Cloris Leachman). The show’s writers spread the wealth among the entire cast and tonight’s show finds Virginia working as a house-sitter at a house that comes with a teenaged girl about to abandon virginity.
NCIS: Los Angeles
CBS, Global, 9 p.m.
Still watched by more than 12 million U.S. viewers each week – and another two million or so people here – this crime-procedural series creates a new and ominous threat to the American way of life in each and every episode, just so the NCIS heroes can step in to kick ass and take names or something like that. And in this world, L.A. is one of the most dangerous places on Earth! In tonight’s show, a man is gunned down outside the Vietnamese consulate, just before the arrival of the U.S. Secretary of the Navy for some super-important meeting. The NCIS team has to determine if it was a lone act or a terrorist attack.
The Little Couple
TLC, 10 p.m.
Welcome back, Bill and Jen. Back tonight for its fifth season, this endearing TLC series follows real-life neonatologist Jennifer Arnold and businessman Bill Klein, both born with dwarfism and currently living extremely normal lives in Houston. By this point, regular viewers are fully invested in the storyline and will know that the couple’s attempts to start a family last season had a tragic ending. Tonight’s new season opens with Bill and Jen working to move forward following her miscarriage and madly preparing to celebrate their first Thanksgiving in their new home. They’re still a cute couple.
They Drive by Night
TCM, 11:45 p.m. ET; 8:45 p.m. PT
Two legendary Hollywood tough guys teamed up for this 1940 noir drama. George Raft and Humphrey Bogart play Joe and Paul Fabrini, two independent truckers trying to survive in a crummy business. When not driving around the clock and trying to deliver loads of fruit, the pair are hiding from loan collectors and duking it out with crooked truckers. Their rundown truck doesn’t have doors, so Paul loses an arm and Joe is forced to take a job at his pal’s trucking company, which seems like a sweet deal until the boss’s wife (Ida Lupino) starts making goo-goo eyes at him. Wow, truck drivers had it great in the forties!