Belly flops and bunny hops in abundance
MORE FEATURES CRITIC'S CHOICE SERIES NOTES LATE NIGHT BY KEVIN McDONOUGH
Much to my surprise, the celebrity diving series "Splash" (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) debuted last week to decent ratings. Nearly 9 million people tuned in to see Louie Anderson in a Speedo. So much for my prognostications. But any show that lends itself to words such as "dive," "sink" and "belly flop" will bring out the negative in anyone.
It remains to be seen if the ratings for "Splash" remain buoyant against the second round of blind auditions on "The Voice" (8 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
n The CW, a network geared to viewers barely out of kindergarten at the turn of the century, reaches back more than 40 years to broadcast "Here Comes Peter Cottontail" (8 p.m., TV-G). This animated special, produced by Rankin-Bass ("Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"), features the voices of Danny Kaye, Casey Kasem and Vincent Price.
For a more contemporary look at the Easter egg delivery business, don't miss the 2011 animated comedy "Hop" (8:45 p.m., HBO Family), featuring the voices of James Marsden, Russell Brand and Kaley Cuoco.
n Ivy returns Sam to town on "Smash" (10 p.m., NBC, TV-14). This ambitious and largely ignored melodrama moves to Saturday nights beginning April 6. For an idea of just how unwatched "Smash" has become among viewers ages 18 to 49, consider that it received a 0.7 rating in that demographic. That's less than three-quarters of the 18-to-49 audience for NBC's "Betty White's Off Their Rockers," a candid-camera show hosted by a genial nonagenarian. Ouch!
n Some actors are so esteemed that we always remember their good work and rarely dwell on their stinkers. When I think of Paul Giamatti, my mind turns to subtle performances in "American Splendor," "Sideways" and HBO's "John Adams." Why is it I rarely recall his turn in the hilariously dreadful 2000 karaoke musical "Duets" or his appearance in last year's mega-bomb "Rock of Ages" (8 p.m., HBO)?
Speaking of good actors, tonight offers another chance to watch "Phil Spector" (8:30 p.m., HBO2), starring Al Pacino and Helen Mirren.
n Faced with an inside-job robbery, the Goulds redouble their security detail, only to discover that it crimps their business style, on the fourth season premiere of "Hardcore Pawn" (9 p.m., Tru, TV-14).
n TV-themed DVDs available today include "Carol Burnett: This Time Together, Collector's Edition" and the XXVI edition of "Mystery Science Theater 3000."
A track meet unfolds on "Hell's Kitchen" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
Arctic cubs fight to survive in the documentary "Polar Bears: Edge of Existence" (8 p.m., Animal Planet), directed by wildlife filmmaker Gordon Buchanan.
Courteney Cox guest-stars on "Go On" (9 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
"180 Days: A Year Inside an American High School" (9 p.m., PBS Channel 12) takes a documentary look at a Washington, D.C., area high school.
"How We Invented the World" (9 p.m., Discovery) looks at the seemingly random connections between a couple of frozen eyeballs, two nervous breakdowns, a bike shop and the invention of the flying machine.
The speculative biblical miniseries "Barabbas" (9 p.m., Reelz), starring Billy Zane, concludes.
Mindy hits it off with Danny's pal on "The Mindy Project" (9:30 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
The death of an heiress on "Golden Boy" (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
Kate swoons for a mysterious stranger on "Body of Proof" (10 p.m., ABC, TV-14).
The Thompson case unravels on "Justified" (10 p.m., FX, TV-MA).
An ambitious publicist (Jack Lemmon) drags his wife (Lee Remick) into his heavy drinking but cannot get her to join his recovery in the 1962 drama "Days of Wine and Roses" (8 p.m., TCM). "Days" was directed by Blake Edwards, and the theme music was composed by his frequent musical collaborator, Henry Mancini. An original television version starred Cliff Robertson and Piper Laurie.
Murder in the Navy on "NCIS" (8 p.m., CBS, TV-14) ... A terrorist proves elusive on "NCIS: Los Angeles" (9 p.m., CBS, TV-14) ... Nick grieves on "New Girl" (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14) ... Scores are tabulated on "Dancing With the Stars" (9 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) ... Cat and Vincent reboot on "Beauty and the Beast" (9 p.m., CW, r, TV-14) ... Not entirely brave, clean and reverent on "The New Normal" (9:30 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
Michael Moss is scheduled on "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" (11 p.m., Comedy Central) ... Vanessa Hudgens, Jerry Trainor and Emily Heller appear on "Conan" (11 p.m., TBS) ... Hayden Panettiere, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens are booked on "Chelsea Lately" (11 p.m., E!, r).
Donald Trump appears on "Late Show With David Letterman" (11:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno welcomes Keith Urban, Paula Deen and Django Django on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC) ... Jeremy Piven appears on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (11:35 p.m., ABC). Ice-T, Chris Hardwick and Little Green Cars visit "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" (12:35 a.m., NBC) ... Craig Ferguson hosts Sarah Chalke and Lawrence Block on "The Late Late Show" (12:35 a.m., CBS).