By Mike Hughes
Gannett News Service
By Mike Hughes
"Friday Night Lights," 7 p.m., NBC. For good or bad, this series feels like nothing else on TV. The bad part is tonight's visual work. It takes hand-held cameras to an extreme, giving us jiggly pictures for no reason. And the good is the understated portrayal of small-town people in crisis. It's immensely believable. The school's star quarterback has been seriously injured. Now people do what real-life people often do (and TV people rarely do): They pray. They hope for a miracle and try to grasp the unthinkable. Players react in different ways. One is cocky, one is angry, most are silent. The reserve quarterback, a last-minute hero in the season-opener, is overwhelmed. Mostly, things fall on the soft-spoken coach (Kyle Chandler). With a minimum of words or gestures, Chandler projects deep passion.
"The Journalist and the Jihadi: The Murder of Daniel Pearl," 5 p.m., HBO. Christiane Amanpour narrates this simultaneous profile of Pearl (the slain Wall Street Journal reporter) and Omar Sheikh, who was convicted of being part of the kidnap plot.
"The Scream Awards," 7 p.m., Spike TV. Horror and fantasy films are honored.
"Law & Order: Criminal Intent," 8 p.m., NBC. A firefighter was killed shortly after stopping a hate crime. His own sexuality may have been a reason for the murder.
"Dancing with the Stars," 7 p.m., ABC. A new week starts.
"Help Me Help You," 8:30 p.m., ABC. Bill (Ted Danson) goes to a support group filled with other therapists. Now they urge him to be less competitive.
"Boston Legal," 9 p.m., ABC. Alan and Denny are both feeling attracted to the women they are working on cases with.
"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," 9 p.m., NBC. Jerry Lewis plays a senile, homeless man who provides a major surprise in a murder investigation.