By Mike Hughes
Gannett News Service
By Mike Hughes
"Law & Order," 9 p.m., NBC. At its best, "Law & Order" takes sudden detours, leaping in new directions midhour. This hour starts with an eco-friendly couple and a murder. Then comes the twist. It's written and played with subtle perfection by Ned Beatty as the judge and Sherry Stringfield as his assistant. Linus Roache is terrific as Cutter, a quiet lawyer burdened with strong ethics.
"The Real George Washington," 7 p.m., National Geographic Channel. There are many surprises about Washington, this film says. He was steeply ambitious. He was middle-income until he married a wealthy widow. He clung to slavery, almost breaking some laws. And he could tell lies — brilliantly. As a Revolutionary War general, he schemed to let spies find false information. Once, that allowed his undermanned troops to escape; another time, it caused the British troops to march into a crucial defeat.
"Pushing Daisies," 7 p.m., ABC. Fred Willard plays a magician whose animals keep dying. Ned tries to help.
"Bones," 7 p.m., Fox. While airborne, Brennan and Booth try to solve a murder. If they can't do it before they land, the case will fall out of U.S. jurisdiction.
"House," 8 p.m., Fox. Over the next two Wednesdays, Fox will rerun last week's brilliant season finale. Battered by an accident, Dr. House tries to remember crucial details.
"Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work," 8 p.m., PBS. Queen Elizabeth's 55-year reign has taken her from Winston Churchill to Gordon Brown. Each prime minister has faced the delicate balance between the symbolic monarch and the actual leader. Tonight's second hour catches some of that; she meets with Tony Blair and Brown and opens Parliament.
"Private Practice," 8 p.m., ABC. Addison's two pregnant patients don't know they have the same husband.
"Shaken, Not Stirred," 8 p.m., MyNetwork TV (KFVE). Comedians roast Pamela Anderson.