By Mike Hughes
By Mike Hughes
"Superstars of Dance" debut, 8 p.m., NBC. Under producer Nigel Lythgoe, the summertime "So You Think You Can Dance" has become immensely entertaining. Now we'll see if Lythgoe can do the same with this short-run, eight-country tournament. Viewers don't get to vote, but they can settle back and savor some wide-ranging talent, with Michael Flatley ("Riverdance") hosting. Each country sends two soloists, plus a duo and a mass act. The dancing will range from Russian Cossacks to Chinese monks to American hip-hoppers. Expect some dazzling moves.
"Masterpiece Classic: Tess of the D'Urbanvilles," 8 p.m., PBS; concludes next week. A new "Classic" round begins, now with Laura Linney as host. First come a pair of oft-filmed novels — "Tess" now and "Wuthering Heights" on Jan. 18 and 25. The good news: Both stories have brilliant actors, including Gemma Arterton ("Quantum of Solace") in tonight's title role. Both are beautifully filmed and are, we're told, true to the novels and the eras. The bad news? Well, both are true to the novels and eras. It was, apparently, a tough time to be a good-hearted woman. Skillfully and gracefully, these stories leave viewers battered.
Football, 8 a.m., CBS and 11:30 a.m. Fox. The wild-card round of the NFL playoffs wraps up today. The first game has the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins; the second has the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings.
"Saturday Night Live Sports Extra," 6 p.m., NBC. "Saturday Night Live" has had some painful moments with sports stars as hosts. We'll see if there have been enough good bits to fill two hours.
"24: Redemption," 8 p.m., Fox. Next week, "24" launches its season. First, here's a second chance to see this film which sets it up, as Jack and some kids are trapped in an African revolution. After a so-so start, this is a taut, involving movie.
"Desperate Housewives," 8 p.m., ABC. Bree is having a tough time adjusting to the family her son plans to marry into. Meanwhile, Dave is acting crazier and Lynette's son is still on the run.
"Cold Case," 8 p.m., CBS. This isn't one of those stories that leaps way back in time. Instead, it jumps back a year, to the murder of a lottery winner.
"The Unit," 9 p.m., CBS. Jonas, sometimes trapped in shoot-em-up adventures, instead finds himself in a baccarat game, with big money and more at stake.