Archive for Thursday, August 26, 2010

‘Nightline’ goes in search of evil

August 26, 2010


Are people born evil? “Nightline Prime” (9 p.m., ABC) examines the role of brain biology and chemistry in determining evil or violent behavior.

If such tendencies were identified, could they be prevented? Correspondent Martin Bashir travels to death row to visit two of the nation’s most notorious serial killers and talks to the father of Chris Benoit, the pro-wrestler who murdered his family then himself.

You know some of these interviews have been around for a while, because Bashir has already left “Nightline” and ABC. Next month he will become an anchor on MSNBC as well as correspondent for NBC’s “Dateline” magazine show.

Bashir is best known for two huge TV interview scoops. His 1995 interview with Princess Diana for Britain’s “Panorama” series made headlines on both sides of the Atlantic and aired in the U.S. on ABC. In 2003 he made a documentary about Michael Jackson for Britain’s ITV network that many believed stacked the deck against its subject. Crime reporter Aphrodite Jones of Investigation Discovery has gone as far to say that Bashir’s documentary broke Jackson’s spirit and may very well have led to his demise.

Bashir has been an integral part of “Nightline” during its post-Ted Koppel era, a time when the newsmagazine has consistently drawn a larger TV audience than some of its talk-show competition.

• Siblings Joey and Melissa Maggiore hold very different views but share the common dream of opening an Italian restaurant. Together, they star on “Family Style” (9:30 p.m., Food). Their restaurant opening reflects their divergent approach to life and business. Melissa proposes a wine tasting for local VIPs while Joey wants to open the place for a rap video. Guess who wins the argument? Or what makes for better footage?

• “Bones” and “Fringe” debut tonight in their new time slots. New episodes of both series return Sept. 23. Human remains are found in the belly of a shark on “Bones” (7 p.m., Fox). Diedrich Bader and Rena Sofer guest star. Train commuters appear to have died a slow and agonizing death on “Fringe” (8 p.m., Fox). Peter Weller (“Robocop”) guest stars.

Tonight’s other highlights

• Obstacles galore on “Wipeout” (7 p.m., ABC).

• A murder investigation takes Catherine to her daughter’s school on “CSI” (8 p.m., CBS).

• The new boss (Kathy Bates) doesn’t appreciate St. Patrick’s Day on “The Office” (8 p.m., NBC).

• The competition continues on “Project Runway” (8 p.m., Lifetime).

• An escaped con taunts Andy and Swarek on “Rookie Blue” (8 p.m., ABC).

• Lynda feels rattled by the move from Georgetown to the suburbs on “Real Housewives of D.C.” (8 p.m., Bravo).

• Secrets of the space probes on “The Universe” (8 p.m., History).

• Adam Scott and Rob Lowe guest star as state auditors on “Parks and Recreation” (8:30 p.m., NBC)

• Jane and Bosco cooperate on a kidnapping case on “The Mentalist” (9 p.m., CBS).

• Benson bristles at interference on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (9 p.m., NBC).


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.