A winter TV staple nearly as venerable as “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” “The People’s Choice Awards” (8 p.m., CBS) has been around since 1975 and provides a nice barometer of popular, if predictable, tastes.
For the record, the first movie to win was “The Sting,” starring Paul Newman. Voting switched to Internet voting in 2005. Before then, winners were determined by a Gallup poll.
Voters who haven’t bothered to exercise the franchise yet can vote (at peopleschoice.com) up until show time for two categories: Favorite New TV Comedy and TV Drama.
I would vote for “Raising Hope” in the comedy category and abstain from any list of dramas that excludes “Boardwalk Empire.”
• What do guys like? Big loud machines? Explosions? History? The new series “Greatest Tank Battles” (9 p.m., Military) has them all. Every week “Greatest” will use CGI animation and filmed re-creations to revisit some of military history’s greatest armored conflicts.
The series kicks off with one of the most recent: “The Battle of 73 Easting” that took place during the brief 1991 Gulf War. Next week examines “The Battle for The Golan Heights,” between Syria and Israel in 1973. The rest of the series, airing Wednesdays through March 9, concentrates on battles from World War II. And it saves the biggest for last. The epic 1943 battle of Kursk pitted German and Soviet armies armed with roughly 8,000 tanks between them, and marked the last German offensive on the Eastern front. So vast in scope, “The Battle of Kursk” will air over two weeks on March 2 and 9.
• Back in its early days, Fox got abysmal ratings but managed to air some edgy and influential shows. “The Simpsons” survived, but “The Tracy Ullman Show” floundered, and so did “The Ben Stiller Show.” It returns tonight on IFC and will air Wednesday nights at 9:30 p.m.
In addition to Stiller, who has gone on to box office gold, including “Tropic Thunder” (7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., FX), “Stiller” featured co-writer Judd Apatow and introduced comics Janeane Garofalo, Andy Dick and Bob Odenkirk. “Stiller” aired very briefly from 1992 to 1993, so look for some period-specific skits and parodies.
Tonight’s other highlights
• Paula Abdul hosts “Live to Dance” (7 p.m., CBS).
• An old flame needs Chance’s help on a two-hour episode of “Human Target” (7 p.m., Fox).
• On back-to-back episodes of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (NBC), Drea de Matteo guest stars (8 p.m.), a predator hides behind the First Amendment (9 p.m.). This marks the return of “SVU” to its 9 p.m. spot.
• Claire declares war on a local speedster on “Modern Family” (8 p.m., ABC).
• “Great Performances at the Met” (8 p.m., PBS, check local listings) presents Donizetti’s opera “Don Pasquale.”
• Suzanne’s ex wants a financial readjustment on the season premiere of “Are We There Yet?” (9 p.m., TBS).