Last week’s debut was anything but “Grimm” (8 p.m., NBC) for the new fairy tale police procedural. The second series based on bedtime stories to premiere in the space of a week, “Grimm” had a respectable night last Friday, given the domination of an exciting seventh game of an exciting World Series on Fox.
‘‘Grimm” held its own against the CBS stalwart “CSI: NY,” drawing almost as many total viewers and nearly twice as many in the 18-49 age category coveted by advertisers. In another good sign for a brand-new series, “Grimm” did not see its audience drop off from its first half hour to the last. If “Grimm” continues to do well, you have to wonder if NBC will move it from Fridays to a more competitive night of television.
• In addition to constant repetition, cable also relies on cheaper, reality-based series to attract audiences, particularly those who have come to prefer contrived documentary-style fare to scripted shows. Discovery’s “Gold Rush” returned last week for a second season to strong ratings, attracting more male viewers, 18- 49, than any other series, network or cable, with the exception of the World Series game.
In tonight’s episode of “Gold Rush” (8 p.m.), a band of desperate prospectors heads for the Klondike. Will the popularity of “Gold Rush” inspire a revival of interest in poet Robert Service (1874-1958), once known as the Bard of the Yukon? With accessible, story-driven poems like “The Shooting of Dan McGrew” and “The Cremation of Sam McGee,” Service painted a picture of rugged, eccentric drifters and gold prospectors making their fortune, or losing their lives, their souls or their minds, in the stark, near- arctic conditions.
Such tales may be beyond the scope of tough, guy- centric reality television. Service’s novel “The Trail of ‘98” was turned into a 1928 MGM movie starring Dolores Del Rio. After his death, Service’s work was popularized and performed by singer Country Joe McDonald as well as radio raconteur Jean Shepherd, the writer behind the popular “A Christmas Story” movie.
Tonight’s other highlights
• A moral crisis puts Michael’s practice at risk on “A Gifted Man” (7 p.m., CBS).
• A rival challenges Carmichael Industries on “Chuck” (7 p.m., NBC).
• Ramsay tries to revive a half-baked burger joint on “Kitchen Nightmares” (7 p.m., Fox).
• A viral message floods a high school party with unruly revelers on “CSI: NY” (8 p.m., CBS).
• Danger hovers on the edge of the time loop on “Fringe” (8 p.m., Fox).
• An ambulance call at a religious event proves calamitous on “Blue Bloods” (9 p.m., CBS).
• A fireball-happy witch (Margaret Hamilton) can’t handle the wet stuff in the 1939 musical fantasy “The Wizard of Oz” (9 p.m., TBS).
• Kane’s treatment takes its toll on “Boss” (9 p.m., Starz).