Proof that critical insights can arrive at any time: While I was in a dentist’s chair some months back, enduring a procedure that straddled the line between discomfort and pain, the hygienist left the television on for me. It was tuned to “Live! With Kelly,” a morning show hosted by Kelly Ripa. Fifteen seconds into her banal chitchat, I was praying for the drilling to resume.
Ripa hosts the 10th Anniversary TV Land Awards (8 p.m. TV Land), honoring series from years past, including “Laverne and Shirley,” ‘‘In Living Color,” ‘‘One Day at a Time,” ‘‘Murphy Brown” and “Pee-wee’s Playhouse.” Aretha Franklin, who often served as Murphy Brown’s inspiration, also appears and receives a tribute. Look for cast members of the honored shows to make an appearance. Be warned: The proceedings close with Ripa dancing to the B-52s’ “Rock Lobster.”
• Two current shows with cult audiences are heading into strange new territory. I’ve tried to make sense of the overlapping alliances and warring kingdoms on “Game of Thrones” (8 p.m., HBO). But like a lot of viewers, I have to settle for its impressive production values and epic scale. Look for things to take a supernatural turn now that the red-haired religious-leader lady has given “birth” to something that looks like the Smoke Monster from “Lost.”
Folks who used to complain that “Mad Men” (9 p.m., AMC) was plodding along at a petty soap opera pace will probably start carping now that too many weird things are happening too quickly. A few weeks ago Don Draper seemed to go homicidal. (Whew! It was only a dream!) Last week he flipped out on his pretty new bride. Peggy had a sordid liaison in a movie theater — during “Born Free,” no less! And old-school Roger Sterling dropped acid! The times, on “Mad Men,” they are a-changin’!
Tonight’s other highlights
• Scheduled on “60 Minutes” (6 p.m., CBS): A CIA insider discusses torturing suspects; how addiction can change the brain.
• August mentors Emma on “Once Upon a Time” (7 p.m., ABC).
• Patti Nyholm tries to bankrupt the firm on “The Good Wife” (8 p.m., CBS).
• Sarah examines a Larsen family secret on “The Killing” (8 p.m., AMC).
• Richard Kind guest-stars on “NYC 22” (9 p.m., CBS).