Love them or hate them, the Eagles remain one of the most popular and influential bands of the past half-century. Over two nights, Showtime will broadcast “History of the Eagles” (7 p.m., concludes 7 p.m. Saturday), produced by Alex Gibney (“Taxi to the Dark Side”).
The band’s ‘‘Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975)” was a best-selling vinyl record, a best-selling CD, is no doubt a best-selling digital download and will probably top the charts of whatever new music marketing gimmicks emerge before the baby boomers finally ascend to that big shag carpet in the sky.
As the Byrds did before them, the Eagles married the sensibilities of rock, pop and, above all, country music. And like many country songs, the band’s big hits tell a story and evoke a mood. As such, their influence has probably been more pronounced in Nashville than in rock music, where the need to strike a rebellious, adolescent pose has made the Eagles, their longevity and their legacy a target-rich environment. But when you listen to any contemporary country-pop power anthem, you hear a lot more Glenn Frey and Don Henley than you do Hank Williams.
‘‘History” promises unprecedented exposure of a band that has guarded its privacy for some time. But if the short teaser provided for review is any indication, “History” looks like an all-access pass to a string of tired cliches. Once I heard the band described as “a journey from innocence to experience,” I was fully ready to gag — like the time I first heard “Lyin’ Eyes” way back in 1975!
Bottom line: You can check out from this documentary any time you like, but you can never leave the Eagles behind.
Tonight’s other highlights
• Cosmopolitan magazine looks for new talent on “The Job” (7 p.m., CBS).
• A West Coast travesty on “Kitchen Nightmares” (7 p.m., Fox).
• The hunt for the Righteous Ones continues on “Touch” (8 p.m., Fox). Isn’t that what they’re doing on “Zero Hour” as well?
• Love can be murder on the Valentine’s Day episode of “CSI: NY” (8 p.m., CBS).
• A cool million on the table on “Shark Tank” (8 p.m., ABC).
• Danny loses his cool over a child’s needless murder on “Blue Bloods” (9 p.m., CBS).
• Morgana plans a murder on “Merlin” (9p.m., Syfy).
• An ex-con from Lucas’ past strolls through town on “Banshee” (9 p.m., Cinemax).
— Copyright 2012 United Feature Syndicate, distributed by Universal Uclick.