"No Ordinary Family," "The Tenth Inning," "Law & Order: Los Angeles"


“No Ordinary Family” 

Tuesday 8pm, ABC

If you liked The Incredibles or The Fantastic Four (the comic series, not the crappy movies) you’ll probably dig this. The Powell family is the picture of modern American malaise. Father Jim (Michael Chiklis, “The Shield”) is having a borderline midlife crisis, mom Stephanie (Julie Benz, “Dexter”) is a workaholic, teen daughter Daphne (Kay Panabaker, hateful in that awful Fame remake) is self-absorbed, and son JJ is struggling with high expectations and a learning disability. A family vacation to the Amazon rainforest ends in a plane crash, which somehow imbues all of them with super powers (strength, speed, telepathy and genius, respectively). That provides the family with the wake-up call it needed, as well as a new purpose. Expect a more thoughtful examination of the realities of super powers, like “Heroes” (the first, good season).


“The Tenth Inning” 

Tuesday-Wednesday 8pm, PBS

Ken Burns could shoot a documentary about a particularly vigorous bowel movement and still somehow make it compelling. (Confidential to Mr. Burns: let’s not put that theory to the test, O.K.?) Of his various award-winning mini-series, 1994’s “Baseball” remains one of his landmark works, with its thorough investigation of America’s pastime. A lot has changed in the sport since the mid-’90s, and this two-part, four-hour follow up explores all of the highs (the new Yankee dynasty, the influx of international players, the end of the Red Sox curse) and the crippling lows (the infamous 1994 strike, the rise of performance-enhancing drugs, the increasing gouging of the fans to make for massive team profits). 


“Law & Order:
Los Angeles”

Wednesday 10pm, NBC

After 20 seasons, the original-recipe “Law & Order” has finally sounded its final “Chung Chung!” But NBC hasn’t finished wringing every last drop out of that franchise yet, so Dick Wolf has launched this new location-based spinoff (it’s worked wonders for the “CSI” and “NCIS” properties…) that will focus on the seedy underbelly of the entertainment industry and the ever-present racial tension that defines Los Angeles. Appropriately the show is stocked with former movie stars, including Skeet Ulrich (Scream, “Jericho”) as the lead detective, Alfred Molina (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Spider-Man 2) and Terrence Howard (Hustle & Flow, Iron Man) splitting the DDA duties, Regina Hall (the Scary Movie series, “Ally McBeal”) as one of the ADAs, and Peter Coyote (Erin Brockovich) as the DA.