Caught between rock and a dull place

Fifty years after the advent of rock 'n' roll, we've had a spate of movies celebrating the rebellious spirit of the musical form. If "School of Rock" and "Freaky Friday" taught us anything, it's that the family that jams together, stays together. Add "Pop Rocks" (7 p.m., Family) to this rock pile.

Gary Cole ("The Brady Bunch") stars as Jerry Harden, a strict dad who works for a tyrannical boss at a local bank. His wife, Allison (Sherilyn Fenn, "Twin Peaks"), is a dutiful spouse. Jerry seems happy in his button-down world, but he's harboring a terrible secret. Jerry was once Dagger, the lead singer for the early-'80s hair band Rock Toxin.

Then Izzy (David Jensen), the former Rock Toxin guitarist, arrives in town with word that a VH1-type outfit will offer them a tidy sum for a reunion concert. Needing money for his kid's tuition, Jerry thinks he can do the concert and make the quick cash without his family ever finding out.

Just why he wants to keep his Rock Toxin past a deep, dark secret is the preposterous notion that drives this genial Disney-ish comedy. It's also the concept that animates the film's comedy of deception and misperception and fuels its slightly subversive edge.

  • "Dateline" (7 p.m., NBC) revisits Aron Ralston's gruesome ordeal in a Utah desert canyon. With his right arm crushed under a boulder and no help in sight, Ralston cut off the limb with a dull pocketknife and escaped to safety. Six months to the day after his accident, Ralston returns to the desert site with NBC anchor Tom Brokaw. "Dateline" also reveals never-before-seen video clips that Ralston took while on his fateful hike, including a video testament that Ralston made for his family while trapped by the boulder.

Ralston also appears on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS), along with Drew Barrymore.

Tonight's other highlights

  • Miami meets Florida State in college football (7 p.m., ABC). Originally scheduled for Monday, the game was postponed because of Hurricane Frances.
  • "NOW with Bill Moyers" (7 p.m., PBS) looks at the findings and implications of the 9-11 commission report.
  • An encephalitis threat in St. Louis on "Medical Investigation" (9 p.m., NBC).

Late night

Jay Leno greets Heather Locklear and Rhys Ifans on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC) ... Josh Duhamel, Terry Bradshaw and Ozomatli appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (11:05 p.m., ABC).

Paris Hilton and Scissor Sisters chat on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (11:35 p.m., NBC).


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