Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Got Oscar fever? Didn’t think so. Katie Couric hosts the “20/20” ‘‘news” special “Mad About Oscar” (9 p.m., ABC). This isn’t so much about the chances of “Argo” or “Lincoln” walking away with Best Picture, but clips from past Oscar ceremonies, including memorable winners, inadvertently amusing speeches and unscripted moments.
Rebroadcasting Oscar moments is a tricky business. I’ve been told that in order to show the entire ceremony for a second time, the broadcaster would need to get permission from virtually everyone in the audience and renegotiate terms with musicians and talent, etc. That’s a legal nightmare that makes the Academy Awards, unlike sporting events on ESPN Classic, one of those rare spectacles that is never repeated. That explains why the clips that are recycled (Barbra Streisand’s “Hello, gaw-jus!” and David Niven’s “shortcomings” remark) tend to be familiar.
— After spending last week gazing at the Earth from space, the excellent science series “NOVA” (8 p.m., PBS) pivots from the celestial and poetic to the grimmest of human subjects.
‘‘Mind of a Rampage Killer” examines the motivations of those who perpetrate mass slaughter in public places. In the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., shootings, experts, pundits and advocates began assigning blame to three possible causes: gun culture, violent media and untreated mental illness. “Mind” touches on an angle related to all three.
Tonight’s other highlights:
• Ten semifinalists perform in Las Vegas on “American Idol” (7 p.m., Fox).
• Oliver feels like letting his hair down on “Arrow” (7 p.m., CW).
• Domestic violence hits close to home on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (8 p.m., NBC).
• Phil crashes Claire’s college reunion on “Modern Family” (8 p.m., ABC).
• Suspicion falls on Sara on “CSI” (9 p.m., CBS).
• Cruz’s mistake puts everyone in danger on “Chicago Fire” (9 p.m., NBC).
• An attempt on President Reagan’s life makes life uncomfortable for the KGB on “The Americans” (9 p.m., FX).
• Behind the scenes of “Moonshiners” (7 p.m., Discovery).