Anniversaries are frequently bittersweet. They ask us to celebrate
achievements while reminding us of those we've lost, and hinting, ever so subtly, that our best years may be behind us.
Julie Andrews hosts the "Great Per-
formances 40th Anniversary Celebration" (9 p.m., PBS, TV-PG), and her introduction and brief remarks come weighted with nostalgia. She reminds us that commercial television "used to" support the arts and even create it.
She was, of course, the star of "Rodgers and Hammer stein's Cinderella," the first musical created especially for television. It was a major event when first broadcast in 1957. A 1965 revival, starring Lesley Ann Warren, was also a hit, as was a 1997 version with Whitney Houston and Brandy Norwood.
The successes of "Cinderel la" notwithstanding, fine arts began vanishing from the network television screen by the end of the 1950s. By 1972, when "Great Performances" began, commercial prime-time television no longer had room for classical music, Broadway musicals, Shakespeare productions, ballet, modern dance or serious contemporary drama. So, "Great Performances," produced by WNET, the PBS affiliate out of New York, began to fill the void.
Over the 90-minute retrospective, we're shown a rapid succession of vintage clips and treated to contemporary per-
formances, recorded live, by Julie Andrews, Audra McDonald, Don Henley, David Hyde Pierce, Josh Groban, Itzhak Perlman, Peter Martins, Patti Austin, Take 6, opera star Elina Garanca and Michael Buble.
Many of these artists were raised on "Great Perfor mances" and cite it as both an example and inspiration. McDonald, Broadway star, pop-
ular singer and television
actress, recalls watching the series as a child in Fresno, Calif., and learning just what she wanted to do when she grew up.
---The youngsters create a delicious dish from unsavory ingredients on "MasterChef" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-PG).
---"Reign" (8 p.m., CW, r, TV-14) reduces the story of Mary, Queen of Scots to a gauzy music video.
---The title pretty much sums up "20 Animals That Will Kill You" (8 p.m., Nat Geo Wild).
---A gang of young men (Steve Guttenberg, Mickey Rourke, Kevin Bacon and Timothy Daly) trade wisecracks and trivia in a vain effort to keep adult responsibilities at bay in the seminal 1982 comedy "Diner" (8 p.m., Sundance).
---The past seven days reviewed on "Charlie Rose: The Week" (8:30 p.m., PBS).
---The St. Louis Cardinals host the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 6 of the National League Champ- ionship Series (8:30 p.m., TBS).
---A creepy child's associations go way back on "Sleepy Hollow" (9 p.m., Fox, r, TV-14).
---Frank balks at the new inspector general (Bebe Neuwirth) on "Blue Bloods" (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
---A rough approximation of civil-
ization sprouts behind the prison fences on "The Walking Dead" (10 p.m., AMC, r, TV-14).
---A new resident turns his neighbors into stone on "Haven" (10 p.m., Syfy, TV-14).
A young woman's (Kim Hunter) search for her missing sister uncovers a diabolical Greenwich Village cult in the 1943 shocker "The Sev enth Victim" (11:15 p.m., TCM), produced by Val Lewton ("Cat People"), the king of artistic, low-budget horror.
---Attitude adjustments on "Un dercover Boss" (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG).
---Eve's outrageous internship on "The Michael J. Fox Show" (8 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14).
---Boyd fears that Vanessa takes frights too far on "Last Man Standing" (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).
---Paternal worries eclipse romance on "Sean Saves the World" (8:30 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14).
---Larry blends holidays on "The Neighbors" (8:30 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).
---Murder crashes a wedding party on "Hawaii Five-0" (9 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
---Kids' stuff on "Shark Tank" (9 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).
---Bali-bound on "America's Next Top Model" (9 p.m., CW, TV-14).
---Sofia Vergara, Ian Karmel, Jessimae Peluso and Dov Davidoff appear on "Chelsea Lately" (11 p.m., E!, r).
---Nene Leakes is booked on "The Arsenio Hall Show" (WPMT, WPHL).
---Donald Trump, Steve Young and White Denim appear on "Late Show With David Letterman" (11:35 p.m., CBS).
---Jay Leno welcomes Vince Vaughn, Olivia Munn and Vintage Trouble on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC, r).
---Kanye West sits down on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (11:35 p.m., ABC, r).
---Scarlett Johansson and Drake visit "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" (12:35 a.m., NBC).
---Craig Ferguson hosts Rosie Perez and Nick Cobb on "The Late Late Show" (12:35 a.m., CBS).
Kevin McDonough can be reached at email@example.com.