I'm a sucker for any movie with the word "teenage" in the title. It's a guaranteed hoot. Teenagers don't evoke the kind of societal menace that they did back in 1959, the year "Teenagers From Outer Space" arrived. That was an era when parents seemed as afraid of their offspring as a
potential alien invasion.
Today's TV teens are most often portrayed as eye-rolling over-consumers, addicted to "Gossip Girl" and fashion
catalogs, or geeks pacified by technology and wired enticements. That's why a movie like "Teen age Bank Heist" (8 p.m., Lifetime Movie Network) is such a breath of fresh air.
Maeve Quinlan, Abbie Cobb, Rosa Blasi and Cassi Thomson star in this 2012 shocker. Not to give too much away, but these crazy, mixed-up kids aren't all bad. They're not knocking over the bank out of greed, rebellion or the need for "kicks." They're after ransom money to spring a kidnapped dad! They're altruistic in their own confused way. Well,
---As predicted -- or rather, feared -- in this space last week, the new sitcom "Malibu Country" (8:30 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) just might become a hit. It debuted to strong ratings for ABC, the best numbers for a debut on a Friday night in five years.
That makes sense. In too many ways, the show resembles the kind of loud, obvious, retro Friday night sitcoms that the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon have been churning out for years. It's an adult comedy dumbed down to the level of "Hannah Montana" or "iCarly." To watch Lily Tomlin collaborate on this bubblegum brainlessness is to weep.
---Mississippi-born writer Willie Morris electrified the New York publishing scene as a young editor of Harper's in the 1960s. He was also the author of several memorable books, among them "My Dog Skip" (10 p.m., TV Guide), adapted for the screen in 2000. Frankie Muniz, Diane Lane, Luke Wilson and Kevin Bacon star in this superb family film about a small-town Southern boy and his dog during World War II.
Not unlike "To Kill a Mockingbird," it's a film suitable for young viewers that tackles grown-up themes. Just don't watch this without tissues handy.
---TCM serves up three plates of Spaghetti Westerns starring Clint Eastwood and
directed by Sergio Leone, with sumptuous, emotionally overwrought scores by Ennio Morricone: "A Fistful of Dollars" (8 p.m.); "For a Few Dollars More" (9:45 p.m.) and "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" (midnight). An iconic American star appearing in Italian Westerns that were shot in Spain. What a wonderful world!
---A pub franchiser examines life on the other side of the ledger sheet on "Undercover Boss" (8 p.m., CBS).
---A New York Italian restaurant is a mother's bad dream on "Kitch en Nightmares" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
---Thanksgiving preparations become a competition on "Iron Chef America" (8 p.m., Cooking).
---A parasite targets an expectant mother's unborn child on "Monsters Inside Me" (8 p.m., Animal Planet, TV-PG).
---A masked rebel battles a totalitarian government in the 2006 graphic-novel fantasy "V for Ven- detta" (8 p.m., BBC America).
---A sick girl's spirit lingers in a lodge on "Ghost Adventures" (9 p.m., Travel, TV-PG).
---A therapist's patients die one after the other on "CSI: NY" (9 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
---Walter tracks down a new clue on "Fringe" (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14). The series finale for this cult head-scratcher has been set for Jan. 18.
---Voodoo is suspected in a
victim's attack on "Blue Bloods" (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
---A mystery woman shows a knack for raising the dead on "Haven" (10 p.m., Syfy).
---Charles Kelley of Lady
Antebellum gets home decorating tips from Tony Siragusa on "Man Caves" (10 p.m., DIY).
A professor slowly discovers that his wife is well-schooled in sorcery in the 1962 shocker "Burn, Witch, Burn" (3:15 a.m., TCM).
---Mike hopes to toughen up Boyd with dodgeball on "Last Man Standing" (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).
---Contestants stage their own commercials on "America's Next Top Model" (8 p.m., CW, TV-14).
---Diaper jokes on "Guys With Kids" (8:30 p.m., NBC, r, TV-PG).
---Murder in self-defense on "Grimm" (9 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
---An invention seems straight out of Transformers on "Shark Tank" (9 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).
---Mission to Russia on "Nikita" (9 p.m., CW, TV-14).
---John C. Reilly, Brody Stevens, Loni Love and Gary Valentine appear on "Chelsea Lately" (11 p.m., E!, r).
---Matthew Perry and Divine Fits appear on "Late Show With David Letterman" (11:35 p.m., CBS).
---Jay Leno welcomes Meredith Vieira, Richard Cohen, Michael Kosta and Christina Perri on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC).
---Daniel Craig, Stephenie Meyer and Boys Like Girls appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (midnight, ABC).
---Taylor Lautner, Kevin Pollak and Cody Chesnutt are scheduled on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" (12:35 a.m., NBC).
---Craig Ferguson hosts Eric Idle and Emily VanCamp on "The Late Late Show" (12:35 a.m., CBS).
Kevin McDonough can be reached at email@example.com.