Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, January 29. All times are Eastern.
Raising Hope/Happy Endings (Fox, 8 p.m./ABC, 9 p.m.): With so many shows throwing elbows and punchlines in such a small space, someone was bound to lose an eye—or several million. And so we enter this, the first Tuesday of the post-Ben And Kate-and-Don’t Trust The B---- In Apartment 23 era with two major, marriage-related hours of Raising Hope and Happy Endings filling the space left by the loss of their fallen sitcom brethren. Good night, sweet princes and princesses—and flights of Phil Dyess-Nugents and David Simses sing thee to thy rest.
New Girl (Fox, 9 p.m.): All sorts of scheduling decisions and/or presidential addresses are crowding obvious February sweeps picks into late January—at least that’s how Erik Adams explains the return of True American missing out on the most viewer-baiting time of the year. FDR! JFK! Woo!
Go On (NBC, 9 p.m.): After finding temporary happiness with kooky ol’ Piper Perabo, Ryan must now contend with the ghost of his dead wife. If Go On is secretly turning into an American remake of Slings And Arrows, Sonia Saraiya wishes someone would’ve told her sooner.
The Mindy Project (Fox, 9:30 p.m.): We’re just going to carry on pretending like Allison Williams’ Jillian is actually Girls’ Marnie in some sort of alternate-personality fugue state—and after the events of “Bad Friend,” we understand why Jillian would want nothing more to do with Danny. David Sims files his review from the perspective of his alter ego, Armando Stethoscope, M.D.
Justified (FX, 10 p.m.): If all you’ve ever wanted from Justified is the sight of Timothy Olyphant dispensing sardonic wit with his fists, tonight’s your night. Noel Murray sits ringside for a throwdown between Raylan and a bare-knuckle boxer.
The Joe Schmo Show (Spike, 10 p.m.): Entering week four of our social-experiment-cum-TV-criticism-exercise, Scott Von Doviak has doubts about an episode synopsis wherein “Chase gives chase” to a fugitive. Who wrote that copy? They’ll never work a social-experiment-cum-TV-criticism-exercise in this town again!
Cougar Town (TBS, 10 p.m.): Clear-cut comic hijinks are sure to fly when Bobby—Cougar Town’s resident boor-with-soul—and Ellie—the sharpest knife in the cul-de-sac’s sarcasm drawer—go on a fake date to work on Bobby’s social graces. Etiquette expert Ryan McGee reminds you that it is always okay to play Penny Can from the comfort of the dinner table.
White Collar (USA, 10 p.m.): Kenny Herzog is off overseeing a “wife giving birth” caper this week, handing the heist-judging duties to the estimable Carrie Raisler. You should see how good she is at getting past those laser-beam security systems.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
My Dirty Little Secret (ID, 9 p.m.): The wording of this new documentary series’ title indicates ID is trying to pull inattentive Pretty Little Liars viewers over to the true crime side. Underestimating reading comprehension: A winning TV strategy.
Starter Wives Confidential (TLC, 9 p.m.): TLC saw what VH1’s been programming in the last few years and said “Two can play at the nominally notable celebrity exes game!” And that’s how you get a series première concerned with a party thrown by the former Mrs. DJ Funkmaster Flex.
Top Gear (History, 9 p.m.): The dads of the nation warn that if it’s not Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, than it’s not Top Gear, but we point to the title and beg to disagree. We’ll go ahead and watch the third-season première of Top Gear’s U.S. adaptation—and there’s nothing you can do about it, dads.
Southie Rules (A&E, 10 p.m.): It’s only just premièring tonight, and already A&E’s attempt at “Jersey Shore, but with rage-prone Bostonites” is garnering accusations that it’s scripted. This is the first sign that A&E will be nothing but Southie Rules, Storage War spin-offs, and Duck Dynasty marathons by 2014.
Rocky (Cinemax, 8 p.m.): Despite production woes and an interminably delayed release, Bullet In The Head has the potential to be the next step in Sylvester Stallone’s post-Expendables comeback. If it’s somehow not, here’s Rocky to remind you of the former glory that was Sly the underdog fighter.
The Italian Job (TCM, 8 p.m.): Some pre-White Collar caperin’, courtesy of Michael Caine and the all-important declaration “You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off.”
NHL Hockey: Islanders at Penguins (NBC Sports, 8 p.m.): “How long until someone notices I’m making up for the lockout by putting NHL games in this space whenever possible?,” he thought, before realizing he was directly transcribing his thoughts in order to avoid writing “Watch this because Sidney Crosby.”
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Dallas: As J.R. Ewing’s final hours begin to unfold on TNT, Phil Dyess-Nugent bids a fond farewell to Larry Hagman, the only actor who could make a Stetson hat and Dr. Seuss eyebrows the most intimidating look on TV.