Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, November 15. All times are Eastern.
Glee (Fox, 9 p.m.): Remember when Mr. Schuester got in big trouble for staging The Rocky Horror Show as McKinley’s High’s fall musical? Glee certainly doesn’t, as this year it’s tackling a production that, while not as transgressively frank(-N-Furter) as Rocky Horror, still produced a movie version where the moral of the story is “With patience and the American Apparel Disco Pant, you too can fuck in the back of John Travolta’s flying car.” So that ought to get the Lima Morality Police into a twist. Or something along those lines should—it’s hard to pin down Grease’s message, just like Glee’s, and a hybrid of these two musicals will have a four-speed on the floor and Brandon Nowalk waiting at the door for “Glease”’d Lightning.
Last Resort (ABC, 8 p.m.): The nuclear launch keys have been misplaced—which indicates a last-ditch effort to save Last Resort via the Up All Night method. At least Scott Von Doviak knows that Andre Braugher can play to a live audience.
The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.): Howard and Raj investigate Sheldon’s mysterious, regular afternoon disappearances, and this just might be the week where our “Sheldon converted several units in the apartment building into a Murder Condo” theory is substantiated. Prove us wrong, Oliver Sava!
The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 8 p.m.): Hallucination is one of the side effects of vampirism (along with chronic dry mouth—who’d’ve thought?), which Elena would’ve known if she paid attention to the disclaimers in ads for the nocturnal, neck-biting lifestyle. If you’re experiencing similar symptoms, ask your doctor to refer you to Carrie Raisler.
30 Rock (NBC, 8 p.m.): A caricature of Jack is the villain in Tracy’s latest movie, news that Jack takes about as well as you can expect him to take it. If you look closely, you can spot Pilot Viruet playing one of the kids throwing their shoes at Tracy in Honky Grandma Be Trippin’.
Up All Night (NBC, 8:30 p.m.): The show goes on hiatus for further retooling in December, but we’re giving it an early break and pulling Up All Night from regular-review rotation after this week. Margaret Eby takes the Brinkleys to a mountain resort to break the news—and to get away from the din of set reconstruction.
The Office (NBC, 9 p.m.): Nothing vexes Dwight Schrute quite like selling paper to female clients—for reasons that have made themselves evident throughout the run of The Office. A tip from Erik Adams: Dwight shouldn’t mention how familiar he is with the women’s restroom at Dunder Mifflin.
Person Of Interest (CBS, 9 p.m.): This week’s target: A successful surgeon, who’s being coerced into repeating the plot of The Mob Doctor’s pilot. Because it can’t be confirmed that anyone has ever watched The Mob Doctor, Phil Dyess-Nugent is confident Person Of Interest will get away with this one.
Parks And Recreation (NBC, 9:30 p.m.): Vice President Joe Biden shows up in his bitchin’ Trans Am, chugs a few cold ones with Leslie, and hightails it back to Chillin’ The Most-ville. At least that’s how Steve Heisler’s imagining the veep’s cameo on tonight’s episode.
Elementary (CBS, 10 p.m.): Watson digs into Holmes’ past at the rehab facility that treated her partner. Myles McNutt wonders why she went to such great lengths, considering a multi-volume history of Holmes is available wherever books are sold.
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (FX, 10 p.m.): In a pseudo-sequel to the earlier episode “Charlie Has Cancer,” the gang copes with a life-threatening prognosis handed down to Charlie’s mom. If Emily Guendelsberger finds out this is all a ploy to sleep with The Waitress, God help her…
The League (FX, 10:30 p.m.): Colorful former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon’s not here to start no trouble, he’s just here to have a “run-in” with Taco. (We promise Margaret Eby will deliver a better riff on “The Super Bowl Shuffle.”)
Childrens Hospital (Cartoon Network, midnight): Newsreaders commemorates the life of a deceased (but fictional) Childrens Hospital cast member—which explains why David Sims has dressed in all black for the past week.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (11 a.m.): Some beings just don’t know how to accept a favor: Last week, Odo was trying to figure out who killed Garak, this week the Cardassian is torturing everyone’s favorite shapeshifter. This is why Zack Handlen never expects a “Thank you” card from a member of the Obsidian Order.
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
Crossfire Hurricane (HBO, 9 p.m.): The “definitive” Rolling Stones documentary has been made 20 times over by now—the latest, directed by Brett Morgen (The Kid Stays In The Picture, 30 For 30’s June 17, 1994), commemorates the band’s 50th anniversary. Still, like the opening clang of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” Keith Phipps has yet to tire of intimate, behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with rock’s premier septuagenarians.
Ghost Town Gold (Discovery, 10 p.m.): There’s metaphorical gold in them there hills! Brit Eaton and Scott Glaves dig through the ruins of Boom Towns gone bust, seeking artifacts of the Gold Rush that can help them realize the dreams that eluded the miners who left behind all this junk.
Jersey Brides (TLC, 10 p.m.): “Bling, boobs, and booty” are the watchwords on the latest reality show to do the Garden State proud—a spectacular display of “Joizy” tackiness that’ll require a Bruce Springsteen-Titus Andronicus team-up on The Best Show to restore the state’s dignity.
Brand X With Russell Brand (FX, 11 p.m.): Fair warning to anti-Brandians in the audience (and Katy Perry, we guess): The rock ’n’ roll version of Jacob Marley’s ghost stretches his lanky frame into a 60-minute timeslot tonight.
Batman Returns (Encore, 8 p.m.): Get a jump on your “unorthodox holiday movie” list with Tim Burton’s second dance with the Dark Knight in the pale moonlight, in which Batman prevents Christopher Walken from stealing Christmas—among other supervillain misdeeds.
The Unsinkable Molly Brown (TCM, 8 p.m.): Debbie Reynolds stars in the most buoyant (har har) screen musical to be partially inspired by the sinking of the Titanic—until Disney finally gets around to purchasing the rights to “Titey” from Lorne Michaels.
NBA Basketball: Celtics at Nets (TNT, 8 p.m.): The Nets have had a halfway decent first run of games since moving to Prospect Heights—stormy weather notwithstanding. Here they welcome a Celtics squad that’s struggling to provide proper backup for the combined output of veterans Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Rajon Rondo.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
American Horror Story: This year, if you only watch a single hour-long mash-up of horror tropes, filmmaking styles, wildly divergent tones, and reveals that argue there’s no way the Asylum season still has eight episodes to go, make it “I Am Anne Frank (Part 2).”