Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Sunday, Dec. 4. All times are Eastern.
Dexter (Showtime, 9 p.m.): We’re gonna try not to spoil this for you folks who haven’t seen this season but want to for whatever reason: This whole season of Dexter has been building to a giant twist. The writers thought the twist quite clever—and have remarked as to its cleverness elsewhere. However, much of the audience guessed the twist in the second or third week of the season. It was revealed last week, to howls of consternation from much of the show’s hardcore fanbase. Joshua Alston watches the chaos and cackles excitedly.
The Amazing Race (CBS, 8 p.m.): Everybody travels to Panama. Sadly, one of the challenges is not to perform Van Halen’s “Panama,” otherwise Scott Von Doviak would have had to clear his whole Sunday just to prepare for the rockin-ness.
Once Upon A Time (ABC, 8 p.m.): Tonight’s episode is called “The Shepherd.” Maybe it’ll be, like, a crazy Christmas episode or something. Since Prince Charming features prominently, Oliver Sava doesn’t exactly have high hopes.
The Simpsons (Fox, 8 p.m.): This week’s guest voice: Joan Rivers, who plays Krusty’s new old agent, a.k.a., the agent who originally discovered him. Even in the show’s weaker seasons, Krusty episodes are often fun, so Hayden Child has hopes.
Boardwalk Empire (HBO, 9 p.m.): Last week’s episode ended with some pretty shocking moments, but Noel Murray didn’t like how it was all Bible-y and stuff. Will he like this one better? He won’t have a screener, so expect a late night, fans.
Family Guy (Fox, 9 p.m.): It’s a Cleveland Show crossover, as Cleveland joins Peter and the guys to go to New Orleans, while Donna hangs out with Lois. We hope Kevin McFarland can keep up with all of the complicated Cleveland Show mythology.
The Good Wife (CBS, 9 p.m.): Michael J. Fox’s wily Louis Canning is one of our favorite recurring opponents on this show, so we’re happy to hear he’ll be around for tonight’s episode. David Sims hopes the show doesn’t soften the crafty sumbitch.
Leverage (TNT, 9 p.m.): The team tries to carry out a scam inside of an office, but their mission is complicated when they find out there’s a documentary being filmed there. Phil Nugent expects some witty Michael Scott references, at the very least.
Hell On Wheels (AMC, 10 p.m.): AMC’s testing how popular this Western will be without the Walking Dead lead-in. We’re guessing it might struggle a bit. This one centers on a bare-knuckle brawl, so you know Phil Nugent’s going to get into it.
Homeland (Showtime, 10 p.m.): We love you, Homeland, but we don’t need you to actually be The Manchurian Candidate. This whole “Brody runs for public office possibly!” plotline has us a little nervous. Todd VanDerWerff would vote for him.
Hung (HBO, 10 p.m.): It’s time for the third season finale already? Well, we’ll be damned. In this episode, entitled “The Whole Beefalo,” for some reason, Tanya and Ray’s business is on the line. Will Harris wants to know when that’s not the case.
Pan Am (ABC, 10 p.m.): Even though this is most likely a dead show walking, here comes Ashley Greene—of Twilight fame, doncha know—to make Erik Adams think of a time five years from now when she has her own show about flight attendants.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Doctor Who (Classic) (11 a.m.): Christopher Bahn catches up with the end of “The War Games,” one of the most important and pivotal serials in the history of Who. We hope he didn’t drive himself crazy with all 10 hours of the thing.
The Critic (3 p.m.): Nathan Rabin checks out an episode that ABC found horrifying, thanks to “all-pervasive smuttiness.” Honestly, we think every show could do with more all-pervasive smuttiness. What better for, say, The Middle, right?
TV CLUB ADVENT CALENDAR
A Very Merry Cricket (Friday): Todd VanDerWerff takes you through the Chuck Jones Christmas special that isn’t How The Grinch Stole Christmas, complete with a lovely, lyrical ending and, uh, a wise-talking, street-smart mouse. Hooray!
30 Rock Christmas episodes (Saturday): Claire Zulkey celebrates the often zany, often heartfelt Christmas episodes of one of the last decade’s best comedies. You’ll tear up a little when Jack Donaghy and his mother sing “The Christmas Song.”
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
Larry King Special: A Dinner With Kings (CNN, 8 p.m.): We love this description: “Tyra Banks, Russell Brand, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Quincy Jones, Seth MacFarlane, Conan O’Brien, and Shaquille O’Neal discuss life, love, their insecurities, and their successes and failures at a dinner party hosted by Larry King.”
Neverland (SyFy, 9 p.m.): Zack Handlen takes a look at SyFy’s latest attempts to turn a childhood fantasy classic into some weird, postmodern, steampunky kinda thing. This almost never works out well, but lots of people always watch it.
Virgin Diaries (TLC, 9 p.m.): Jessica Jardine reviews the debut of this series that’s just what it sounds like. Why? Why are we covering this series? you might ask. Well, check out this ad for the show on YouTube, and tell us we’re wrong to do so.
Chef Roble & Co. (Bravo, 10 p.m.): Margaret Eby checks out the debut of this new Bravo reality series about a Brooklyn-based chef trying to launch a catering business with his “commanding big sister.” Sounds vaguely Freudian or something.
Nobody’s Fool (Flix, 8:05 p.m.): Paul Newman offered up one of the best performances of the late period of his career in this adaptation of a Richard Russo novel. Jessica Tandy, Bruce Willis, and Melanie Griffith also star.
Yankee Doodle Dandy (TCM, 9:45 p.m.): It always seems sort of strange that James Cagney won his sole Oscar for his role as George M. Cohan in this terrific and entertaining musical, but, hey, he is fantastic in the role and all.
Sunday Night Football: Lions at Saints (NBC, 8:15 p.m.): The fact that the Lions are pretty good this year is weirding us out. That said, they weren’t great against the Packers on Thanksgiving, so this week may show how good they really are.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Supernatural (Friday): This season of Supernatural has often been all over the map, but Zack Handlen has high praise for Friday night’s episode, which underlines the show’s idea that life as a hunter is nasty, brutish, and short.