Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, April 4, 2013. All times are Eastern.
Hannibal (NBC, 10 p.m.): Bryan Fuller implores you to have an old friend for dinner—namely Dr. Hannibal Lecter, pop-culture’s favorite gentleman cannibal and the central character of this latest spin on author Thomas Harris’ most famed creation. Can Todd VanDerWerff stomach another serial-killer show? Can you stomach more dining puns? (If not, don’t look at any of this show’s episode titles.)
The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.): The characters on this show aren’t exactly known for their social graces, but they’ll need to rely on whatever they’ve got to schmooze their way toward tenure. Oliver Sava suggests delving into all the Wil Wheaton anecdotes the guys have built up over the years.
Community (NBC, 8 p.m.): Todd VanDerWerff’s traveling tonight, so please welcome substitute instructor Pilot Viruet. Please don’t shoot any spitballs at her.
Parks And Recreation (NBC, 8:30 p.m.): Former Teen Mayor Ben Wyatt returns to his native Partridge, Minnesota. Alasdair Wilkins, meanwhile, prepares the proper rhyming headline for Ben’s inevitable humiliation.
Person Of Interest (CBS, 9 p.m.): Hey, remember this show? It seems like it’s been off since 2012, but it’s only been away for three weeks. Either that, or Phil Dyess-Nugent is really bad at math.
New Girl (Fox, 9 p.m.): Hey, girl! Whatcha doin’ on a Thursday night? Hey, girl! Where you goin’ that isn’t Tuesdays at 9? Who’s that girl? Who’s that girl? It’s Jess—Erik Adams is just stupid and is easily confused by calendars.
Project Runway (Lifetime, 9 p.m.): Of the 11 film credits on Jordana Brewster’s IMDb page, six are movies in The Fast And Furious series. In crafting a look for tonight’s guest judge, Sonia Saraiya suggests the designers go with some sort of neon-equipped chasis.
The Office (NBC, 9 p.m.): A great man once asked, “Hey, will you guys let me know if this ever airs?”—now The Office answers that question, in an episode where promos for the show-within-the-show begin airing. At this point, Erik Adams doesn’t even know any more.
The Mindy Project (Fox, 9:30 p.m.): The show gets its Pretty Woman moment as Mindy makes over a male prostitute. David Sims hopes and prays that the episode doesn’t try to snap his fingers in a jewelry box. (He needs those for typing!)
Scandal (ABC, 10 p.m.): There was enough interest in our recent drop-ins on this political thriller that we’re adding it to the rotation again! Will it be unceremoniously yanked from coverage once more? Ryan McGee isn’t sure he can have his heart broken like that again.
Elementary (CBS, 10 p.m.): Holmes and Watson have been similarly absent from our lives for a while, taking most of March off after a heavy February. Myles McNutt had initiated his own “Case of the missing Elementary,” but then he saw that there’s a new episode tonight.
Archer (FX, 10 p.m.): Sonia Saraiya fills in for the first half of Archer’s undersea adventure. That means more Jon-Hamm-as-Sealab’s-Captain-Murphy for her! (Please do not talk about Captain Murphy’s enormous penis. His nipples, however, are fair game. There they go again!)
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (11 a.m.): Dax has her eye on Worf, initiating a romance for the ages. Zack Handlen has his phaser set to “stun” for anyone who dares to spoil what happens to the couple known as Dorf. (Wax? DWorf?)
Gilmore Girls (1 p.m.): Speaking of which, Lorelai and Luke start getting cozier in the second of this week’s Gilmore Girls episodes. There is no easily referenced threat that David Sims can level for spoilers to that relationship, so maybe he’ll throw some pancakes at you or something.
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
Casino Confidential (TLC, 8 p.m.): It’s a night of premières on TLC, beginning with this look behind the scenes at Las Vegas’ Binion’s Casino. Trade secrets not revealed in the première: Slot machine rolls are actually spun by hamsters on wheels within the machine.
America’s Worst Tattoos (TLC, 9 p.m.): Is the Zune tattoo guy going to be on this show? It doesn’t live up to that title if he isn’t.
Go On (NBC, 9:30 p.m.): Continuing the trend of displaced network sitcoms, Go On airs a new episode at the end of the NBC comedy block. Why? Well, there are no more new 1600 Penns laying around. Also, it wouldn’t be fair if the Fox comedies aired on another night without beating up on Go On.
Men At Work (TBS, 10 p.m.): Danny Masterson and his fellow men return to work in this second-season première. What work exactly? The work of breaking up Big Bang Theory reruns with new content during which advertisers want to buy airtime, we assume.
The Silence Of The Lambs (HBO2, 6:30 p.m.): Look! An appetizer to Hannibal! (And now the punning stops, though the lambs continue to scream.)
Earth Girls Are Easy (Flix, 8 p.m.): Strangely enough, this sci-fi comedy—in which Jeff Goldblum, Jim Carrey, and Damon Wayans play extraterrestrials hiding hunky bods under mounds of fur—just might feature Goldblum and Carrey’s most human performances.
NIT Basketball Championship: Baylor vs. Iowa (ESPN, 9 p.m.): The regular-season-dominating Big Ten’s last chance in the NCAA Tournament rests with the University of Michigan, but the conference could take it all in the NIT if the Hawkeyes best the Bears tonight.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Suburgatory: Once more, ABC allows you to take this section heading literally, because you could’ve very well missed Suburgatory’s return to its original timeslot. Brandon Nowalk didn’t, because his internal clock is set to CST: Chatswin Standard Time.