Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Sunday, January 6. All times are Eastern.
Downton Abbey (PBS, 9 p.m.): After months of picking up murmured rumors of Downton Abbey’s third season like so many teacake crumbs falling from the corners of the mouths of Michelle Obama and the entire U.K., the common American citizen can rejoice in new episodes of his or her favorite British period drama. The privileged class, meanwhile, will continue luxuriating in their caviar and early access to overseas television programming—like the digital screener from which Sonia Saraiya is filing her review.
Once Upon A Time (ABC, 8 p.m.): Following true love’s kiss, presumably, the fairy-tale series awakes from its wintertime slumber. Meanwhile, Oliver Sava’s still waiting for someone to free him from the tower he’s been trapped in since mid-December.
The Simpsons (Fox, 8 p.m.): The Mayan apocalypse going bust will not deflate The Simpsons’ own armageddon fervor—not when we could all die in an infinite number of scenarios that are unrelated to the end of an ancient calendar. Robert David Sullivan begins restocking the doomsday bunker.
Bob’s Burgers (Fox, 8:30 p.m.): With the majority of its female regulars being voiced by male actors, Bob’s Burgers has a, shall we say, complicated relationship with femininity. Naturally, it falls to Bob to teach Tina how to shave her legs. Rowan Kaiser stands by with a handful of Band-Aids.
Revenge (ABC, 9 p.m.): The second season of Revenge has seen diminishing returns from a strong/whacked-out freshman year. If it can’t make something of the master-schemer team-up between Emily and Victoria, Carrie Raisler just won’t know what to do with this show anymore. (Gaze longingly at all the pretty people? That’s how your What’s On Tonight correspondent got through the fallow Gossip Girl years.)
Family Guy (Fox, 9 p.m.): In true Family Guy fashion, it looks like someone got as far as pitching a Space Camp-themed episode of the show before simply lifting the plot of the film SpaceCamp wholesale. This development is fine by Kevin McFarland, provided the presence of a meddling robot voiced by Frank Welker.
The Good Wife (CBS, 9:30 p.m.): The Good Wife would like you to know it’s sorry about that whole “Nick and Kalinda” arc, and would like to offer you this Louis Canning episode by way of apology. Of course, it’ll take a lot of Michael J. Fox for David Sims to forget about this show’s equivalent of Poochie.
American Dad (Fox, 9:30 p.m.): Appropriately timed with the beginning of New Orleans Carnival season, American Dad goes straight from skipping Christmas to celebrating Mardi Gras. At this rate, Kevin McFarland expects the show’s calendar to skip ahead to Arbor Day by next week.
Happy Endings (ABC, 10:01 p.m.): On the upside: This week brings us double the Happy Endings! On the downside: Sticking the show and its Tuesday night companion in the timeslot recently vacated by 666 Park Avenue feels an awful lot like a burnoff. David Sims is pleased, yet not pleased.
Don’t Trust The B---- In Apartment 23 (ABC, 10:31 p.m.): Same as above, only with all references to Happy Endings replaced with Don’t Trust The B----, and Emily Guendelsberger swapped in for David Sims. This is what you get for cramming all your youth-skewing comedies into one night, television!
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Doctor Who (11 a.m.): The Third Doctor meets “The Ambassadors Of Death,” which, if we recall correctly, was the short-lived WWF tag team of The Undertaker and United Nations Secretary-General Boutros-Boutros Ghali. Christopher Bahn still can’t believe Ghali turned face at WrestleMania XIV.
The Simpsons (3 p.m.): Citing the 20-year statute of limitations on spoilers, Nathan Rabin drives a convertible off a cliff and into The Simpsons’ parody of Thelma & Louise, “Marge On The Lam.” (Don’t agree that he should be able to do so? Go to your local congressional representative and let them know the statute of limitations should be extended by whispering “Rosebud was the sled” into their ear.)
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
An Amish Murder (Lifetime, 9 p.m.): Tonight on “How Is This Not Being Adapted Into A Primetime Procedural?” Theater: Raised-by-the-Amish Police Chief Neve Campbell investigates not an Amish murder, not two Amish murders, but a string of Amish murders in this Lifetime telefilm.
The Biggest Loser (NBC, 9 p.m.): After spending some time on the phys-ed sidelines thanks to a note from its doctor (and one from its mom citing the other shows’ cruel “more like Biggest Audience Loser” gibes), the weight-loss competition returns to action. It brings reinforcements, in the form of returning trainer Jillian Michaels and a bunch of kids, any of whom could probably taunt the show back into a hiatus.
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo (TLC, 9 p.m.): Look, we’re all going to forget what the hell a Honey Boo Boo is by next October, so there’s no reason for TLC to sit on this Here Comes Honey Boo Boo Halloween special for another nine months. Hence the January debut of the Thompson family’s All Hallow’s Eve rituals.
Best Funeral Ever (TLC, 10 p.m.): Bound to push little Alana and company out of the limelight in coming months: One of the directors at Dallas’ Golden Gate Funeral Home, who specialize in extravagant, celebratory “homegoings” for the deceased.
Mr. Hobbs Takes A Vacation (TCM, 8 p.m.): In which beleaguered family man Jimmy Stewart just wants to take a gosh darn holiday, but a crummy beach house, obnoxious in-laws, and drunken bird-watchers won’t let him.
I Love You, Man (Comedy Central, 9 p.m.): Today brings you two opportunities to see Paul Rudd said weird, vaguely complimentary things to Jason Segel: After Rudd instructs surfing student Segel to “try less” in Forgetting Sarah Marshall (this afternoon on FX), the pair of jobins hang out and slap-a da bass in this 2009 comedy.
GoDaddy.com Bowl: Arkansas State vs. Kent State (ESPN, 9 p.m.): ESPN presents the first three quarters of January’s second-to-last bowl game—but if you want to see the juicy fourth-quarter action, you’ll need to head to the sponsor’s website.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Young Justice (Saturday): After a long, strange, inexplicable absence, DC’s youngest heroes returned to Cartoon Network. Perhaps they can be of assistance in breaking Oliver Sava out of that tall tower.