Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, March 23, and Saturday, March 24. All times are Eastern.
Fringe (Fox, 9 p.m., Friday): Well, well, well. Look who’s back. It’s your old buddy, Fringe. And boy, does it have some stories to tell about its time away! Why, there was that time that everybody found out the true story of Peter! And that time when Olivia was stuck in another universe! And that time when Peter was erased from existence and we all had to figure out a way to get back to the original timeline! The sci-fi series’ last stand begins tonight, as the show’s renewal may depend on if its ratings perk up or not in these next few weeks. On the other hand, maybe Warner Bros., which produces the show, will not only give Fox a shortened fifth season for free but will toss in a free Dairy Queen Blizzard with each episode produced. Noel Murray would like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup one, please.
Supernatural (The CW, 9 p.m., Friday): Lucifer drives Sam nuts, which sends him to a mental hospital, which is a TV trope we don’t think this show has borrowed just yet. Phil Dyess-Nugent hopes that Sam runs into some folks who aren’t just rejects from a regional theatre production of Cuckoo’s Nest.
Spartacus: Vengeance (Starz, 10 p.m., Friday): Why see The Hunger Games this weekend when you can see the original gladiatorial combat tale produced for basic cable? Ryan McGee guarantees you there will be plenty of people killing other people, and maybe even some contemplation of that violence.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Veronica Mars (11 a.m., Friday): The first major storyline of season three is kind of a mess, but it at least wraps up pretty well, and we’re hopeful that Rowan Kaiser can find his way through all of the storyline wreckage to find something he appreciates, even if it’s just Kristen Bell acting spunky.
The Adventures Of Pete And Pete (3 p.m., Friday): Marah Eakin reminds us that this episode—all about the wonders of swimming at the municipal pool on the hottest days of the summer—actually aired in the middle of October, which is just cruel on the part of the show’s producers. Thanks a lot, guys.
The Twilight Zone (1 p.m., Saturday): Remember the weird coincidences between the Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy assassinations? Our mechanic has a whole thing about it hanging on his wall. Well, add to it that two episodes of this show about the two aired back-to-back. Zack Handlen investigates.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
Shark Tank (ABC, 8 p.m., Friday): We don’t know why ABC keeps renewing this, since basically nobody watches it, but we’re thankful for it nonetheless. Shark Tank enriches our lives by bringing in people with dumb inventions, who know nothing about business negotiations. What’s not to love?
Man Caves (DIY, 9 p.m., Friday): Tonight, a South African immigrant begs for help by asking the show to build him a “South African cave” in his backyard. We’re assuming the only way the designers can interpret this request will involve decades of horrific racial strife, but they’ll probably just go with zebras.
Sweet Home Alabama (CMT, 9 p.m., Friday): Is it time for the third season finale of this show already? We know that you folks in the alternate universe where all TV Club covers is a long string of dating shows are breathless in anticipation over whom Paige will choose, and we’ll pretend to be too.
The Ultimate Fighter Live (FX, 10 p.m., Friday): FX also offers up a reality show, though this one doesn’t involve dream dates and, instead, involves lots of kickpunching (we can only assume). In tonight’s elimination round, two fighters take each other on, with the loser going home or to the hospital.
Ball Boys (ABC, 3 p.m., Saturday): Kenny Herzog looks into this new Pawn Stars ripoff about a Baltimore-area sports memorabilia shop that has the unenviable task of launching in the middle of the afternoon on a Saturday with little-to-no promotion. We predict at least 15 seasons and a movie.
Victorious/iCarly (Nickelodeon, 8 p.m., Saturday): Nickelodeon’s flagship sitcoms kick off a night dedicated to April Fool’s Day that are inexplicably airing on March 24, instead of March 31, because we’re guessing no one at Nickelodeon knows the “30 days hath September” rhyme. Bad form!
The Dark Crystal (Flix, 8 p.m., Friday): Jim Henson’s team turned out this intriguing fantasy at the height of their fame, thus burning off the team’s capital in favor of something that introduced the term “Gelfling.” Fortunately, “Gelfling” is used all the time, so you know the cultural penetration was huge.
Wuthering Heights (TCM, 8 p.m., Friday): One of the better adaptations of a 19th century novel ever made, this one stars Laurence Olivier—who’s good, duh—and Merle Oberon, whose name sounds like it should be the name of a brand of champagne. “What are you drinking?” “Oh, just Merle Oberon!”
Sucker Punch (HBO, 8 p.m., Saturday): We know you’ve been waiting for this one. We know that you’ve got your VCR ready to go, so you can tape it off the HBO. We know that you’ve paid all that extra money to get the channel, just for this moment, and we know you’re not going to screw this up. You terrify us.
NCAA Basketball Tournament: Baylor vs. Xavier (CBS, 7 p.m., Friday): We’re onto the Sweet Sixteen, and after What’s On Tonight singlehandedly carried Lehigh to victory over Duke last week, we’re pulling for Xavier in this one, simply because Baylor defeated the Jackrabbits, and that is not allowed.
College Hockey (ESPNU, 6:30 p.m., Saturday): The Elite Eight games in the men’s NCAA tournament kick off today, and the women’s tournament gets back into the swing of things as well. But why not check out the regional finals of college hockey, as several teams make their way toward the Frozen Four?
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Touch (Thursday): There are a few things we do when we hear an episode of television is supposed to be legendarily bad. First, we break the glass on our “legendarily bad television” alarm and ring it. Then, we round up Phil Dyess-Nugent, crank him full of caffeine, and turn him loose. Watch him run, boys.