Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, September 26. All times are Eastern.
Glee (Fox, 9 p.m.): Tonight’s premiere of Glee’s fifth (fifth!) season is not going to address the terrible reality of Cory Monteith’s untimely death this summer—that fun memorial episode is slated for the season’s third episode, which gives the New Directions just enough time to pull out all the stops with a two-part Beatles-themed premiere. This whole season is going to be a train wreck of emotions for a show that is already melodramatic and dysfunctional, and it's going to start out by making us listen to Rachel Berry perform "Yesterday." Fortunately, Brandon Nowalk has a ticket to ride. (No, he's a "day-tripper!" A paperback writer? Eleanor Rigby? A walrus? A walrus! Definitely a walrus.)
The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.): Another television season, another year in which The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons has won more Emmys for acting than all of Mad Men. For two glorious half-hours, the dream of multi-cam sitcoms in America remains strong tonight. Oliver Sava is holding up a lighter.
Parks And Recreation (NBC, 8 p.m.): This season opens with Leslie receiving an award in London, accompanied by Ben, Andy, April, and Ron. Alasdair Wilkins has a lot of questions: Does Ron Swanson even acknowledge that the United Kingdom is a country? What are Leslie’s feelings about Margaret Thatcher? And for the love of God, does this mean Burt Macklin is defecting to MI-5?
The Michael J. Fox Show (NBC, 9 p.m.): Michael J. Fox is so dreamy, isn’t he? With his rakish little hairstyle, and that killer orange vest thing, and that cute expression on his face as he stares at his watch—oh, wait, we got distracted staring at the Back To The Future poster in the living room again. Do you think when Marty McFly went to 2015, he saw himself on a sitcom, and made decisions in 2013 accordingly? Robert David Sullivan has his suspicions, but we can’t get him to stop staring at the poster.
Elementary (CBS, 10 p.m.): My word! It looks like Mycroft Holmes will be joining my favorite two detectives in my hometown of London. Myles McNutt is my favorite critic, too!
Parenthood (NBC, 10 p.m.): Jason Katims’ quiet family drama comes back for a fifth season. Unsurprisingly, the description for this episode, “It Has To Be Now,” suggests that the Bravermans are going to have to “deal with challenges.” Todd VanDerWerff has your “challenges” right here.
NTSF: SD: SUV:: (Adult Swim, 12:30 a.m.): The title of tonight’s episode is “U-KO’ed,” which fortunately is so clear in its meaning and portent that there’s nothing further to say about it. Kevin MacFarland finds all this quite obvious, really.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (11 a.m.): DS9 erupts in space battle extravaganza as Captain Sisko tries to retake the station. Things get kind of romantic and weird and beautiful out there, too. Zack Handlen is waiting for someone to reverse the polarity.
Gilmore Girls (1 p.m.): We wanted to say something funny about the title of one of these two episodes—“Lorelai Out Of Water” just sounds like it could be a lot of things—but we’re stuck on learning that in that same episode, Paris tries to impeach Rory at a student council meeting. What kind of government are those kids at Stars Hollow overthrowing, David Sims?
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
The Crazy Ones (CBS, 9 p.m.): Robin Williams is in a television show and we feel okay about it. Kelly Clarkson cameos in maybe the season’s oddest sitcom pilot.
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, 9 p.m.): Seattle Grace has to contend with a deluge of mudslide victims, leaving us to wonder if there is any natural disaster that doesn’t occur in the Pacific Northwest.
Two And A Half Men (CBS, 9:30 p.m.): Amber Tamblyn guest stars on a Very Unspecial Episode, as a half-man who is not a man but a woman who likes other women. Because that's just what the show needed—a little more zing!
The This Old House Hour (PBS, 8 p.m.): In this repeat of the season 11 finale, we explore “estimating landscape material by the cubic yard” and “installation of a Dutch door.” We are confident you will never have to learn these things, but then again, we haven’t left the house in three months.
My Teen Is Pregnant And So Am I (Discovery Fitness and Health, 9 p.m.): Hey, so this show exists!
Mulan (ABC Family, 9 p.m.): A young Chinese girl disguises herself as a man in order to save her father. She ends up killing all the Huns and bagging a super-hot general’s son. Eddie Murphy is a dragon. Why are you still reading this?
The Fast And The Furious (Bravo, 8 p.m.): Back when the world was innocent and men were boys, two boys became men on the blacktop of their hearts. Watch film’s greatest on-screen romance in its first installment, as Dom and Brian lock eyes for the first time.
College Football: Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech (ESPN, 7:30 p.m.): We once got stuck in traffic for several hours with tailgaters going to a Virginia Tech game. They were very enthusiastic about either the Virginia or the Tech, it’s hard to say which. Anyway, football!
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Broadchurch (BBC America, 10 p.m.): Last night, we found out who killed Danny Lattimer. The unsettling British drama comes to a close, and if you’ve got questions, Gwen Ihnat’s got answers.