Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Sunday, Feb. 19. All times are Eastern.
The Simpsons (Fox, 8 p.m.): This week’s excuse for invoking “They’ll Never Stop The Simpsons”: Matt Groening’s seminal animated series celebrates its 500th episode by forcing La Familia Simpson to flee Springfield and live on the fringes of civilization (where it meets new wacky neighbor Julian Assange!). If Hayden Childs recalls correctly, that’s exactly how Gunsmoke and Lassie reached the 500-episode mark, too.
Once Upon A Time (ABC, 8 p.m.): Storybrooke’s headed for a good, old-fashioned romantic smackdown as Kathryn finds out that her Prince Charming has been sneaking around with Mary Margaret. Oliver Sava hopes the inevitable showdown is set somewhere with a jukebox—preferably one with Loretta Lynn’s “Fist City.”
The Amazing Race (CBS, 8 p.m.): Skydiving and geographic switcheroos: Sounds like The Amazing Race is back. Scott Von Doviak files his thoughts on the reality competition’s 20th season from Austin, Texas—or is it Austin, Minnesota?
The Walking Dead (AMC, 9 p.m.): The Walking Dead continues down a path every zombie apocalypse must tread: Is it the dead or the living who pose a greater threat to our heroes? Zack Handlen has a follow-up: Which threat has the deadlier bite?
The Good Wife (CBS, 9 p.m.): “Live From Damascus,” it’s The Good Wife! We’ve got a great show: David Sims is here [pause for applause], so stick around as Julianna Margulies and company fight a software company with dubious ties to the Syrian government.
Family Guy (Fox 9 p.m.): In a perfect opportunity for crossover promotion, Ricky Gervais plays an animated dolphin on the same night his latest series, Life’s Too Short, makes its American debut. If Life’s Too Short star Warwick Davis makes an appearance as Willow, it won’t surprise Kevin McFarland none.
Luck (HBO, 9 p.m.): Ace is cooking up an outreach program for inmates, and if we were the betting type, we’d put our money on “It’s not a bookmobile.” Todd VanDerWerff bets the house on “It’s not a Scared Straight-style intervention program, either.”
Downton Abbey (PBS, 9 p.m.): The second series wraps with a Very Special Downton Abbey Christmas. Join Meredith Blake as she duets with Mr. Bates in that timeless seasonal standard, “Christmas Trial (For The Murder Of Vera Bates).”
Shameless (Showtime, 9 p.m.): Grammy’s living all over Frank, and Fiona refuses to do anything about it—unless something disastrous happens with the meth lab. Joshua Alston wishes it would blow up the Steve-Fiona relationship.
American Dad (Fox, 9:30 p.m.): When Stan expresses a distaste for the elderly he… (wait for it) finds himself transformed into an old man. Rowan Kaiser has nightmares about waking up in the body of someone who has to review The Cleveland Show.
Pan Am (ABC, 10 p.m.): In all likelihood, Pan Am won’t be back for a second season—but Erik Adams has too many leftover bits of airline wordplay to apply them all to the season finale. He’ll gladly donate them to anyone rewatching Wings on Netflix.
Eastbound And Down (HBO, 10 p.m.): Kenny fucking Powers is out of Mexico, in Myrtle Beach, and still a magnificent asshole. Nathan Rabin rubs his palms together in giddy anticipation for all the misanthropic mayhem to come in the third round of Kenny’s comeback story.
House Of Lies (Showtime, 10 p.m.): Across the nation, “Kristen Bell in compromising positions” alarms are ringing, as her House Of Lies character might have to put the moves on a female client. Rowan Kaiser clucks his tongue disaprovingly.
Life’s Too Short (HBO, 10:30 p.m.): Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant move into new territories of discomfort humor, as a series starring Warwick Davis implies at least five cringe-inducing dwarf jokes per episode. Erik Adams hopes they can ignore picking such low-hanging fruit—GERVAIS! YOU’VE DONE IT AGAIN!
Californication (Showtime, 10:30 p.m.): Ooh! A “piecing together a reckless night” episode! Kenny Herzog feels Californication’s pain—he’s still trying to figure out how he woke up in Tijuana following this past, White Collar-less Tuesday.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Doctor Who (11 a.m.): The Seventh Doctor gets Lovecraftian, as he and Ace struggle with an ancient evil in the middle of World War II. As always, Miskatonic University alumnus Christopher Bahn is your companion for this trip through Doctor Who’s past.
The Critic (3 p.m.): On the same day we salute The Simpsons’ seeming immortality, Nathan Rabin comes to praise an example of why The Critic never stood a chance of reaching 100 episodes, let alone 500: A spotlight episode for Duke Phillips that’s also an extended Lorenzo’s Oil parody.
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
Jerseylicious (Style, 8 p.m.): Has America finally ended its love affair with the woefully un-self-conscious denizens of New Jersey? Depends on how well the fourth season of this Garden State-centric, salon-set docusoap fares.
The Shadow Line (DirecTV, 9 p.m.): This British import is a twisty conspiracy thriller and not the The Fleshtones biography implied by its title. (Or a Joseph Conrad adaption, for that matter.) Too bad—Christopher “The Ninth Doctor” Eccleston would make one hell of a Peter Zaremba. Instead, Ryan McGee reports on how Eccleston manages as a reluctant crime boss.
A Bernie Mac Tribute: “I Ain’t Scared Of You” (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.): The late “King of Comedy” is honored through performance footage and interviews—a much better way to remember Mac than 2008’s posthumously released Soul Men.
The Celebrity Apprentice (NBC, 10 p.m.): As the fifth star-studded iteration of Donald Trump’s reality franchise begins, The Incredible Hulk, Mr. Sulu, and the frontman of Twisted Sister walk into a deli… and find no better punchline than The Donald’s hair flap .
Ed Wood (FLIX, 8 p.m.): The Room’s Tommy Wiseau may have stolen some of Edward D. Wood Jr.’s “worst director of all time” luster in recent years, but until Wiseau receives a masterful celluloid memorial like this Tim Burton biopic, Wood will remain Hollywood’s cashmere-wrapped king of trash.
The Razor’s Edge (TCM, 11 p.m.): Before it served as the source material for Bill Murray’s first stab at a dramatic lead role, W. Somerset Maugham’s novel about a veteran of World War I inspired an Oscar-winning adaptation starring Tyrone Power as a traumatized fighter pilot searching for peace in the shadow of World War I.
NHL Hockey: Devils at Canadiens (NBC Sports, 6 p.m.): The Devils overcame a two-goal deficit when these two teams met at the beginning of Februrary, so the Habs are on the path for revenge—which is somewhat un-Canadian (but undeniably Canadien) of them, don’t you think?
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
The Adventure Of Pete And Pete (Friday): The second-season finale of the surreal Nickelodeon series isn’t one of Marah Eakin’s favorites. Nonetheless, it features some A-plus Wellsville non sequiturs, like Bebe Neuwirth’s immortal “Pete Wrigley spotted. Appears to have Vegas funny man Don Rickles up his nose.”