Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Wednesday, November 9. All times are Eastern.
Survivor (CBS, 9 p.m.): To hear Carrie Raisler tell it, last week’s Survivor, complete with crazy schemes that actually worked, double-crosses upon double-crosses, and wacky betrayals, was one of the show’s best episodes ever, so, naturally, CBS is selling it as, “Can you believe this crazy nerd sold out his tribe? What a nerd!” Well, tonight’s episode will deal with the fallout from all of those events, and it should be delicious, if the show is constructed with any modicum of skill whatsoever. Carrie can’t wait to figure out just who hates whom now and just how said “nerd” will navigate the crazy new situation he’s created.
Up All Night (NBC, 8 p.m.): All of the ABC comedies are off the air this evening, so this is your sole comedy option. Fortunately, it looks to be a pretty good episode, as Chris and Reagan go on their first night away from baby Amy, while Ava meets a single dad who’s played by Jason Lee and has a list of rights to set wrong. Number one on Erik Adams’ list is taking the litter out of the trash can.
The X Factor (Fox, 8 p.m.): Last week, one of the groups America placed in the bottom two was the one Simon had proclaimed the “best band in America” the night before—apparently because he forgot about .38 Special for some reason—then he voted for them to be eliminated the very next night (only to be overruled by the other judges). This insanity is what Emily Yoshida is watching and you’re missing.
America’s Next Top Model (The CW, 9 p.m.): For those of you who are curious, Allison Harvard—better known to the Internet as “Creepy Chan,” because of her love of blood and stuff—is still in the running as this reality show winds down to the final few episodes of its all-star season. Margaret Eby will be sure to let you know if she survives yet again, presumably because the photoshoots are horror-themed.
Work Of Art: The Next Great Artist (Bravo, 9 p.m.): John Teti watches as the contestants are tasked to create artworks based on newspaper stories. We’re hoping the contestants decide to work from this headline from today’s Sioux Falls Argus Leader: “16-foot fish to greet Outdoor Campus visitors.” I mean, imagine that? A 16-foot fish? Golly! If that doesn’t say “art,” nothing does.
American Horror Story (FX, 10 p.m.): Eric Stonestreet of Modern Family drops by tonight to sate your sadness over Family not being on. Why will he be visiting the big, creepy house? It probably involves something like the ghosts being hungry for something that can only be quelled by Stonestreet, because Stonestreet satisfies. Todd VanDerWerff is hungry, too. (No, seriously. Make him a sandwich.)
Psych (USA, 10 p.m.): Shawn and Gus go undercover with a baseball team as a coach and mascot, which sounds kind of fun, particularly the idea of Dule Hill having to dress up as a mascot. Honestly, there’s nothing we enjoy more than this show forcing Dule Hill to do ridiculous things, something that it does with satisfying frequency. Kevin McFarland is dressed as the San Diego Chicken right now.
South Park (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.): The boys learn all about the first Thanksgiving in an episode that somehow blends The History Channel with extraterrestrials, because when you think of Thanksgiving, the first thing you should think of is aliens, and Ryan McGee would like to thank Trey Parker and Matt Stone for reminding us all of the spirit of the season.
Top Chef (Bravo, 10 p.m.): Last week, it almost seemed like the show was going to eliminate the 29 contestants by having the judges wander among them and tap those who made mistakes on the shoulder, sending them home immediately, like they were at a summer camp head-banging contest. Sadly, only one person went home this way, and Emily Withrow has to wade through this crap again.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Survivor (Classic) (11 a.m.): Meredith Blake reminds you of a time before you’d heard the word “alliance,” when Survivor was much more about the idea of having to survive on a deserted island. Remember when Sonja was voted out in the first episode because she was considered the weakest survival link? Neither did we, until last week. See how that works out this week.
The Sopranos (1 p.m.): If there’s one thing Todd VanDerWerff loves, it’s seeing Tony and Carmela Soprano play children’s games, as they do in this episode, when they get in a pool and play Marco Polo. He also loves the season six hour where the two get involved in an elaborate and highly exciting game of Duck, Duck, Goose. (Or Duck, Duck, Grey Duck, if you like to call things stupid names.)
WHAT ELSE IS ON
Pardon The Interruption (ESPN, 5:30 p.m.): Noel Murray’s been watching a week of one of ESPN’s most popular shows for our Box Populi feature, and he’s going to let you know just what’s been up with Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser. Or, he will, if the two are actually around and one of them hasn’t been replaced by a wisecracking robot for the week or something.
45th Annual CMA Awards (ABC, 8 p.m.): Here’s the reason that your ABC comedies aren’t on TV tonight: country music. Now, make of that what you will, but we’re pretty sure ABC isn’t happy about having to ditch one of its highest rated nights in favor of a solidly rated awards show that rarely matches the heights Modern Family can. Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley will sing and dance, so that’s fun.
MythBusters (Discovery, 9 p.m.): Did you guys hang out in our open thread for this one last week? (Honestly, we didn’t check, so you guys could be drawing up plans to destroy capitalism in there, and we’d never know.) If you did, great! And here’s another one! And if you didn’t, won’t you check out our MythBusters open thread?
Prophets Of Science Fiction (Science, 10 p.m.): Brandon Nowalk checks out this new, Ridley Scott-hosted series about the ways that science fiction has PREDICTED THE FUTURE, starting with Mary Shelley, who correctly predicted the way that all of us are just shambling corpses, patched together from the pieces of other dead bodies. Wait. You guys aren’t? Shit.
How Do You Know (Starz, 7:58 p.m.): Again, we haven’t seen this one. And this time, the reviews were far from kind. But a few people we respect said this was underrated, and that James L. Brooks—he of Terms Of Endearment and Broadcast News, which was completely awesome—still had it. And Reese Witherspoon as a softball pitcher could be fun. We probably won’t watch, but maybe you can.
Born Yesterday (TCM, 8 p.m.): Or if you want to see goofy blondes, you could watch this very amusing ‘50s comedy, directed by George Cukor and starring Judy Holliday as sort of the proto ditzy blonde, the one that spawned all other ditzy blondes when somebody got water on her, and she spouted a bunch of pods off of her back. (However, you can feed a Judy Holliday after midnight if you want.)
College Basketball: Duquesne at Arizona (ESPN2, 9 p.m.): There are a shitload of college basketball games on tonight, if you swing that way (which we do), so you could watch any number of them. We’re recommending this one, because how often do you get to see Duquesne doing anything on national television? This could be a handy lesson in teaching your kids how to pronounce “Duquesne.”
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Glee (Tuesday): Todd VanDerWerff is starting to grudgingly respect this season for not being a complete abomination (and, indeed, just a sort of abomination), though plenty of other critics of the show think that it’s gone too far toward the one direction Glee can never travel: toward being boring. Where do you stand on this? You probably don’t care one way or the other, but you can check this out anyway.