Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, March 13. All times are Eastern.
Fashion Star (NBC, 9:30 p.m.): NBC’s latest reality competition is a bizarre hybrid of several pre-existing reality franchises; the show and its model-designer-turned-executive-producer Elle Macpherson most notably follow in the sashaying footsteps of Project Runway and Heidi Klum. But like The Peacock Network’s ongoing Monday-night blockbuster, The Voice, Fashion Star features a make-or-break twist on the varied ingredients of its formula: Winning designs from tonight’s episode will be available at one of three popular retailers (Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, and H&M) tomorrow morning. Seeing that even the winning designs on Project Runway occasionally fall short of being something you might, ya know want to wear, it’s an intriguing hook that ought to at least convert into a few million curious onlookers in a timeslot where the biggest competition is Justified—and we can’t imagine a whole lot of overlap between the audiences for these two programs. Katherine Miller reports from the runway.
Raising Hope (Fox, 8 p.m.): When subject matter collides: In an episode where Jimmy struggles with a misbehaving Hope, the tricky parental minefield of corporeal punishment meets the slapstick potential of Virginia and Sabrina ridding the Chance house of a raccoon infestation. Something tells Phil Dyess-Nugent that the rascally rodent will be treated with less hostility by episode’s end.
Switched At Birth (ABC Family, 8 p.m.): In a surprising mix-up,this week’s Switched At Birth left the hospital with Noel Murray instead of Carrie Raisler. We’ll see how Noel orients himself to these alien surroundings while Kathryn and Regina mount a search for Angelo.
Cougar Town (ABC, 8:30 p.m.): It’s a good, old-fashioned Scrubs reunion, as Sarah Chalke, Sam Lloyd, and Ken Jenkins all appear in an episode that sends Lloyd’s sad-sack hospital lawyer, Ted Buckland, through the cul-de-sac on his way to an audition in Disney World. Ryan McGee has already put in a request for Ted’s version of “Hey Ya.”
Ringer (The CW, 9 p.m.): Siobhan’s reasons for faking her death are coming to light, just as Carrie Raisler takes a week off and leaves Phil Dyess-Nugent to take her place on Ringer, Bridget-style. Of course, we hope that doesn’t mean Carrie has grown so frustrated with the show that she decided to fake her own death.
New Girl (Fox, 9 p.m.): Schmidt does all the chores around the loft, and he’s tired of that work going unnoticed—so Jess suggests he go on strike. During college, Erik Adams and his roommates tried a similar strategy—only none of them started doing the chores in the first place, and the “Jess” persuading them to not clean came in the form of general, academic- and alcohol-related fatigue.
The River (ABC, 9 p.m.): In its magical mystery tour down the Amazon, what supernatural beings and horror staples haven’t the crew of The Magus encountered yet? Creepy dolls? Check. Cursed vegetation? Check. Self-immolating ghosts? Check. Tonight, there be cannibals—though Hayden Childs is hoping for a pre-St. Patrick’s Day visit from a leprechaun.
Justified (FX, 10 p.m.): Having failed to pin a murder on Raylan last week, Quarles leaves a loose thread hanging that could lead to his undoing. Expect Marshal Givens to work that image into a real zinger of a one-liner, one which Scott Tobias will appreciate tremendously.
Southland (TNT, 10 p.m.): The precipitous fall of Officer Tang continues, as she begins the face up to the consequences of the shooting that occurred a few episodes back. We’d like to think there’s a chance for redemption here, but Kevin McFarland read that news story about Lucy Liu being the Watson to CBS’ Sherlock Holmes, so he knows better.
Key & Peele (Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m.): Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele present an epic battle that’s been waging out of earshot for far too long: Multiphonic jazz vocalist Bobby McFerrin takes on the Police Academy series’ man of a thousand noises, Michael Winslow. The real winner of the contest, of course, is Steve Heisler.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
The Muppet Show (noon): Speaking of mimics from pop culture’s past: Here’s master impressionist Rich Little, in a Muppet Show twofer with television icon Milton Berle. Erik Adams just hopes Uncle Miltie treated The Muppets better than he treated the cast of Saturday Night Live a couple years later.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
90210 (The CW, 8 p.m.): The updated 90210 knows exactly what its ostensible teenaged audience wants, and that’s more La Toya Jackson and Train! Yes, if there’s anything that’ll get kids these days to put down their cellular mobile devices and pay attention to the teevee, it’s a lesser Jackson sibling and the band that recorded “Hey, Soul Sister.” (90210 is really for people who watched the original the first time around, isn’t it?)
Quadruple The Fun: The Carles Sisters (Discovery Fitness & Health, 8 p.m.): You know what’ll really quadruple the fun? If you imagine this special focusing on four female versions of the pseudonymous author of Hipster Runoff, all speaking in scare quotes about Best Coast, “relevancy,” and made-up musical “genres.”
My Super Psycho Sweet 16: Part 3 (MTV, 10 p.m.): In the grand tradition of MTV spin-offs that have long outlived the series off which spun (see also: The Real World/Road Rules Challenge, which continues to find new contestants despite Road Rules being off the air since 2007), here’s the supposed final chapter of the slasher trilogy based on the network’s grossest display of wealth and greed, My Super Sweet 16. Super sweet.
Alien Encounters (Science, 10 p.m.): Nick Sagan (son of science-fiction author and Cosmos creator Carl Sagan) initiates his own search for first contact, hypothesizing about how Earth would react to an actual communiqué from extraterrestrial beings. Sure, but how does it sound Auto-Tuned?
The Prestige (IFC, 8 p.m.): In a cinematic magic trick… of casting, Christopher Nolan followed Batman Begins by casting his Bruce Wayne and Marvel Films’ Wolverine as rival magicians in an adaptation of Christopher Priests’ 1995 novel of the same name. And, for an added bit of fun, there’s David Bowie as Nikola Tesla.
Midnight Express (Reelz, 8 p.m.): Scanning our daily TV listings source, we were thrilled to see that Reelz was showing the madcap, Robert De Niro-Charles Grodin action-comedy Midnight Run—only to realize that the network was showing the harrowing prison drama Midnight Express. You should still watch it, if only for to learn the importance of not trying to smuggle two kilos of hash out Istanbul.
College Basketball: Mississippi Valley State vs. Western Kentucky/BYU vs. Iona (TruTV, 6:40 p.m.): March Madness is the only time of the year anyone’s tuning into TruTV for programming beyond documentary series about towing companies and repo workers. Tonight, Lizard Lick Towing reruns are pre-empted as four college squads battle for the final two slots in the Big Dance.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
The Bachelor: Emily Yoshida checked in with this season finale to witness the choice that was probably spoiled for you the last time you spent more than five minutes in a grocery-store check-out line.