Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, September 12. All times are Eastern.
Derek (Netflix): This fall, longtime collaborators Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant bring their first major solo TV efforts to American shores. And while it’s not What’s On Tonight?’s intention to imply any sort of competition between the men that brought you The Office and Extras (and, sigh, Life’s Too Short), but it’s worth noting that Netflix has made all of Derek available before HBO has aired a lick of Merchant’s Hello Ladies. Phil Dyess-Nugent has other theories—as well as a review of all three-and-a-half hours of Gervais playing the U.K.’s most caring (but not mentally handicapped, no sir no way) caregiver—most of which involve two guys who’ve done so much together not suddenly engaging in a race to grab the most American eyeballs.
Graceland (USA, 10 p.m.): It’s a night of finales on USA, as the network prepares to temporarily unwelcome some characters in favor of welcoming others. The Graceland cast’s parting gift is the second-season renewal that came down this week—Genevieve Valentine, meanwhile, is going away with some handsome home appliances from Cuisinart.
Childrens Hospital (Adult Swim, midnight): This one’s called “Spoiler Alert: Owen Gets A Perm,” so we suppose our job is done here. David Sims’ job, meanwhile, is just getting started.
NTSF: SD: SUV:: (Adult Swim, 12:30 a.m.): A few weeks back, NTSF worked with intelligence agents from the future. This week, it’s calling on the services of an operative from the past. Kevin McFarland, meanwhile, writes his review in the moment.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (11 a.m.): It’s only been two months since Zack Handlen last checked in with DS9, but the Dominion War has been underway for three months. So you’re saying that these reviews aren’t being written in real time? And the whole Star Trek franchise is part of an elaborate, imaginary universe? Please excuse your What’s On Tonight? correspondent: We need to go retrieve the latinum we lent to a so-called Ferengi.
Gilmore Girls (1 p.m.): David Sims arrives at the single greatest Gilmore Girls episode, the dance-marathon-themed “They Shoot Gilmores, Don’t They?” Then again, you’ll hardly find a dance-marathon-themed episode that isn’t a series highlight—for further evidence, see Carol Burnett’s Muppet Show.
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
CBS Fall Preview (CBS, 8:30 p.m.): An excerpt not heard in this roundup of the Tiffany Network’s fall offerings: “A few people laughed at Anna Ferris in Mom. A few people cried at the suggestion that Hostages could last longer than one season. Most people were silent, because of the utter banality of The Crazy Ones. I remembered a passage from the Bhagavad Gita: Now I am become the CBS fall lineup, destroyer of worlds.”
My Teen Is Pregnant And So Am I (Discover Fit & Health, 9 p.m.): No, you’re a TV show. You can’t have kids or grandkids or teen daughters pregnant with your grandkids.
Burn Notice (USA, 9 p.m.): After seven seasons, Michael Westen’s running is at an end. And that’s a relief to longtime Burn Notice correspondent Scott Von Doviak, whose feet are killing him.
Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell (FXX, 11 p.m.): Is there enough social injustice and unchecked wrongdoing in the world to provide Totally Biased with enough comedic fodder for four shows a week? Of course there is, but we put Pilot Viruet on the case of W. Kamau Bell’s newly nightly show just to make sure.
Fame High (Showtime, 7 p.m.): Not to be confused with plain old regular Fame, the fictional film (and 2009 remake), TV series, and stage musical based on a performing-arts high school on the opposite coast of the United States. (And for that reason, this documentary shouldn’t be confused with the short-lived Fame L.A., either.)
The Dark Knight Rises (MoreMAX, 9 p.m.): Gotham! Take control… take control of your city. And take control of the volume on your television, so you can comprehend what Bane is saying without puncturing your ear drums on the pounding percussion of Hans Zimmer’s instrumental score.
MLB Baseball: Cubs at Pirates (WGN, 7 p.m.): Cubs baseball! It’s a thing! For two more weeks, at least—and then it’s back into hibernation until spring training, dreams of sugar plums and a winning season dancing in the players’ heads.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
MasterChef: Bow before your newest MasterChef, people of America! The only man or woman capable of weathering the vicious scream winds of Gordon Ramsay or the withering glare of Joe Bastianich—and the only person alive to know where Graham Elliot gets those neat-o frames. Aside from Phil Dyess-Nugent, of course.