Here’s what’s up in the world of television for Thursday, January 9. All times are Eastern.
Spoils Of Babylon (IFC, 10 p.m.): This star-studded parody miniseries debuts its first two episodes tonight, in a back-to-back premiere event, the likes of which have not been seen since… yesterday. Erik Adams previewed it for us and promised a certain amount of mannequin-fucking; tonight, David Sims begins his weekly coverage of the series, questing for the elusive comedic gold promised by Tobey Maguire in a compromising position with a piece of plastic. Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, Tim Robbins, Carey Mulligan, Michael Sheen, and Jessica Alba are all also starring in Spoils Of Babylon, which is a send-up of ‘70s-era sweeping dramas about grand families that make a bunch of money and then go to war. It’s the Anchorman for the Forrest Gump coming-of-age story, which could mean, you know, anything at all. Tune in tonight and watch with us—don’t worry, mannequins are purely optional.
The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.): Penny quits her job this week, and she ends up spending a lot of time with Sheldon, who is himself attempting to take a “vacation.” But what’s most worrying is that Bernadette needs to replace one of Howard’s comic books. Oliver Sava just knows that one is going to end in tears.
Community (NBC, 8 p.m.): Someone at Greendale is dropping coins down the backs of people’s pants. Ha ha, someone. Todd VanDerWerff isn’t naming names, but he knows exactly who the penny-dropping culprit is. (No, he doesn’t.) (Yes, he does. And the results will be tragic. More at 11.)
Parks And Recreation (NBC, 8:30 p.m.): Tonight is the 100th episode of Parks And Recreation! And in it, Leslie faces a big decision for her future, because it’s also her last day in office. As she and Ben make plans, Chris and Ann find out the sex of their baby! Alasdair Wilkins doesn’t even care if it’s a boy or a girl, because he settled on buying a bunch of green presents for the baby shower. Because their baby is going to be either gender-neutral or Kermit the Frog.
White Collar (USA, 9 p.m.): Neal’s final assignment from Hagen is going to jeopardize someone else’s life. But we don’t know whom just yet. Kenny Herzog cannot. Handle. The suspense.
The Michael J. Fox Show (NBC, 9:30 p.m.): Leigh and Harris try to keep their new relationshuip a secret from the Henry family. Robert David Sullivan sighs and shakes his head. Won’t these madly-in-love sitcom characters ever learn that nothing is ever secret from Cthulu, the destroyer of all things?
Elementary (CBS, 10 p.m.): Holmes and Watson decide to investigate the mafia because a body is found in a barrel. Myles McNutt found a body in a barrel once, and that did not inspire him to investigate the mafia, but it did prompt him to call the exterminator. (It was the body of a rat. He is very conscientious.)
Parenthood (NBC, 10 p.m.): Sarah gets some good news about a job this week, which prompts some friction between she and Hank. Todd VanDerWerff is not sure how much more friction he can take.
ALSO FROM TV CLUB
TV Roundtable, The Mary Tyler Moore Show: Or, what we’re referring to as, “When The Mary Tyler Moore Show tried and failed to eulogize a clown.” Genevieve Koski, Zack Handlen, Todd VanDerWerff and Carrie Raisler weigh in on one of Todd’s favorite episodes, “Chuckles Bites The Dust.”
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
Gypsy Girls (TLC, 9 p.m.): In a two-hour finale event (the likes of which have not been seen since… Monday) Gypsy Girls bids goodbye to its second season. We are hopeful that next year, the gypsy girls will be gypsy women.
The Assets (ABC, 10 p.m.): In this miniseries’ second episode (which was the clear favorite in our pre-air review), The Assets hits its stride, so it’s worth calling out if you’re an espionage buff who thrives on Cold-War suspense scenes, like Tinker Tailor Soldier-fans-self.
True Crime With Aphrodite Jones (ID, 8 p.m.): “The Cleveland Conundrum”: A young man dies after experiencing a mysterious stomachache. Aphrodite Jones, to the rescue!
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (IFC, 7:45 p.m.): If you haven’t had a chance to see the Coen brothers’ latest film whose soundtrack is almost as well-reputed as the film itself, indulge in the first one to do so: O Brother, a film that have you singing gospel unironically (if you don’t already, that is).
27 Dresses (FXM, 8 p.m.): Katherine Heigl stars as a woman who for some foolish reason decides to be a bridesmaid 27 separate times. James Marsden helps her into her 28th dress. Malin Akerman and Judy Greer also star as terrible people.
NBA Basketball: Heat at Knicks (ESPN, 8:30 p.m.): We prepared all these football jokes while watching the BCS game on Monday night, but there’s no football on tonight, just like eight different basketball games. So here, have some LeBron James versus Carmelo Anthony, and if you’re head’s in the right place, you’ll know who to root for. (Ours isn’t, so we don’t.)
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
American Horror Story: Stevie Nicks was on an episode of AHS. As herself? As a witch? Only Todd VanDerWerff knows the truth.