Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, March 5. All times are Eastern.
The Joe Schmo Show (Spike, 10 p.m.): As the producers of The Joe Schmo Show prepare to make their big revelation to Chase, we too have a confession to make: Spike actually did make a third season of this classic reality-show switcheroo, and Scott Von Doviak has been writing legitimate reviews of the show’s legitimate revival. All those What’s On Tonight entries about fooling him into thinking the show was back? They were an elaborate lie, told only to make ourselves laugh. Are we happy with what we’ve done? Absolutely.
Justified (FX, 10 p.m.): “Meanwhile, Raylan goes dynamite fishing.” Meanwhile, episode synopsis? No no no no no. You put this type of information front and center, so that Noel Murray is prepared to write at least 5,000 words on the most badass thing that’ll happen on TV all week.
Smash (NBC, 10 p.m.): Meanwhile, Noel Murray watches some decidedly less-badass events unfold on Smash. (Now that’s how you do a “meanwhile.”)
Cougar Town (TBS, 10 p.m.): Ken Jenkins returns to the cul-de-sac to rest up and recover from an injury. Who would ever injure such a irascible-yet-delightful television personality? Ryan McGee demands justice!
White Collar (USA, 10 p.m.): The FBI gets involved in the search for the evidence box that’s hidden somewhere inside the Empire State Building, leading to what Kenny Herzog can only assume won’t be an elaborate homage to An Affair To Remember. But maybe it’ll be an elaborate homage to Gossip Girl’s various allusions to An Affair To Remember?
TV CLUB CLASSIC
The Shield (11 a.m.): This whole “episodic reviews” thing didn’t really take off until many of the last decade’s finest programs were about to call it quits—hence TV Club’s conspicuous lack of The Wire, seasons one through four. While we’re still not quite ready to dive into that particular back catalogue, Brandon Nowalk is ready to fill in the blanks in our coverage of another acclaimed drama that centers on some morally compromised cops and the city they ostensibly protect.
Home Movies (1 p.m.): Our look back at this show’s first season didn’t exactly set the world on fire last summer—perhaps more of you are interested in reading what Erik Adams has to say about Brendon Small’s adventures in non-Squigglevision amateur filmmaking?
WHAT ELSE IS ON
American Idol (Fox, 8 p.m.): In spite of early predictions to the contrary, the members of the new American Idol judges’ panel managed to make it to the Top 10 phase of the show without clawing one another’s eyes out. But this two-hour live episode provides plenty of chances for Randy Jackson to deck Keith Urban…
Pushing Daisies (Chiller, 9 p.m.): In the reverse of TV Club Classic, here’s a long-ago-concluded show that you can start watching—Chiller is re-running the whole thing, two episodes a Tuesday, beginning tonight—before reading the already-written reviews. And with that prior knowledge, you can prep the “pie of the week” before the episodes even begin!
Treasure Detectives/The Car Chasers (CNBC, 9 p.m.): Diverging from its everyday schedule of financial news and the barbaric yawp of Jim Cramer, CNBC diversifies its programming portfolio with a pair of reality shows—this in spite of the diminishing ROI for Pawn Stars/Antiques Roadshow knock-offs.
Alien Encounters (Science, 10 p.m.): The Science Channel continues running the numbers on one the great “What if?”s, bringing its alien invasion scenario to the, you know, invasion part. Somehow, this isn’t just looped stock footage of mass panic.
The Haunted Mansion (Starz, 7:30 p.m.): At least twice a week, this terrible Eddie Murphy theme-park adaptation turns up on the TV schedule, and we push it aside, thinking, “We’ll write up this terrible Eddie Murphy theme-park adaptation eventually.” Well, guess what The Haunted Mansion: This is your lucky night. Tell the grim grinning ghosts to come out to socialize and whatnot.
Margaret (HBO Signature, 9 p.m.): And now we’ll highlight this troubled, long-delayed, fleetingly rewarding Kenneth Lonergan drama to absolve for the sin of recommending The Haunted Mansion.
NHL Hockey: Flyers at Rangers (NBC Sports, 7:30 p.m.): Philadelphia just pulled to a .500 record for the first time this season—but it could fall below that mark with a loss to New York tonight. MATHEMATICS!
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Peep Show: Having failed our every attempt to present Phil Dyess-Nugent’s reviews as a POV shot coupled with Phil’s interior monologue, The A.V. Club presents next the best thing: Standard reviews of an essential Britcom that makes good use of a similar device.