Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, October 18. All times are Eastern.
Project Runway (Lifetime, 9 p.m.): Project Runway’s 10th season began with a dubious anniversary celebration, then proceeded to burn its way through a handful of uninspired villains-by-way-of-post-production. Given last week’s anticlimactic non-elimination, the two-part finale (concluding tonight) failed to justify its length—though it did seem to pull back a curtain to reveal Mary-Ellis Bunim and Jonathan Murray flogging a dead horse. Properly festooned with Tim Gunn-approved gewgaws, that carcass is mounted by John Teti and ridden into a sunset of informed observations and sarcastic asides.
The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.): Having tired of the whole “Wolowitz in space plot” (and haven’t we all?), Big Bang Theory brings its favorite mama’s boy back to Earth. Oliver Sava is still putting the finishing touches on the papier-mâché for his “Welcome Home” float.
The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 8 p.m.): The show happens upon a whole new territory of metaphors as Elena copes with the growing pains of being a vampire. Teething rings donated by Carrie Raisler.
30 Rock (NBC, 8 p.m.): The final season of the show is also its final chance to put a nail in the coffin of the old “women aren’t funny” argument. Of course, if you already follow Pilot Viruet on Twitter, you know the Adam Carollas of the world are full of shit.
Up All Night (NBC, 8:30 p.m.): Rob Huebel is just biding his time before being pitched onto the “Ava’s ex-boyfriends” wood pile, isn’t he? Now that we mention it, though, Margaret Eby just might stick around for a spin-off where Huebel, Jason Lee, Jorma Taccone, and Chris Diamantopoulos’ characters lie on top of one another, immobile, bickering and fighting about who’ll be the last one tossed on the fire.
Person Of Interest (CBS, 9 p.m.): Reese is charged with protecting a diplomat’s daughter—but what if the machine coughs up her number? Scarier still: What if it coughs up Phil Dyess-Nugent’s number?
The Office (NBC, 9 p.m.): Once-inspiring setting prove to be a story quagmire last season? Solution: Put it on wheels. Dunder-Mifflin’s gone mobile, and Erik Adams is hitching a ride.
Parks And Recreation (NBC, 9:30 p.m.): The face of the mysterious Congressman Murray is revealed—and if he’s not one of those crazy, phoning-Mitch-Glazer-whenever-Road-House-is-on Murray brothers (doesn’t have to be Bill, Brian, or Joel—we’ll take John, too), then the writer stepping in for Steve Heisler is going to be deeply, deeply saddened.
Scandal (ABC, 10 p.m.): TV Guide’s summaries of Scandal episodes continue to find new levels of vagueness: “An overly suspicious government employee shocks the team with a case involving top-ranking people.” No, not “top-ranking people”! Could the search be widened to “top-ranking carbon-based life-forms”? Either way, Les Chappell is certain this thing goes all the way to the top!
Elementary (CBS, 10 p.m.): Holmes and Watson battle with a sinister adversary known as “the Balloon Man,” tracking—what? Why are you laughing so hard? This is serious business! Myles McNutt finds nothing funny in calling a hardened criminal the Balloon Man!
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (FX, 10 p.m.): Amid a citywide sanitation strike, the gang puts in a bid for a garbage-collecting contract. Emily Guendelsberger thinks the Paddy’s crew is up to the task—it has rounded up human trash for more than 80 episodes now.
The League (FX, 10:30 p.m.): Kevin thinks the MacArthurs’ doctor has the hots for Jenny, but Margaret Eby has a big secret for the both of them: Jenny’s already sleeping with Pete. And they’re married! And they have two kids together!
Childrens Hospital (Cartoon Network, midnight): An entire year of events at Childrens are compressed into the space of 15 minutes. When it’s all over, please allow David Sims a brief period to right his spinning head and file his review.
NTSF: SUV: SD::(Cartoon Network, 12:15 a.m.): Trent gets Oedipal when he must kill his father—and hopefully the episode leaves out the mother’s role in this equation. We prefer to expose Kevin McFarland to that vein of humor only once a week.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (11 a.m.): Here’s a question to save for town hall debates between candidates for whatever the Federation has instead of a president: What’s your opinion on using positronic implants to extend the lives of the brain-dead? Zack Handlen’s follow-up: Does that opinion change in an instance where the brain-dead patient is in the middle of a tense negotiation with the Cardassians? How do you define “legitimate brain death”?
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
Ethel (HBO, 9 p.m.): Before giving over its prime Saturday-night slot to Alfred Hitchcock acting like a total creep toward Tippi Hedren, HBO airs a more uplifting original film, one which examines the life of Robert F. Kennedy’s widow, Ethel, through the eyes and camera lens of her youngest daughter.
This Is Cinerama (TCM, 9:45 p.m.): The 60th anniversary of an ambitious (but failed) experiment in immersive cinema called for the Blu-ray/DVD release and broadcast of this demo-reel (more accurately, “demo-reels”) oddity. It won’t be like having the Cinerama Dome in your living room, but that roller coaster segment still packs thrills and chills.
MLB Playoff: Game 4: Giants at Cardinals (Fox, 7:30 p.m.): The NLCS has been a more hotly contested series than its American League counterpart, but a clearer favorite for the pennant could emerge by the end of the second of three games at Busch Stadium.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
The Sopranos: Todd VanDerWerff’s nine-episode journey to the most controversial cut to black in television history has begun. Don’t stop believing in the portents and callbacks within in “Soprano Home Movies.”