Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, March 1. All times are Eastern.
Awake (NBC, 10 p.m.): Thursdays at 10 p.m. have been a rough spot for NBC all season long, and the timeslot has already chewed up and spat out a pair of hour-long dramas: First the network’s promising Prime Suspect adaptation, then its less-promising attempt at bringing John Grisham to TV, The Firm. The hour isn’t likely to be any kinder to Awake, the latest show from Lone Star creator Kyle Killen—but if it dies as swift a death as its predecessors, it’ll actually be a death to mourn. Appropriate to the series’ high-concept, split-reality setup, Todd VanDerWerff and Ryan McGee weigh in on whether or not you should check out one of the year’s best pilots—and if you should continue watching beyond that first hour.
American Idol (Fox, 8 p.m.): Fox’s American Idol onslaught concludes, and Claire Zulkey could not be happier that the contestants will finally be pared down to a more manageable number. But first: Two full hours of teasing out the finalists and last-minute saves from the judges.
30 Rock (NBC, 8 p.m.): Chloe Moretz returns as Jack’s teenaged nemesis, Kabletown heir Kaylie Hooper, and she clashes with Jack’s newfound lackey, Kenneth Ellen Parcell. If Phil Dyess-Nugent recalls Kick-Ass correctly, Kenneth is toast.
Parks And Recreation (NBC, 8:30 p.m.): Yes, Leslie’s campaign for a city-council seat is probably getting too big to be believable—but it’s so big this week it pulls Kathryn Hahn and Carl Reiser into its orbit. Any storyline involving Reiner is a-okay by “2,000 Year Old Man” superfan Steve Heisler.
Project Runway All Stars (Lifetime, 9 p.m.): The designers are tasked with incorporating “light technology” into their designs, which hopefully doesn’t end with one of the models receiving a painful electric shock. Genevieve Koski wonders if anyone ever considers the safety of the Project Runway models.
The Office (NBC, 9 p.m.): “A red-faced Andy arrives at work with a humiliating injury,” reads part of tonight’s episode description, which sounds too similar to the setup for one of the series’ all-time-great episodes, “The Injury.” Myles McNutt hopes Andy Bernard grills a foot as well as Michael Scott.
Up All Night (NBC, 9:30 p.m.): Every time Reed or Kevin’s name turns up in an episode’s roll call, it’s cause for celebration—because sometimes Chris deserves some other male characters to bounce off of. Margaret Eby just hopes the motorcycle Chris and Reed try to restore refrains from bouncing off of Will Arnett and Will Forte.
Archer (FX, 10 p.m.): The head of the KGB, Nikolai Jakov (who’s also Malory’s on-again, off-again lover and possibly Sterling’s father), is looking to defect to the United States. Unfortunately, he’s bunking in the ISIS safehouse, and $6-million-ruple man Barry Dylan is hot on his tracks. Around the office, Todd VanDerWerff is known as the six-million-word man—he’s worth every penny.
Unsupervised (FX, 10:30 p.m.): “The Magic Of Science” is not only a theoretical biology filmstrip that’s possibly still in circulation in Texas public high schools—it’s also the title of tonight’s Unsupervised, where Gary and Joel look to a psychic to get a boost at the science fair. It’ll be tough to topple Brandon Nowalk’s baking-soda volcano, though.
Delocated (Cartoon Network, midnight): Jon’s latest attempt to slap a fresh coat of paint across his horrible personality includes hiring his own personal warm-up comedian—like the type that preps the audience at a live TV taping. Steve Heisler is available for similar gigs, but you’ll have to provide your own watermelon-smashing hammer.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (11 a.m.): DS9 takes a trip through the wormhole, to a world where the dead rise, satellites attack Federation spacecraft, and it’s gauche to not wear white after labor day. If you’re reading this from the Gamma Quadrant: Zack Handlen doesn’t want you to read this week’s review.
Seinfeld (1 p.m.): Speaking of things that are backward: This week’s Seinfeld twofer yields “The Betrayal,” a.k.a. the reverse-chronology episode. In response, David Sims started his review with the very last word.
Cheers (3 p.m.): The entire reason Diane ended up at Cheers in the first place—literature professor Sumner Sloan—comes back to make amends with his former T.A./almost wife. If you assume that “make amends” means “win her back,” you’re not completely off the mark!
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
Costas Tonight (NBC Sports, 8 p.m.): Following in the grand tradition of Later With Bob Costas, On The Record With Bob Costas, and Costas Now, NBC Sports brings you the new home for Bob Costas talking to people who aren’t Bob Costas. NBA commissioner David Stern and his NHL counterpart, Gary Bettman—neither of whom, at press time, can be confirmed as alias for Bob Costas—are the inaugural guests.
Rob (CBS, 8:30 p.m.): How far can The A.V. Club’s collective goodwill toward Fred Willard extend? That “Wizard Of Oz focus group” sketch from the 84th Academy Awards? Certainly. Those Old Navy “Funnovation” ads? Great. The first-season finale of Rob, where he plays Rob Schneider’s dad? That might be pushing it.
Rehab Addict (DIY, 9 p.m.): Not a profile of an individual’s paradoxical addiction to checking into rehabilitation programs, but rather a showcase for Midwestern home-restoration expert Nicole Curtis, entering its second season with a 1920s fixer-upper that must be renovated in one month’s time.
Jimmy Kimmel Live: After The Academy Awards (ABC, 10 p.m.): In case you missed it (or haven’t watched it online yet), here’s your second chance to catch Movie: The Movie, Jimmy Kimmel’s attempt to scoop up all the cinematic magic that somehow fell through the Oscar’s cracks. Worth it for Bryan Cranston’s turn as an ill-fated hot-dog vendor alone.
Sky High (Disney, 8:30 p.m.): Here’s a goofy, sadly overlooked attempt by Disney to replicate the success of the Spy Kids series with a dual riff on high-school and superhero movies. It’s a live-action cartoon with a surprisingly deep bench, featuring supporting turns from the likes of Bruce Campbell, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Dave Foley, and Kevin McDonald.
From Here To Eternity (TCM, 10:30 p.m.): Or, you know, you could watch a movie that’s remembered for its epic scope, multiple Academy Award wins, and the hottest footage of two people making out in the rolling surf that 1953 would allow.
NBA Basketball: Thunder at Magic (TNT, 8 p.m.): Even money says David Stern faces at least one question on Costas Tonight about his recent comments regarding the NBA’s return to Seattle. Stern owes the people of Seattle something, seeing as the team that used to play in the Emerald City—the Oklahoma City Thunder—has turned into one of the league’s premier squads. They look to improve their Western Conference-leading record in Orlando tonight.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Psych: Shawn and Gus resume their sixth season of pretending to be psychically enabled detectives, and Kevin McFarland resumes wondering how long it’ll be until everyone in Santa Barbera wises up to the pair’s hijinks.