Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Friday, April 5, and Saturday, April 6. All times are Eastern.
Orphan Black (BBC America, 9 p.m., Saturday): With all of the shows that have moved to Fridays and Saturdays now, the two emptiest nights of the week have just gotten a lot more crowded. But we’d like to call your attention to this show, a goofy little thing we like to call Orphan Black, complete with some absolutely amazing twists, some tight storytelling, and a fantastic performance from one Tatiana Maslany. Just stay away from the ads, though. They’re intent on spoiling the whole thing. Caroline Framke may have words for the good advertising people at BBC America.
House Of Cards (Netflix, 1 p.m., Friday): The season winds ever closer to its close, as Frank’s true scheme becomes apparent to everybody but those he’s been scheming with and against. Ryan McGee once tried to scheme his way into a position of more power, but he was distracted by a delicious pie.
Happy Endings (ABC, 8 p.m., Friday): We won’t lie. Things look grim for this happy little show of happiness. The ratings are grim, and ABC seems unable to accept its own culpability in the death of the show. (Not that it ever would.) David Sims will treasure every last “Happy Endings happy hour” he gets.
Gravity Falls (Disney Channel, 9 p.m., Friday): In a case where utterly bizarre scheduling decisions have apparently worked, however, let’s turn to Gravity Falls, which goes away for weeks at a time, then returns like it’s no big deal. Alasdair Wilkins wishes he had such an emphatic and passionate audience.
Grimm (NBC, 9 p.m., Friday): Coming off of last week’s episode—which Kevin McFarland found to be one of the show’s weakest—everybody’s hoping that America’s favorite—okay, America’s only—Wesen-themed paranormal drama will bounce back this week. We’re mostly hoping for some were-penguins.
Spartacus (Starz, 9 p.m., Friday): With only two episodes—including tonight’s—left in the whole run of the show, Ryan McGee has started a very profitable side business for those of you who want to bet on what will happen as the show ends. As for us, we’re betting it wraps up Roman-style. With a rap battle!
Doctor Who (BBC America, 8 p.m., Saturday): Last week, Clara compared the online monster thingy to Twitter, and, yes, ha ha. We get it, Clara. We spend way too much time on Twitter, and can you just let it go already? We’re trying to break our addiction! Alasdair Wilkins is there for us when we get the shakes.
Smash (NBC, 9 p.m., Saturday): Yes, NBC is moving the show to Saturdays, and Todd VanDerWerff or Myles McNutt or somebody will be there to pick up the pieces of just under a million Katharine McPhee fans’ shattered hearts. Plus, if Todd writes it, expect the return of your ol’ pal, Frank Fisticuffs!
Saturday Night Live (NBC, 11:30 p.m., Saturday): Melissa McCarthy returns for her second hosting gig, while Phoenix drops in as the musical guest. We’re assuming it’s the band, not the city of Phoenix, though David Sims could get behind all of Arizona’s largest city singing live on national television.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Babylon 5 (11 a.m., Friday): This week’s episodes have enticing titles like “The Long Dark” and “Spider In The Web.” We can only assume that the second episode involves everybody in the show getting Spider-Man powers. Rowan Kaiser once had Spider-Man powers, and he used them to save three kittens!
The Twilight Zone (1 p.m., Saturday): When five random people end up trapped in a metal cylinder together, they don’t immediately conclude that they’ve stumbled into an episode of this show and just wait around for the twist ending. Zack Handlen once wandered into the Zone, then right the hell out.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
Scooby-Doo Mystery Inc. (Cartoon Network, 5:30 p.m., Friday): A few of you have been talking about liking this show in comments, and Will Harris liked it too, so when we found out it was the finale, we figured… what the hell. Imagine us saying that like Christopher Lloyd at the end of Back To The Future.
Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook (PBS, 9 p.m., Friday): No, it was awful. They brought along their friend Michael, and he just wouldn’t stop singing. No, not good songs. Mostly just pop standards and cast-off Broadway numbers and the like. Well, he’s no Ira Gershwin, I’ll tell you that much!
Touch (Fox, 9 p.m., Friday): The Kiefer Sutherland drama has performed disastrously in its second season, setting a new record low for Fox’s ratings in the 18-49-year-old demographic. And that’s with years of Cops and America’s Most Wanted airing on Saturdays as well! Too bad for you, Kiefer.
Vice (HBO, 11 p.m. Friday): Because it’s HBO and it can do whatever it wants, the pay cable behemoth is bringing a newsmagazine version of the real magazine to the air, and, lo, Marah Eakin says that it’s not so bad after all. That’s good. We’d hate to think there would be a shitty TV adaptation of something!
My Cat From Hell (Animal Planet, 8 p.m., Saturday): The series about demonic cats returns with two brand new episodes, and it puts us in mind of that exchange from The Simpsons: “[Poochie’s] the original dog from hell!” “Cerberus?” Except we don’t think there was ever a cat from hell. Ignore us.
A Special Edition Of 20/20 With Katie Couric (ABC, 9 p.m., Saturday): Consummate newswoman Katie Couric celebrates the 50th anniversary of General Hospital, because she burned her bridges at NBC, the whole CBS thing didn’t work out, and ABC’s calling her shots now. So… soap opera history lessons it is!
The Big Lebowski (Flix, 8 p.m., Friday): Now, it might just be us or the people we hang out with, but we’ve been led to believe that this movie is pretty well-loved, by folks of all manner of stripes. Something about a Dude abiding or a rug really pulling the room together? We weren’t paying attention.
Drive Angry (TMC, 9 p.m., Friday): Nicolas Cage breaks out of Hell. That’s all you need to know. That alone guarantees our eyes. Also: Don’t you wish this was airing on TCM, instead of TMC, and Robert Osborne had to introduce it? Offer your “Osborne introduces Drive Angry” impressions in comments.
Lawrence Of Arabia (TCM, 8 p.m., Saturday): For its part, TCM is just going to stick to its utterly nonsensical plan of airing some of the greatest films ever made, instead of showing movies where Nicolas Cage breaks out of Hell. We say, “Hmph!” to that, but we do love David Lean’s magnum opus.
NBA Basketball: Heat at Bobcats (ESPN, 8 p.m., Friday): We were pretty despondent about that whole thing where the Heat just wouldn’t stop winning basketball games, but then the Bulls got in the way of that. However, we don’t really expect the fucking Charlotte Bobcats to do anything remotely similar.
NCAA Basketball Tournament: Final Four action (CBS, 6 p.m., Saturday): Two of the final three men’s college basketball games of the whole year tip off tonight. Wichita State attempts to continue its improbable run against Louisville, and then Syracuse takes on Michigan in the later game.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
New Girl (Thursday): Fox has been airing episodes of its comedies after the rapidly diminishing American Idol because why not, right? It continues with this enjoyable outing of New Girl, in which everybody’s favorite will-they/won’t-they kids Nick and Jess go on a first date. Erik Adams applauds.