Will Louie get bumped by Tom Cruise? 

Will Louie get bumped by Tom Cruise? 

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, August 30. All times are Eastern.

TOP PICK

Louie (FX, 10:30 p.m.): Some comedians might view a booking on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno as a big break, but since this is Louie we’re talking about, the eponymous character’s silver lining comes with a giant, terrifying, lightning-filled cloud: He’s on the same show as Tom Cruise. And Tom Cruise likes to go long. So Louie’s almost definitely losing his chance to perform. Nathan Rabin straps in for the first of three episodes dealing with Louie’s agony and ecstasy in the green room.


REGULAR COVERAGE

Project Runway (Lifetime, 9 p.m.): Last week’s episode proved that you can be a terrible person, come up with a shit design, and still not be eliminated from Project Runway. Margaret Eby’s just happy that this season finally has a clear villain in Ven.

Wilfred (FX, 10 p.m.): What’s the deal with Wilfred? What role is he supposed to play Ryan’s life? And how many times will Inception be mentioned in an episode featuring drug trips with drug trips? Rowan Kaiser might address these questions (and more) in a review of an episode titled, er, “Questions.”

Awkward. (MTV, 10:30 p.m.): This series is answering a fundamental question tonight as well—How have Jake and Matty never read what Jenna writes about them online?—when Jake and Matty read what Jenna writes about them online. Myles McNutt is glad to see the guys finally have a working Internet connection.

Childrens Hospital (Cartoon Network, 12 a.m.): Downtime quickly turns to worktime when there are no patients to treat. David Sims optimizes his time by watching Childrens Hospital and doing household chores simultaneously, using a complicated harness that allows him to take the TV with him wherever he goes.

NTSF: SD: SUV:: (Cartoon Network, 12:15 a.m.): Emmy-nominated New Girl star Max Greenfield shows up in the NTSF universe as a Frankenstein-ed equivalent to undead heartthrob Robert Pattinson. Kevin McFarland looks forward to the character’s starring turn in a David Cronenberg film.


WHAT ELSE IS ON?

2012 Republican National Convention (Various networks, 7 p.m.): There are probably rules against this happening, but what if Mitt Romney showed up to accept the Republican presidential nomination (as he will tonight), and all the delegates were like “Ha! Made you look! We’re actually backing Santorum!” Would it end in the Carrie-style blood bath we assume it would end in?

Warplane (Military Channel, 9 p.m.): Warplane! Hunh! / What is it good for? / Charting the history of airborne combat! / Say it again now!

Iron Men (Weather Channel, 9 p.m.): The Weather Channel goes to great pains to connect this reality series about ironworkers to its main area of coverage, wedging “wind” into every bit of promo copy it can. As long as History keeps showing UFO documentaries, however, we think the Weather Channel’s in the clear.

Gigolos (Showtime, 11 p.m.): One more selection from the What’s On Tonight? karaoke book: They’re just some Gigolos / and everywhere they go / people know the part / they’re playing (a third season of providing Showtime with some requisite man meat, that is). Zibbity-zibbity-zop!

The Rock (Showtime, 7:30 p.m.): You can call Nicolas Cage a “chemcial superfreak” under other circumstances, but only in this over-the-top Michael Bay actioner (co-starring Sean Connery, Ed Helms, and several million dollars of pyrotechnics) does the term apply to him literally.

Date Night (FX, 8 p.m.): This 2010 comedy doesn’t entirely succeed in sending up the likes of Michael Bay by dropping suburban parents Tina Fey and Steve Carell into a mistaken-identity caper—but at least there’s a hilarious car chase where J.B. Smoove continuously screams for what feels like 25 minutes. 

College Football: South Carolina at Vanderbilt (ESPN, 7 p.m.): South Carolina only lost two games last year, and that was still only good enough for the third best record in the highly competitive SEC. They should still steamroll the Commodores in this conference opener, though.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Sports Night: Donna Bowman bids a temporary adieu to the Sports Night gang—both the people on the fictional Sports Night and their real-world counterparts who made Sports Night. Boy, writing about this show can get confusing.