Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, April 15. All times are Eastern.
Fargo (FX, 10 p.m.): Just as the film that serves as its inspiration doesn’t take place in Fargo, North Dakota (do’n’cha know), this limited series doesn’t take place in Fargo, the Coen brothers movie. Oh, there was an attempt to do that back in 2003, there, but it ended up like an accomplice in the wood chipper. This one’s a whole separate story with Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton, Bob Odenkirk, and a whole mess of actors whose names are real fun to render in a Marge Gunderson accent. Authentic son of the Dakotas (South, that is) Todd VanDerWerff has your weekly Fargo forecast, while Sonia Saraiya offers pre-air opinions on what’s not happening in the cinematic Brainerd, no siree.
Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, 9 p.m.): ABC makes an uncharacteristic dip into pre-primetime hours to present tonight’s episode as the last act in a Marvel mini-movie. Oliver Sava reminds you that the fine folks at S.H.I.E.L.D. remind you to not expect a Marvel mini-movie every week.
New Girl/The Mindy Project (Fox, 9/9:30): Nick and Jess are going to such great lengths to hide their breakup from the other roommates, they’re shipping poor Schmidt all the way to The Mindy Project in the Fox Tuesdays equivalent of “Blackout Thursday.” In a similar turn of events, Erik Adams and Gwen Ihnat are filing their reviews in the same content management system. Crossovers!
Awkward. (MTV, 10 p.m.): Creator Lauren Iungerich is out as showrunner, and The A.V. Club is out as an outlet that covers Awkward. on a weekly basis. Myles McNutt hopes we can still be friends, and he’ll of course write a heartfelt message in your yearbook—as well as this long look at the season ahead.
ELSEWHERE ON TV CLUB
In our quest to see what level of highfalutin Q&A subjects we can subject to our least-highfalutin interview series, PBS’ favorite documentarian Ken Burns does Firsties! with Todd VanDerWerff. Will he talk about the first time he slowly panned over an archival photo? More importantly: When will Errol Morris do HateSong?
WHAT ELSE IS ON
Pioneers Of Television (PBS, 8 p.m.): One of the finest arbiters of our televisual history arrives at the stand-up boom and the echo of new sitcoms it caused on the broadcast networks, a time when a bare brick wall was the surest way to sell a pilot and the rhetorical question “What is the deal?” mesmerized a nation.
Great Bear Stakeout (Animal Planet, 9 p.m.): Not to be confused with The Great, Bare Stakeout, a film that is playing on some outpost of the Cinemax family of networks at any given moment.
Celebrity Wife Swap (ABC, 10 p.m.): ABC is making a big deal of the entertainment-dynasty switcheroo at the center of this season premiere, in which the Jermaine Jackson family and the Daniel Baldwin brood mix together for the artificial purposes of reality television. Whatevs: Let us know when the Jacksons are sending members over to Devo again.
Forrest Gump (AMC, 7 p.m.): #GumpWeek. A hashtag, a bult-in sarcastic joke, a warning, a statement of our creeping nostalgia for the ’90s, an excuse to finally brave the crowds at Navy Pier to sample the wares of the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
The Waterboy (FX, 8 p.m.): A simple Southern boy with a serious attachment to his mother assists a college football program. Very clever Gump Week (#GumpWeek) counterprogramming, FX.
Classic Battle Of The Network Stars (ESPN Classic, 7 p.m.): It’s all basketball playoffs, hockey playoffs, and the beginning of the baseball season for the next few months, so why not take a break from all that and revisit a simpler era when hours of primetime could be filled with the physical feats Lou Ferrigno performed in the ’70s when he wasn’t covered in green makeup.
NEW ON HOME VIDEO
Do you wake with a start in the middle of the night, coated in a cold sweat and worried about what happened to the characters of The Practice during their final year on-air? Do you toss and turn, concerned and confused as to why the words “James Spader” are enough to get millions of people to tune in to every episode of The Blacklist? Are you the actor Dylan McDermott, and do you pay regular witching-hour visits to the ornate kitchen of your beautiful (and haunted!) Los Angeles mansion (in the nude!), touching the stove in an attempt to feel something again (and maybe recover the lost memories of the 20 hours in which you weren’t an attorney at a top Boston law firm?). Are you, perhaps, TV’s fallen TV golden child, David E. Kelly? If you answered “yes” to one (or more!) of these questions, then The Practice: Final Season DVD set is here to help.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
2 Broke Girls: We try not to create overlap between Top Pick and In Case You Missed It in these things, but Lindsay Lohan was on 2 Broke Girls last night, and Sonia Saraiya really, really wanted to write about it, even though we haven’t posted a 2 Broke Girls review in forever—and even though it’s been even longer than forever since anyone beyond Michael Patrick King has cared about 2 Broke Girls. Reward Sonia’s persistence and check out her writeup.