Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, March 6. All times are Eastern.
The Muppet Show (noon): The Muppets was only a modest box-office success, but it made enough of an impact to put the franchise back in the public eye (Statler And Waldorf just made an appearance at the Stateside debut of The Secret Policeman’s Ball) and win Bret Mackenzie an Academy Award for “Man Or Muppet.” Of course, right now all anyone seems to care about The Muppets’ future is whether or not it includes Jason Segel, and though we’re big Segel supporters, it must be said: They got this far without him. For proof, turn to TV Club Classic’s coverage of The Muppet Show, which starts making its way through the show’s second season today. Join Erik Adams as he considers episodes hosted by a pair of actors who could’ve convincingly played the protagonist of “Man Or Muppet”: Muppet of a man Don Knotts, and honorary Muppet monster Zero Mostel.
Raising Hope (Fox, 8 p.m.): With Glee taking a post-sectionals (or was it regionals?) breather, Fox is shuffling its Tuesday-night lineup, giving the 8 p.m. spot to the wholly deserving Raising Hope. This’ll be an odd one for first-time viewers—there’s an Occupy-based hook and a guest shot by a de-glamorized Katy Perry—but it’s a slow night in a slow week of TV, and Phil Dyess-Nugent would love you to occupy Natesville with him.
Switched At Birth (ABC Family, 8 p.m.): Following in Carrie Raisler’s art-wiki-ing footsteps, we found that the seeming innocuous title of tonight’s episode—“Game On”—alludes to a racy painting by Scottish artist Jack Vettriano. Clearly, this has something to do with Daphne’s basketball tournament.
Cougar Town (ABC, 8:30 p.m.): In an episode directed by star Courteney Cox, the cul-de-sac is terrorized by a bike gang. Not a biker gang, but a bike gang—an important distinction between the work of Cox and Kurt Sutter.
Ringer (The CW, 9 p.m.): Following recent trends—where a “D+”-episode of Ringer is followed by a “B-”—expect this week to be the show’s manic upswing week. Either that, or the week where Carrie Raisler chucks her television into a poorly green-screened body of water.
New Girl (Fox, 9 p.m.): It’s “99 percent” night on Fox, where New Girl follows Raising Hope’s topical lead with a thoughtful treatise on health care in the United States. Just kidding: Uninsured Nick is injured playing football, and the only doctor who’ll see him is Jess’ friend/OB/GYN. Erik Adams will tolerate cheap vagina jokes in light of June Diane Raphael’s return to the show.
The River (ABC, 9 p.m.): Who needs to find the Mr. Kurtz/Colonel Kurtz to The River’s Heart Of Darkness/Apocalypse Now when there’s video evidence that he was going mad before he disappeared? “The horror, the horror—where is the horror in this show?” Scott Von Doviak mutters to himself.
Justified (FX, 10 p.m.): Justified dances on the thin blue line, as Raylan is accused of murder while the dirty sheriff of Harlan County goes to battle with Boyd Crowder. Scott Tobias, meanwhile, does everything by the book.
Southland (TNT, 10 p.m.): Don’t you hate it when you’re investigating the murder of a nanny, and it turns out the kids she was in charge of are missing? It’s just another day at the office for Southland, and Kevin McFarland is there to handle the paperwork.
Key & Peele (Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m.): In what we’ll eventually be able to call a “classic Key & Peele switcheroo,” one of tonight’s sketches involves a barbecue with a surprisingly refined menu. Is there beluga caviar? Steve Heisler sincerely hopes there’s beluga caviar.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
Breaking In (Fox, 9:30 p.m.): The once-dead series about highly skilled security consultants returns, imbued with the crackling energy of Megan Mullally. Seeing as Breaking In is the umpteenth comedy to receive a jolt from Mrs. Nick Offerman, let’s hope she still has enough juice for the next time Parks And Recreation, Happy Endings, or Up All Night comes calling. (Or the next season of Childrens Hospital, for that matter. What we’re trying to say here is we love you and we worry about you, Megan Mullally.)
Through The Wormhole (Science, 10 p.m.): Morgan Freeman’s version of In Search Of… wonders how badly we’d get our asses kicked in a real-life War Of The Worlds scenario. The answer: Very, very badly.
Demi Lovato: Stay Strong (MTV, 10 p.m.): One school of thought says teenage misbehavior is an easy ticket to fame and screentime on MTV. Teen idol Demi Lovato was already famous and the star of a Disney Channel show before she checked into rehab last year, but that isn’t stopping MTV from profiling her recovery and comeback in this documentary.
Decision 2012 (NBC, 10 p.m.): By the way: Don’t let all this talk of Muppets, aliens, and pop stars distract you from the fact that it’s Super Tuesday! The race for the Republican presidential nomination could completely shift! How? We don’t know—we’re waiting until tomorrow to get Jon Stewart’s take, but NBC will have the up-to-the-minute, “real” story from the primary polls.
Independence Day (HBO, 6 p.m.): Happy Roland Emmerich destroys the world day! Three of the German director’s mostly crappy sci-fi/disaster hybrids are showing tonight (Showtime has Godzilla; FX is playing The Day After Tomorrow), including the one that began his love affair with destruction-porn: The one where Will Smith punches an alien invader in the face. “Yeah, unlikely,” says Morgan Freeman and his physicist friends.
Marie Antoinette (IFC, 8 p.m.): Sofia Coppola’s costume-drama follow-up to Lost In Translation is a beautiful mess, so here’s our suggestion: Mute the TV, crank My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, and enjoy the bliss of Coppola’s lavishly shot, emotionally shallow tribute to the original poor little rich girl.
Women’s College Basketball: Big East Championship: We’re writing this before the semifinals take place, but let’s just assume Connecticut is one of the competitor’s in this conference-championship match-up. Even it the Huskies lose somehow, you’ll still be watching the team that managed to fell one of true dynasties of college athletics.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Love Broker: When Bravo debuts a new reality series, we turn first to our doomsday-preparation bunker, and second to Jessica Jardine, The A.V. Club’s resident expert on the sozzled dominion of Andy Cohen. Did Jessica hit it off with “New York’s most passionate matchmaker”? Read on to find out.