Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, November 5. All times are Eastern.
Elementary (CBS, 10 p.m.): The debut of Elementary’s fourth season brings with it some changes to the show’s world and to our coverage of said world. Genevieve Valentine is taking over for Myles McNutt this season, bringing a fresh pair of eyes to CBS’ surprisingly solid procedural. In tonight’s premiere, Sherlock faces criminal charges thanks to his recent violent behavior and relapse. That means Poppa Holmes decides to pay his estranged son a visit. John Noble stars as Sherlock’s distant father and while their meeting will surely be tense, it hopefully won’t be quite as tense as the time Nobel played another long-lost family member on Sleepy Hollow. Or at the very least, we’re hoping Poppa Noble isn’t secretly a sin-eating demon.
The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.): Mere days after the news broke that Star Trek is returning to TV in 2017, The Big Bang Theory is airing a Spock-centered episode. Leonard Nimoy’s real-life son Adam plays himself in “Spock Resonance.” He interviews Sheldon for a segment in his Star Trek documentary. Meanwhile Kyle Fowle just hopes The Big Bang Theory lives long and prospers in its new (old) Thursday night time slot.
Adventure Time (Cartoon Network, 8 p.m.): This week of all-new Adventure Time episodes continues as the King of Ooo sends Jake and Finn on a mission to catch flying mushrooms. Oliver Sava is still standing after three straight days of reviewing and he’ll be damned if he lets these flying mushrooms defeat him!
Mom (CBS, 9 p.m.): It may not be a ratings juggernaut, but Mom is a one of the best sitcoms around right now. The show deals with addiction, forgiveness, and familial strife in a way that’s alternately funny and heartbreaking, helped along by fantastic performances from Anna Faris and Allison Janney. Tonight one more mom gets thrown into the mix as Ellen Burstyn guest stars as Bonnie’s estranged biological mother. Read Noel Murray’s take on why Mom is one of the best sitcoms of the decade and then tune in tonight to see for yourself.
The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 8 p.m.)
Heroes Reborn (NBC, 8 p.m.)
Sleepy Hollow (Fox, 9 p.m.)
Scandal (ABC, 9 p.m.)
How To Get Away With Murder (ABC, 10 p.m.)
Nathan For You (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.)
Comedy Bang! Bang! (IFC, 11 p.m.)
In a brand new For Our Consideration, Dennis Perkins weighs in on the political relevance of Saturday Night Live’s decision to have Donald Trump host the show this weekend. He writes:
What’s most baffling to some is that SNL—routinely called out for its liberal comic biases—seems to be endorsing Trump. Sure, he hosted once before back in 2004, but he was then most notable as the catchphrase-spewing host of NBC’s reality show The Apprentice, and the joshing he took was of the type the show is most comfortable with. Darrell Hammond did his Trump impression, and Trump played the boorish, self-aggrandizing blowhard the show needed him to be for the expected bits to land harmlessly. Now, however, SNL and Michaels are welcoming a bewilderingly viable presidential candidate to NBC’s airwaves for 90 minutes, a guy who’s made the demonization of certain, non-white ethnic groups a cornerstone of his appeal. As angry as some people are, they’re also confused. They shouldn’t be. SNL’s reputation as a radical television program has always rested more on its irreverence toward the medium than on its political satire.
Elsewhere, Caroline Siede takes off her TV reviewer hat and dons her musical theater headdress for a new For Our Consideration. She checks in on two new game-changing Broadway musicals, George Takei’s Allegiance and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton:
In much the same way Clueless remains the best onscreen adaptation of Emma because it gets the essence of the story right if not its period setting, Hamilton works because it throws nitpicking accuracy out the window in favor of depicting the spirit of history. After all, it’s hard to look at portraits of the stoic founding fathers in their wigs and powder without seeing an image of the establishment. But in their own time, Washington, Jefferson, and Hamilton were scrappy revolutionaries hell bent on blowing up the status quo and sticking it to the far-away island that wanted to take their money without listening to their voices. As Miranda puts it, “[Our show takes] it as a given that hip-hop music is the music of the Revolution.”
Then at 9 a.m. Gwen Ihnat has a pre-air review of Crackle’s new drama about the uber-rich called The Art Of More, starring Dennis Quaid, Kate Bosworth, and Cary Elwes. And at 11 a.m. we have a brand new Random Roles with Hollywood’s oldest living actor, Norman Lloyd, who starred in Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck at the youthful age of 100 years old.
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, 8 p.m.): Because Grey’s Anatomy really has its finger on the pulse, tonight’s episode centers on a patient who accidentally sends his sex tape to his congregation! Sounds like he should seek solace in Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel’s Sex Tape (but not their sex tape).
Life In Pieces (CBS, 8:30 p.m.): Life In Pieces also switches time slots tonight to claim a place on CBS’ Thursday night schedule—and leaves the weekly TV Club rotation. Tonight Chad tries to dognap Princess, Jen and Greg try for some post-baby intimacy, and Tim ruins Samantha’s birthday party.
Project Runway (Lifetime, 9 p.m.): Project Runway crowns yet another winner in this season 14 finale. Naturally there’s one last twist as the designers are forced to retool their collections following “brutal” critiques. Thankfully Carrie Underwood is on hand to add some sunshine to the proceedings.
The Player (NBC, 10 p.m.): NBC just cut The Player’s episode order from 13 to nine, which means this is one of your last chances to watch Wesley Snipes let wealthy people bet on the outcome of crimes. Unless you know him personally, of course.
Billy On The Street (TruTV, 10:30 p.m.): Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd join Billy Eichner on the street this week. While they won’t be reenacting They Came Together, they will be singing Christmas carols.
Singin’ In The Rain (TCM, 6:15 p.m.): Gene Kelly directs, choreographs, and stars in arguably the best movie musical ever made. Since it’s virtually impossible to pick the movie’s best number, we’ll just point you towards one of its many great ones:
Legally Blonde (CMT, 7:30 p.m.): A feminist masterpiece that doesn’t make a big deal of it, Legally Blonde argues that femininity and intelligence aren’t mutually exclusive. What, like it’s hard?
NBA Basketball: Thunder at Bulls (TNT, 8 p.m.): “Thunder at Bulls” sounds like very bad advice for dealing with wildlife. Thankfully, it also sounds like a pretty entertaining game, especially since Charles Barkley will be an analyst.
Arrow: Matt Ryan reprises his role as John Constantine from the cancelled NBC drama on this CW superhero series because we’re living in the future and anything is possible. Alasdair Wilkins weighs in on the bananas crossover event.