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Family Guy celebrates 200 episodes (and an exponentially higher number of pop-culture references)

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Sunday, November 11. All times are Eastern.


Family Guy (Fox, 9 p.m.): On an occasion that probably calls for shoutouts to the other members of the less-exclusive-for-animated-series “200 episode club,” Seth MacFarlane’s flagship cartoon celebrates a TV milestone by going back in time—and back and back and back and back again, until the joke stops being funny, and then doubles back on itself and becomes funny all over again. This is worse than that time that Sonia Saraiya wished that the backward scene from Top Secret! lasted for a whole 22 minutes!



Once Upon A Time (ABC, 8 p.m.): Oh, sure, someone is brutally murdered during a full moon, and everyone suspects the woman who can transform into a wolf. Oliver Sava saw the progress America made this past Election Day, but he thinks this type of profiling is proof the country still has a long way to go.

The Simpsons (Fox, 8 p.m.): When he died this past August, Marvin Hamlisch left behind the distinction of being America’s only EGOTP & GGGG (that’s an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony with a Pulitzer Prize plus a pair of Golden Globes) as well as a vocal cameo in this episode of The Simpsons. Robert David Sullivan always assumed Hamlisch just spoke through his piano.

Bob’s Burgers (Fox, 8:30 p.m.): Turns out Bob’s actually pretty handy in the kitchen—hence all the hoity-toity ingredients in his burgers of the day. This week, those skills are enlisted by the captain of a docked cruise ship, a destination Rowan Kaiser wouldn’t mind visiting.


Revenge (ABC, 9 p.m.): Emily’s being run through a background check, which will really mess up that whole “Getting revenge on the Graysons for what they did to her family” plan. Carrie Raisler’s just surprised to learn our heroine has such a great credit score.

The Walking Dead (AMC, 9 p.m.): Having pulled himself back together following last week’s gut-wrenching twists, Zack Handlen steels himself to face down another hour of The Walking Dead—much like the protagonists of The Walking Dead.


The Good Wife (CBS, 9 p.m.): Possibly reeling from the permanent grounding of Pan Am, Christina Ricci returns to Sunday nights as a Sarah Silverman surrogate battling an indecency charge. David Sims wonders what Ricci’s character has to say about the turtle-like visage of CNN analyst David Gergen.

Boardwalk Empire (HBO, 9 p.m.): Nucky vows revenge on Gyp Rosetti following the events of “The Pony,” hopefully through a long, drawn out plan that involves adopting a new identity and infiltrating the Rosetti family, à la Revenge. Failing that, Noel Murray just wants to hear Steve Buscemi bellow “REEEEEVEEEEEEEEEEENGE!”


Dexter (Showtime, 9 p.m.): The burgeoning romance between Dexter and Hannah looks like the next big scoop for reporter Sal Price. Joshua Alston need only use the phrase “big scoop” five times in his review to earn his own fedora with a “PRESS” tag in the headband.

Treme (HBO, 10 p.m.): “Antoine is frustrated by his trombone playing,” goes one part of the episode synopsis, and with the number of other storylines in play, it sounds to Keith Phipps like Antoine is giving a fuck when it ain’t his turn to give a fuck.


Homeland (Showtime, 10 p.m.): Unforeseen circumstances have pushed Carrie to the lead position in foiling Abu Nazir’s next attack, which probably has something to do with the big, black box that went missing in Gettysburg last week. Todd VanDerWerff bets the real Nazir has been hiding in that box the whole time!


Doctor Who (Classic) (11 a.m.): Christopher Bahn spends a relaxing Sunday morning at the Psychic Circus, hanging out among the clowns, killer robots, and ancient evils of “The Greatest Show In The Galaxy.” On second thought, that doesn’t sound relaxing at all.


The Simpsons (3 p.m.): The show’s fifth season opens with the flashbackin’, barbershop-croonin’, Beatles-homagin’ “Homer’s Barbershop Quartet,” an episode that informs Nathan Rabin’s opinion of the worth of a Grammy to this day.


Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (Disney XD, 11:30 a.m.): Realizing that it could lose its place as the most prominent TV series tied to the big-screen Avengers by the time it returns from hiatus, the animated series pulls out the big guns for its season finale—or “big mouth,” more accurately, as the team tries to keep Galactus from devouring the world.


America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC, 7 p.m.): While Family Guy celebrates its own milestone, AFV does it 300 better by reaching the 500-episode mark, a solemn occasion heralded by the debut of the franchise’s “1 millionth groin hit.”

Breaking Amish (TLC, 9 p.m.): The Amish-and-Mennonite-fish-out-of-water series wraps its first season with a two-hour finale event, the second half of which looks to confirm/deny the allegations that 2012’s dullest reality hit was totally, utterly fake.


Breaking Magic (Discovery, 10 p.m.): A new docuseries (the title of which proves that “breaking” is the new “wars”) profiles performers who use science to create startling illusions—and get themselves blackballed by The Alliance of Magicians in the process.

JFK (Reelz, 7 p.m.): Go back (and to the left) to Oliver Stone’s lengthy version of the events and alleged cover-up surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.


Moneyball (Starz, 9 p.m.): Drunk Nate Silver is taking it easy over the weekend, tweet-predicting what commercials are airing on the broadcast networks while he watches Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill save the Oakland A’s with math.

Sunday Night Football: Texans at Bears (NBC, 8:20 p.m.): In a matchup truly worthy of the primetime bump, 7-1 Houston travels to Soldier Field, where the Bears haven’t lost a game since last December. (Sure, they’ve only played four games there this year, but they’ve still had a similarly successful 2012.)



Wedding Band (Saturday): Brian Austin Green and company crash the Saturday-night TV dead zone with a bunch of cover songs and fresh-out-of-mothballs jokes about bedding bridesmaids. Hacky gags did not prevent Todd VanDerWerff from howling along to every word of “Rock And Roll All Nite,” though.


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