Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, February 9. All times are Eastern.
New Girl (Fox, 8 p.m.): Zooey Deschanel’s maternity leave means Jess is still on jury duty, which means it’s time for the apartment to welcome an interim New Girl, as Megan Fox starts her guest arc as a pharmaceutical rep and friend of Cece’s who moves in temporarily. We’d like to start the official petition to rename the show New Girl Pro Tempore for the duration of Fox’s guest stint. We’re counting on Erik Adams’ support.
The Flash (The CW, 8 p.m.): After a half-season of teasing a technologically advanced yet vaguely retro Earth-2, The Flash sends Barry, Cisco, and Wells over there to rescue the latter’s daughter from Zoom’s clutches … but first they have to deal with Caitlin Snow’s evil parallel self Killer Frost (officially justifying giving her character Killer Frost’s civilian name in the first place) and her equally evil boyfriend Deathstorm. Oh, and Jay is going to try to take over as the Flash when the latest metahuman menaces Earth-1. Scott Von Doviak is just rooting for all the Flashes this week.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox, 9 p.m.): The precinct teams up with the neighboring Nine-Eight, reuniting Jake with his old partner played by Damon Wayans Jr., who we suppose is most relevantly credited here as Coach from New Girl but will always be Brad from Happy Endings as far as we’re concerned. Dammit, we just miss Brad so much!
The Tuesday What’s On Tonight listings are going to turn into a Happy Endings Tumblr so quickly that, well, you’re probably all going to notice. LaToya Ferguson certainly has.
American Crime Story: The People Vs. O.J. Simpson (FX, 10 p.m.): Tonight’s a big episode, as O.J. Simpson leads the city of Los Angeles (and the world, really) on the infamous slow-motion Bronco chase. Although really, however good this episode is, there’s a good chance you’re just going to want to watch the “June 17, 1994” episode of 30 For 30 instead, which is generally considered the best of the bunch. (Though we ride hard for “The Two Escobars.”) Anyway, Pilot Viruet will be on hand to sort out this dramatization of what we can only imagine was the craziest thing that ever happened. Seriously, for those of us too young to remember this, we ask all you nice people … how insane was this? Because it sure seems like this was some next-level bonkers.
Frontline (PBS, 10 p.m.): Our Frontline coverage resumes for just one night, as Dan Jakes checks in on this episode looking at the world of fantasty sports and online betting.
Not Safe With Nikki Glaser (Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m.): This self-described “freeform” show sees comedian Nikki Glaser investigating whatever she wants when it comes to sex, relationships, and everything in between. The opening episode includes a feature on Tinder and a visit to a foot-fetish party. We can’t imagine what we’d ever learn from this that we didn’t already learn from the roughly three or so minutes our insomniac selves could stand to watch when we’d accidentally happen upon a bit of HBO’s Real Sex, but sure, let’s give this a go.
Fresh Off The Boat (ABC, 8 p.m.)
The Muppets (ABC, 8:30 p.m.)
Grandfathered (Fox, 8:30 p.m.)
Marvel’s Agent Carter (ABC, 9 p.m.)
iZombie (The CW, 9 p.m.)
The Grinder (Fox, 9:30 p.m.)
Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce (Bravo, 10 p.m.)
The Shannara Chronicles (MTV, 10 p.m.)
Noel Murray offers up a Very Special Episode on Fantasy Island, quite possibly the most beautifully, deliriously 1970s show in existence, and certainly the most Ricardo Montalban show ever made. Meanwhile, Myles McNutt has an Expert Witness with Limitless showrunner Craig Sweeny, in which Sweeny explains the particular challenges of adapting that one pretty good Bradley Cooper movie into a procedural hit.
NCIS (CBS, 8 p.m.): Let’s do a head-to-head comparison of the two overlords of Tuesday television and see which of their shows look more promising. Let’s start with the man behind Magnum P.I. and Quantum Leap and original-flavor NCIS, which we suppose is really just second-flavor JAG. Anyway, here’s what’s on tap: “A deep sea diver is murdered on the job, and his body and his suspected coworkers must remain in a high-tech decompression chamber for four days, which forces the NCIS team to undergo an unorthodox investigation from outside the tank.” Huh, that actually sounds pretty good. And surprisingly navy-related (well, ocean-related, at least) for a show that doesn’t normally bother with that. Score one point for Bellisario there.
NCIS: New Orleans (CBS, 9 p.m.): Now how about NCIS: Gumbo Style? Well, tonight’s episode description features Agent Pride opening a bar, which we can only hope kick-starts this show’s slow metamorphosis into Cheers. Until then … eh, no points for this one. Mr. Wolf?
Chicago Med (NBC, 9 p.m.): The man who has provided a terrifyingly high percentage of NBC’s programming for the last three decades opens with this: “Dr. Halstead jeopardizes his career when he goes against a family’s order regarding a terminally ill cancer patient. Meanwhile, April and Dr. Reese treat a homeless man, and Choi’s personal issues emerge while caring for a bipolar patient.” Hmm, sounds a little heavy. Can’t the show have one of its characters open a bar, just to lighten the mood a bit? Half a point at most, which means Team Bellisario is in the lead as we look at our final entry…
Chicago Fire (NBC, 10 p.m.): Two of this episodes’ advertised subplots involve finding the perfect candidate to run for alderman and characters resolving their differences with a boxing match. Hmm. An unnecessarily tight focus on internecine politics and relationship-resolving pugilism? That’s, like, half a season of Battlestar Galactica right there. Pretty much got to give the victory to Dick Wolf. But there’s always next week, assuming we don’t lose immediately interest…
Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr. (PBS, 8 p.m.): The latest genealogical survey looks at people’s military histories, with Patricia Arquette, Julianne Moore, and John McCain all being profiles. You know, it feels like one of those three isn’t quite like the other two. (It’s Patricia Arquette. She never had a guest spot on an NBC Thursday night comedy.)
The Perfect Crime: American Experience (PBS, 9 p.m.): This two-hour documentary profiles a pair of wealthy college students who in 1924 murdered a teenage boy basically just to prove that they could get away with it. The fact that we’re watching a documentary all about them should give away that, no, they sure as hell didn’t.
Burn After Reading (HBO Signature, 7:20 p.m.): “I thought you might be worried.” “Worried?” “About the security of your shit.” Brad Pitt may well hit his career apex in that moment.
A Walk Among The Tombstones (HBO, 8 p.m.): This Liam Neeson cop thriller has the funniest trailer we’ve seen in years. We’ve never seen anything as gloriously, stupidly over-the-top as what happens around the 1:57 mark.
The Box (Syfy, 8:30 p.m.): Considering Richard Kelly hasn’t made a movie since this 2009 thriller, it’s entirely possible we won’t be seeing any more films from the lunatic mind behind Donnie Darko and Southland Tales. But if that’s the case, what a delightfully convoluted way to go out, as Kelly takes a minimalist short story from The Twilight Zone’s Richard Mathieson and spins out enough semi-autobiographical mythology to fill several movies, as Nathan Rabin once explained.
Barry Lyndon (TCM, 10:15 p.m.): We don’t claim to have seen nearly enough movies to speak definitively, but we will say this is one of the two most beautiful films we’ve ever seen. It’s either this or Ran. (Number three might be the first Pirates Of The Caribbean, actually, but then we’re suckers for a sweeping island vista shot.)
NHL Hockey: Dallas Stars at Minnesota Wild (NBC Sports, 8 p.m.): The Wild are in serious trouble, coming in with a league-high five-game losing streak and a five-game home winless streak. Things don’t figure to get much better against the Stars, who are third overall in the league and likely looking to vent some frustration after losing to the division-leading Chicago Blackhawks. There’s a small chance this could be a bloodbath.
NBA Basketball: San Antonio Spurs at Miami Heat (TNT, 8 p.m.): This game is a rematch of the 2013 and 2014 NBA Finals—and that first one was a series for the ages, even if weren’t crazy about the end result. Admittedly, these games are now missing a crucial player in James Jones LeBron James, but the retooled Heat—with the forever underrated Chris Bosh, the rookie defensive marvel Justice Winslow, the possibly crazy Hassan Whiteside, and more—are at least weird enough to keep this interesting.
The X-Files: Tonight’s Monday Night Raw saw the official retirement of Daniel Bryan after months of off-screen twisting in the wind. It’s a bittersweet moment for Bryan and fans alike, as he very explicitly prioritized preserving his long-term health over doing the thing that he loves and the thing he’s arguably the best in the world at, which is wrestling. We’ll admit our sudden love of pro wrestling postdates his tenure, so we don’t have the emotional attachment to Bryan that others do, but we know enough to say this is a guy to whom all the respect is due. So yeah, here’s a couple of the absolute most crucial moments from his run to the WWE World Championship.