Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, January 5. All times are Eastern.
New Girl (Fox, 8 p.m.): The show sat out the first half of the TV season, but the show is making up for lost time by kicking off with what is sure to be the televisual event of this or any other year with Schmidt and Cece’s wedding. Nick and Jess help to plan the engagement party, which goes just great right up to the point that Jess invites Cece’s mom. Erik Adams is already readying himself to play peacemaker, which mostly involves him suggesting everyone play a round of True American.
Grandfathered (Fox, 8:30 p.m.): Tonight’s midseason premiere reveals John Stamos’ Jimmy hasn’t been to the doctor in a decade, because when you’ve got a Ferrari, why bother taking it to the shop? (That’s how that saying goes, right?) Anyway, this visit leads to some unexpected news, which we can only assume is that he’s grandpregnant with another surprise grandkid. Allison Shoemaker feels like we maybe haven’t been playing as close attention to this show’s premise (and our middle school biology classes) as we ought to have done.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox, 9 p.m.): For the better part of three seasons, Boyle’s ex-wife has been an oft-mentioned but unseen terror of his sadsack past, but that all changes tonight as she becomes a fully seen terror of his marginally less sadsack present, as Boyle and his new girlfriend Genevieve’s wish to become parents means getting their hands on his last surviving sperm, which are jealously guarded and controlled by his ex Eleanor. That was every bit as sad and disgusting and perfect as LaToya Ferguson would expect a story with Boyle and his ex-wife to be. Also, Kathryn Hahn is playing Eleanor, so that’s reason enough to celebrate right there.
The Grinder (Fox, 9:30 p.m.): It’s pretty much a scientifically proven fact that the most perfectly handome TV star over 50 is Rob Lowe (yes, John Stamos, we see you over there, and forget it, it’s not happening). But if we slide our age cutoff down to 45 and older, a new clear favorite emerges: Justified’s own Timothy Olyphant, who appears as himself on tonight’s episode to be just outrageously handsome and to romance Claire, much to the chagrin of whatever character Rob Lowe so handsomely plays. Molly Eichel is glad to see our reporterly attention to detail hasn’t wavered in 2016.
There’s plenty of new series headed your way in 2016, and this New Year’s-themed preview helps you figure out which ones are worth resolving to watch. Speaking of which, we at TV Club still haven’t totally figured out whether we’ve resolved to cover MTV’s new fantasy show The Shannara Chronicles—debuting tonight at 10 p.m.—or just halfheartedly say we’re going to do it and then just kind of forget about it until having another go in 2017. But in the meantime, do check out Genevieve Valentine’s review, which is very positive about the show’s potential as a drinking game, rather less so about its potential as an actual show. (Following the two-part premiere, Dan Caffrey will have your TV Club review.)
Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr. (PBS, 8 p.m.): This season premiere examines the family histories of Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, Modern Family star Ty Burrell, and artist Kara Walker, with a special emphasis on how slavery shapes their ancestors’ stories. Hopefully this will go a bit better than the last time the show ventured into this particular subject.
The Curse Of Oak Island: Digging Deeper/The Curse Of Oak Island: Drilling Down (History, 8 p.m./10 p.m.): Sandwiching the actual episode at 9 p.m., there are two seperately branded enhanced episodes offering extra content on the search for treasure that very possibly never existed in the first place. Never have we seen the banality of American excess quite so perfectly captured.
Frontline (PBS, 9 p.m.): This two-hour episode takes a close look at the often tense relationship between Barack Obama and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with a particular emphasis on how Netanyahu came to power and his and Obama’s clashes over how best to deal with Iran.
Teen Wolf (MTV, 9 p.m.): This show has had its good parts, but its last run was generally mediocre or quite a bit worse, so we’ve decided to drop this from our regular coverage rotation.
Limitless (CBS, 10 p.m.): Tonight’s episode finds Senator Edward Morra targeted by anassassin, which presumably means we’ve got another Bradley Cooper guest spot headed our way, unless Bradley Cooper felt like being difficult and forced them to shoot the whole episode with stand-ins and funky camera angles. We kind of hope it’s that, honestly, because why not?
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (HBO, 8 p.m.): We have never laughed harder when watching a trailer in a theater than we did for this movie’s trailer, not because it’s the funniest thing ever—though there sure are a lot of saucy older British people swapping sassy one-liners!—but rather because it’s like this movie was specifically engineered with no other purpose than to be our mom’s favorite movie. When Richard Gere showed up as the silver-haired love interest, we completely lost it.
Traffic (Showtime 2, 10 p.m.): This sprawling drama about the drug trade is a damn fine film, like most Steven Soderbergh movies. Go watch it.
College Basketball: Kentucky Wildcats at LSU Tigers (ESPN, 9 p.m.): The Wildcats aren’t quite the juggernaut they’ve been in years past, but they’re still stuffed with future NBA players and going up against the presumptive first overall pick in Ben Simmons, who is doing his NBA-mandated unpaid one-year internship for an otherwise deeply flawed LSU team.
Steven Universe: If you watch past the opening, there’s some special announcement from then-Commissioner Shawn Michaels. Which is most assuredly great, because Shawn Michaels is great, but we’re not even sure you need that bit, because that fiery, explosion-filled opening sequence for the Raw Is War-era show is perfection. Every show should start that way. We might have been interested in Downton Abbey if that’s how it had begun.