Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, January 13. All times are Eastern.
Parks And Recreation (NBC, 8 p.m.): When last we met Parks And Recreation, it was the half-hour sitcom stalwart of NBC’s Thursday night lineup, trying to outlast eternity and/or The Office and 30 Rock wrapping up. Well, Parks And Recreation has managed to survive all its other once mighty Thursday night brethren—give or take Community, exiled to the Yahoo hinterlands—but it appears that the show isn’t quite going to make it to the heat death of the universe, as tonight kicks off the show’s abbreviated final season. Then again, given the show’s newfound love of time-jumps—tonight’s pair of episodes picks up in the far-distant year of 2017—it’s entirely possible that we’re going to skip another few trillion or so years into the future between now and the grand finale. All Alasdair Wilkins knows is, if this show is about to get all futuristic and science fiction-y, it damn well better be compliant with the Three Laws of Robotics. But then, he insists that about everything.
Person Of Interest (CBS, 10 p.m.): Tonight’s episode features a character named Control, who apparently is in charge of dealing with numbers for the government. A shadowy government operative known as Control really should conjure up thoughts of John le Carré’s classic George Smiley novels, but we’ve got to admit that the first thing we thought of was the parody…
Alexa Planje can only hope that tonight’s Control has someone as loyal as Tony to depend on.
MasterChef Junior (Fox, 8 p.m.): This late-breaking addition to the regular coverage lineup—so late-breaking, in fact, that we only learned of its addition after last week’s listings went live—is one of reality television’s great pleasures, and Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya will be on hand to tell you everything you need to know. For now, TV Guide’s summary of tonight’s episode will have to suffice: The phrases “pie-making contest” and “unique sausage dishes” are prominently involved.
New Girl (Fox, 9 p.m.): Speaking of TV Guide summaries, it’s a pretty standard convention with these things to describe the episode’s main stories in one sentence, with a “Meanwhile” at the start of the second sentence to indicate we’re now talking about the subplots. Without question, New Girl has some of the very best “meanwhile” game in the business. To wit: “Meanwhile, Schmidt develops an ulcer and Winston takes an obsessive liking to wearing a crystal.” Erik Adams really doesn’t need to hear anything more than that!
Cougar Town (TBS, 10 p.m.): In life, Les Chappell tries to adhere to one major rule: Always leave a party at or about the same time that Bobby Cobb does. So as everyone’s favorite boat-dwelling scruffball departs the show, so too will Les, who will pause our coverage after tonight’s episode. But fear not, as Les will be back in a few weeks for the series finale.
Kroll Show (Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m.): Speaking of show’s finishing up their final seasons, Nick Kroll begins the third and last season of his sketch show tonight. We’ll definitely be covering the final season, and we should be able to announce the reviewer shortly. Well, by tonight at the latest, we guess.
Some great Simpsons-themed listening for you today, as Marah Eakin continues our Simpsons week coverage with a We’re No. 1 on “Do The Bartman,” while Alex McCown stops by with a Hear This for “Baby On Board.” Looking only slightly further afield, Jesse Hassenger has a Watch This on Julie Kavner’s non-Marge Simpson vehicle This Is My Life. And, in non-Simpsons news, Noel Murray sees reason for optimism in FXX’s uneven but promising new Jay Baruchel-starring sitcom Man Seeking Woman.
Klansville USA: American Experience (PBS, 9 p.m.): On pretty much any other channel, you could count on a show called Klansville USA to be just impossibly lurid and gross. But thankfully, this is PBS we’re talking about, and that means this hour-long documentary is a scholarly (and hopefully compelling) look at the growth of the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina in the 1960s, featuring interviews with sociologists, historians, journalists, and other experts.
Murder Book (ID, 9 p.m.): Hey, speaking of impossibly lurid and gross! “A father is murdered in his truck by a very surprising killer.” Honestly, the whole “being killed” thing still feels like it would be more surprising than whoever the killer happened to be. Unless it was, like, Oscar the Grouch or something. That, we admit, would be pretty damn surprising.
Big Giant Swords (Discovery, 10 p.m.): “A 6-foot sword shaped like a lightning bolt and an Indian throwing weapon are built.” Well, this does everything we could ever ask for in a show.
Troy: Street Magic (Syfy, 10 p.m.): If you’re wondering what the latest non-science fiction Syfy is broadcasting, thus allowing people to continue complaining that Syfy refuses to show science fiction, the answer is now “a reality series about a British street magician.” So then.
Hulk/The Dukes Of Hazzard (MovieMax, 6:40 p.m./9 p.m.): What could possibly be a better double feature than Ang Lee’s superhero movie and Johnny Knoxville’s Dukes Of Hazzard update? TV Guide describes one as “ambitious, pretentious and long” and the other as “plumb dumb.” We’ll give you one guess as to which of those is which!
Tin Cup (Golf Channel, 9 p.m.): We are given to understand that this movie is more properly called The Tin Cups, and that the DVD bloopers are called “mulligans.” It’s also better than expected, according to noted movie critic Bob Belcher.
College Basketball: Missouri at Kentucky (ESPN, 9 p.m.): Over the past week, the Kentucky Wildcats have gone from unbeatable to merely unbeaten, as overtime scares against Mississippi and Texas A&M have made college basketball’s main juggernaut look at least slightly vulnerable. As such, we might be tempted to put this game on upset alert, but then both those close calls came on the road, and Missouri is headed into Lexington’s Rupp Arena, so this could be a bloodbath.
Jane The Virgin: What better way to celebrate Gina Rodriguez’s Golden Globes win than with Oliver Sava’s latest review of an early-season review? Frankly, if you know of a better way, we’d all appreciate it if you just kept it yourself.