Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

A To Z returns for the first time since last year

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, January 1. All times are Eastern.

Top pick

A To Z (NBC, 9:30 p.m.): As 2015 dawns, NBC is the first to kickstart the new year with new programming. Of course, the “winter premiere” of A To Z is a bittersweet one. The freshman series will air only three more episodes before it leaves the airwaves forever. Still, Brandon Nowalk isn’t giving up on this little rom-com sitcom just yet. Tonight, Zelda and Andrew try to get Stu a date with a stenographer. Those who weren’t able to find their own stenographer to kiss last night can live vicariously through Stu.


Also noted:

Rose Parade (ABC, 11 a.m.): Temperatures are supposed to hit near-record lows during the 126th annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. The theme is “Inspiring Stories” so hopefully float builders planned ahead with their favorite Arctic tales and/or Frozen homages.


The Walking Dead Marathon (AMC, all day): Work off that New Year’s Eve hangover by channeling your inner walker and marathoning The Walking Dead. Be sure to moan threateningly when shuffling into the kitchen for snacks.

HGTV Marathon (HGTV, all day): For those who prefer their New Year’s marathons to be a little less gruesome, HGTV has just the thing! The network is dedicating a whole day to new episodes of Castle Hunters, Beachfront Bargain Hunt, Half-Priced Paradise, Caribbean Life, Island Hunters, Sharing Paradise, Living Big Sky, Island Life, HGTV Dream Home, Rehab Addict, House Hunters, and Building Hawaii. In other words, HGTV knows exactly what the people want.


What else is on?

Little Women: LA (Lifetime, 8 p.m.)/Big Women: Big Love (Lifetime, 10 p.m.): Lifetime is often billed as a “channel for women” and it’s now reaching out to specific segments of the female population. The second season of Little Women: LA focuses on baby drama while the premiere of Big Women: Big Love focuses on dating. Because, you know, ladies.


Great Performances (PBS, 8 p.m.): Julie Andrews hosts a concert featuring some of her favorite things. Assuming, of course, that her favorite things include the Strauss family, the Vienna State Ballet, and the Vienna Philharmonic.

Bad Judge (NBC, 9 p.m.): Just like A To Z, Bad Judge returns for a “winter premiere” just before its series finale airs later this month. Rebecca tries to help a friend get over a divorce by giving her judgmental advice. Looks like she’s both a bad judge and a bad friend.


Oprah: Where Are They Now: Civil Rights Special (OWN, 9 p.m.): Oprah Winfrey is producing several new specials on race for OWN. In this one, she interviews Ruby Bridges, the first black student to attend an all-white elementary school in the South. The two discuss the national protests that have sprung up following the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.

Back To The Future Marathon (ABC Family, 11 a.m.): HGTV and AMC aren’t the only ones getting in the marathon mood. ABC Family is airing the entirety of the Back To The Future franchise. “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”


A Night At The Opera (TCM, 9:15 p.m.): The Marx Brothers send-up the wealthy elite in this 1935 comedy. Just how many people can fit in a tiny stateroom? Find out here!

NHL Winter Classic: Blackhawks at Capitals (NBC, 1 p.m.): Indoor hockey is so passé. Instead, enjoy this outdoor game played at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. The Capitals face off against the Blackhawks while the crowd faces off against the cold.


In case you missed it

Selfie: The Selfie finale debuted two days ago, but we’re so verklempt about the show’s untimely cancellation that we’ll recommend Brandon Nowalk’s review once again. R.I.P. Selfie.


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