Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Thursday, December 31. All times are Eastern. Happy almost New Year!
Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina (Netflix, 3:01 a.m., complete part four): It’s been quite a road for Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka) since that fateful blood moon in season one, and now the average American teenager/queen of hell is ready to move on to whatever happens after you escape a time loop, defeat Caliban, and open a whole new can of worms for Greendale.
Lisa Weidenfeld’s recaps of this final season will run daily.
We’ve reached the point in this long, long year when most of the broadcast options are either a) festive or b) repeats. So for the rest of 2020, we’ll be highlighting some of those festive things, but also some great shows or episodes from the year you might have missed. And this is the end! We shall never write about entertainment from 2020 ever, ever again!
All the usual New Year’s Eve stuff (various): NBC, ABC, and Fox are all up to their usual end-of-year hijinks, only appropriately, this batch seems to be especially weird. Fox is calling its festive broadcast, hosted by network darling Ken Jeong and former coworker Joel McHale a “toast & roast,” while NBC is opting for the more straightforwardly-titled Escape From 2020. ABC is just doing business as usual, with Ryan Seacrest joined by Lucy Hale and the always delightful Billy Porter.
United In Song: Celebrating The Resilience Of America (PBS, 8 p.m.): PBS, on the other hand, is embracing sincerity with a concert “celebrating the irrepressible strength of Americans.”
Ted Lasso (Apple TV+): “When it premiered in August, well into the COVID-19 pandemic, Ted Lasso was rightly hailed as the perfect show for a difficult moment. Transformed into a deep ensemble with the help of Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence, the series combined the wit and wordplay of [Jason] Sudeikis’ ad with the thrill and camaraderie of a sports drama, and redefined Coach Lasso as a beacon of positivity and belief. And yet, it’s important to recognize that Ted Lasso’s hype is not solely the result of ‘pandemic goggles.’ It stands as one of the year’s finest comedies regardless, as each character is allowed to grow and show vulnerability without ever losing their ability to be funny. With a concept that could be played for satire, Ted Lasso took the riskier path of grounding itself in the belief that good people doing good things can drive a comedy series. And while that choice undoubtedly struck a nerve, Ted Lasso will resonate just as well when we catch up with AFC Richmond again under (hopefully) better circumstances.” Read the rest of Myles McNutt’s thoughts on this series in our list of the best television of 2020.