Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, April 5. All times are Eastern.
Delocated (Cartoon Network, midnight): The third season of Adult Swim’s faux reality show was a wild, skins- and balls-filled journey in and out of the bone zone. So what better way to take a look at how balaclava-clad protagonist Jon managed to (hilariously) alienate everyone in his life than with that old standby of real-life reality programming, the reunion show. It’s hosted by John Hodgman, and Steve Heisler couldn’t be happier to see the whole gang (“gangs” literal and figurative) together again.
The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.): To properly prepare for his review of a Big Bang Theory episode guest-starring Stephen Hawking, Oliver Sava is currently slamming his way through Hawking’s A Brief History Of Time. If he read it while traveling through a wormhole, he’d be finished by now.
American Idol (Fox, 8 p.m.): Ryan Seacrest’s bid to wrest the title of “Hardest Working Man In Show Business” from the late James Brown now extends to a gig hosting NBC’s primetime coverage of the London Olympics. Hardest Working Woman In Internet Business Claire Zulkey will now assume Seacrest’s dramatic hesitations during elimination episodes of Idol are the results of sleep deprivation.
Community (NBC, 8 p.m.): If we had our Community screeners handy, we could confirm or deny that the conclusion of this two-parter takes the form of a Ken Burns-style documentary about the pillow-fort/blanket-fort war. But since we’re greedy, we took the screener home, where it’s sitting by the TV doing no good for anyone. Maybe Todd VanDerWerff can answer these questions for us.
30 Rock (NBC, 8:30 and 9 p.m.): Pete Hornberger was once the strongest supporting player on 30 Rock, but he’s been pushed into the background by so many Tracy Jordan outbursts and Jack Donaghy…
…pauses. But Scott Adsit’s character gets his due tonight, a development that has Nathan Rabin excitedly scribbling “Hornberger!” on every available surface.
Up All Night (NBC, 9:30 p.m.): Tonight In Shared Sitcom Plot Points: Up All Night picks up the 10K baton from New Girl, as Ava trains for her big run with a trainer played by Fred Armisen. Do 10Ks involve batons? We might not know anything about 10Ks. Margaret Eby, can you run one and report back?
Awake (NBC, 10 p.m.): A show where a police detective splits his waking hours between two distinct realities shouldn’t concern itself with verisimilitude, but Awake’s going to do it anyway by dwelling on how Britten hasn’t slept since the car accident that got him into this mess. Zack Handlen agrees with Ryan Seacrest—sleep is for the weak.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (11 a.m.): The political elements of DS9 are pushed to the fore as Bajoran extremists look to take control of their home planet. Zack Handlen volunteers to start the Bajor Space Tea Party.
Seinfeld (1 p.m.): Conveniently timed with the launch of The A.V. Club’s new partner site, The Gameological Society, David Sims pumps some thought-quarters into “The Frogger.” Visual allusions to classic arcade titles never looked funnier.
Cheers (3 p.m.): A pair of off-brand Cheers episodes have our reviewers reminding themselves that, with this show, it’s often the smallest moments that matter the most: Small moments like, say, Cliff quietly telling Diane he needs to go to the emergency room.
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
God Is The Bigger Elvis (HBO, 8 p.m.): Elvis Presley had a profound effect on popular culture and the world at large—but only one woman can say she became a nun after she kissed the King of Rock ’N’ Roll. That woman is former actress Rev. Mother Dolores Hart, and Meredith Blake is checking in with her via this Oscar-nominated documentary.
Bobcat Goldthwait: You Don’t Look The Same Either (Showtime 2, 8 p.m.): The man who was Zed devotes himself mostly to writing and directing darkly tinged film satires like World’s Greatest Dad and God Bless America these days. But he still makes time to rattle off anecdotes and non sequiturs—and yes, do that voice—all of which is captured in his latest standup special.
Tent City, U.S.A. (OWN, 9 p.m.): The Greatest Recession wouldn’t be the greatest without its own equivalent to Great Depression “Hoovervilles”. However, the way Nashville, Tennessee’s “Tent City” was recognized as a legitimate settlement in the wake of devastating floods proves that at least some people in this world learned something from The Grapes Of Wrath.
Scandal (ABC, 10 p.m.): Last fall, ABC gave us the best new drama title to cry at the uncaring fates (Reeeeeeeeeveeeeeeeeeeeenge!)—here’s one created by Shonda Rhimes that demands to be recited in a clutching-at-pearls, “Why I never!” manner. Scaaaaandal! Scaaaandal! Ryan McGee invites you to say it along with him. Scaaaaaaandal!
Being Elmo (PBS, 9 p.m.): This profile of Muppeteer Kevin Clash might be a lighter tale of inspiration than Tent City, but it’ll still choke you up a half-dozen times. (Warning: Contains footage from Jim Henson’s memorial service, a.k.a. Tear City, U.S.A.)
Please Don’t Eat The Daisies (TCM, 8 p.m.): It’s reverse Green Acres, as Doris Day convinces theater-critic husband David Niven to take leave of New York City and settle down in the country. He is her spouse! Good bye, dear ol’ playhouse! Please Don’t Eat The Daisies they are theeeeeeeeeeere!
NHL Hockey: Rangers at Penguins (NBC Sports, 7 p.m.): New York has the Eastern Conference’s best regular-season record all cinched up, but none of that’s going to matter when the playoffs start in a few days. The Pens, on the other hand, are just glad to have the resurgent Sidney Crosby back.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Nova: Renegade chemist spawn Brandon Nowalk takes a look at the venerable PBS series and its approach to explaining chemistry in soothing, CGI-assisted tones for those of us whose favorite man of science is Walter White.