Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Dick Wolf is almost the Shonda Rhimes of NBC


Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Wednesday, November 12. All times are Eastern.


Top pick

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC, 9 p.m.) / Chicago P.D. (NBC, 10 p.m.): In case you missed it, there are now 16 seasons of Law & Order: SVU. Last night’s Chicago Fire kicked off the two night, three show, Dick Wolf crossover extravaganza, with the episode “Nobody Touches Anything.” You may have read a Newswire by the dearly departed Sonia Saraiya about it. Somehow, Law & Order: SVU continues the story, despite being the only show in this crossover event that doesn’t even take place in Chicago. But let it never be said that Law & Order: SVU isn’t as committed to the gimmick as its Chicago wolf pack mates—that’s why the episode is titled “Chicago Crossover.”

On second thought, maybe it’s okay to say Law & Order: SVU isn’t as committed to this gimmick.

Also noted

The Middle (ABC, 8 p.m.) / The Goldbergs (ABC, 8:30 p.m.): On this week’s episode of The Goldbergs, “Barry is unable to deal with the fact that Erica is better than him at a new board game called Trivial Pursuit.” In a lot of ways, ever episode of The Goldbergs could be described as Barry being unable to deal with the fact that someone is better than him at something. But since the show is so charming, I’ll allow it. Let’s see if Will Harris is as lenient.

Modern Family (ABC, 9 p.m.): The episode is titled “Queer Eyes, Full Hearts,” which is both a slap in the face to all things Friday Night Lights and as good a reason as any for why people want Modern Family to cease and desist. Joshua Alston has been tasked to try and make sense of all of this, so godspeed.

Black-ish (ABC, 9:30 p.m): In “The Gift Of Hunger,” Dre decides that the kids need to stop being spoiled and start getting jobs. That’s probably a better approach to parenting than deciding that kids need to stop being seen and also stop being heard. In theory, at least. Pilot Viruet will give her two cents on this whole parenting craze.


Regular coverage

Survivor (CBS, 8 p.m.)

Arrow (The CW, 8 p.m.)

The 100 (The CW, 9 p.m.)

South Park (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.)

American Horror Story: Freak Show (FX, 10 p.m.)

The League (FXX, 10 p.m.)

Key & Peele (Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m.)

TV Club Classic

Lost (Classic) (1 p.m.): This week in classic coverage of Lost, the irony of one of the episodes being titled “The Whole Truth” isn’t lost on Myles McNutt. But before he gets to that, he needs to take a crack at “Maternity Leave” and let the world know about the trials and tribulations of motherhood on the strange magical island that is life.


Elsewhere in TV Club

Sesame Street is the perfect TV show,” says Erik Adams. Is it really, Erik? Is it? Read his 100 Episodes piece to find out. While you’re at it, embrace your inner child and check out the other Sesame Street Week pieces. Marah Eakin has a For Our Consideration on why The Year Of Roosevelt Franklin is “the best Sesame Street record no one knows,” and Inventory takes count of Sesame Street’s counting songs.


And now for something completely different. The Lady Aye has an interview with Mat Fraser, who plays Paul the Illustrated Seal in American Horror Story: Freak Show. Fraser makes it perfectly clear that he’s not here to be a part of anyone’s “inspiration porn,” which is something no one will probably ever accuse a season of American Horror Story of being.

What else is on?

The Voice (NBC, 8 p.m.): This is the reason Dick Wolf is no Shonda Rhimes—it’s preventing the Chicago: Special Victims Unit crossover event from being an all-night affair. To make matters worse, there is no new episode of The Mysteries Of Laura this week. Apparently, knowing who advances in The Voice is far more important than learning not to tell middle-aged women what they can’t do. It’s the live play-off results show, and unfortunately, season three’s Amanda Brown still isn’t available to win it all. Never forgive and never forget:

The Getaway (Esquire, 9 p.m.): “Kyle MacLachlan In Napa Valley” honestly sounds like heaven on Earth. So much so that I originally wrote the episode title as “Kyle MacLachlan In Happy Valley” (not like the show), wherever that is.


Nashville (ABC, 10 p.m.): Tonight, things are getting way too real in Nashville. First off, one half of Ruke, Rayna James, is set to perform on Dancing With The Stars, y’all. Tom Bergeron is a real person, so that is pretty darn real if I do say so myself. Plus, Will and Layla’s reality show is about to premiere. Real is in the word “reality.” Hopefully their show is as much of a trainwreck as it can possibly be. And by that, I mean Newlyweds: Nick And Jessica 2.0:

The Game (BBC America, 10 p.m.): In episode two of The Game, Daddy (which is a great nickname) has to decide whether or not to free a dangerous man from prison in order to take down Operation Glass. Is The Game turning into a buddy cop film so soon?


Stalker (CBS, 10 p.m.): Did you know that stalkers can come in the form of obsessed fans? Get ready for stalker expert/stalker Detective Jack Larsen to teach you the stalker psychology of that in this week’s Stalker. Meanwhile, stalker expert/stalking victim Lieutenant Beth Davis remains unaware that her stalker is sleeping with her stalking victim best friend in order to be a better stalker. It’s all very complicated.

The Exes (TV Land, 10:30 p.m.): “Phil dates a much younger woman to prove he’s not getting too old.” There is no better sentence that proves sitcom characters have never seen a sitcom before than that one right here.


Web Therapy (Showtime, 11 p.m.): Jeb Masters (Jon Hamm playing a phone sex operator for the elderly!) calls Fiona to complain about her behavior, which he believes borders on sexual harassment. As we all know, Fiona is far too much of a professional to behave in such a way, so hopefully this entire misunderstanding is quickly nipped in the bud.

Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby (Lifetime, 8 p.m.): Lifetime is a network that can make some interesting choices creatively, but there is something beyond “interesting” when it comes to their scheduling choice to play Talladega Nights. When one thinks “Television for women,” Will Ferrell movies and Nascar might just be two of the last things to cross their mind. Then again, maybe this is actually Lifetime making a statement on societal gender norms. If so, then well-played, Lifetime. Shake and bake.


Mr. Woodcock (Lifetime, 10 p.m.): Scratch all of that. Lifetime is having an identity crisis.

NBA Basketball: Magic at Knicks (Fox Sports Network, 7:30 p.m.): If the Knicks wins this one, it will be their ninth win in 10 meetings with the Magic. Yikes. It really would be a shame if Orlando’s basketball team ended up losing again and disgracing its most important residents, the Hotwives of Orlando.


Lucha Underground (El Rey, 8 p.m.): Right now, Chavo Guerrero is the most interesting he’s been since that time he pretended to be white, so it’s definitely worth your time to check out episode three of Lucha Underground.

In case you missed it

The Flash: Scott Von Doviak’s review made a lot of great points about The Flash finding ways to put new spins on the show’s already consistent formula. But the most important part of all was, of course, GRODD. That is the most important part of a lot of things, to be perfectly honest.