Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, January 3. All times are Eastern.
Frontline (PBS, 10 p.m.): Frontline is known for providing factual, balanced, and in-depth looks at its documentary subjects, meaning that Donald Trump will probably hate the episode about him. Tonight’s installment covers “the key moments that shaped [the] President-elect.” We’re hoping this will include his birthing process, which involved his parents throwing a bag of Cheetos, one Chick-O-Stick, half a butternut squash, three pages from Hustler, and a copy of The Fountainhead into a blender, then cooking the batter in a tanning bed. After a few hours of baking, the gooey, orange mass resembled a baby and the future President Of The United States of America.
Chicago Fire (NBC, 9 p.m.): If you live in the Windy City, chances are you know a local actor who’s been on Chicago Fire. Or, if you’re a famous person, maybe you know Eamonn Walker, who plays Chief Boden and absolutely killed it all those years ago on Oz. Tonight, he doesn’t like the way Brett (Kara Kilmer) opens up to the rest of the firehouse. They better hope he doesn’t go all Kareem Said on them, breaking his usually peaceful demeanor to mete out justice.
Chicago P.D. (NBC, 10 p.m.): If you’re a Chicagoan who doesn’t know anyone on Chicago Fire, have no fear! You probably know someone on Chicago P.D., which, like its parent show, is also returning for its winter premiere. And if you still don’t see any of your friends, there’s always Chicago Med, the upcoming Chicago Justice (formerly Chicago Law), Chicago Crossing Guards, Chicago CTA, Chicago DMV, and so on…
Premieres and finales
NCIS (CBS, 8 p.m.): Dick Wolf isn’t the only television producer reopening his shared universe tonight. NCIS also returns, with its 14th winter premiere focusing on a businessman who uses an act of terror to manipulate the stock market. Hey, sounds like tonight’s episode of Frontline!
Bones (Fox, 9 p.m.): Bones’ 12th season has the subtitle “The Final Chapter”—three words that don’t always bode well for pop culture. Tonight’s premiere promises to resolve last season’s cliffhanger, where Brennan (Emily Deschanel) got kidnapped by her former assistant.
Bull (CBS, 9 p.m.): In her pre-air review of the first episode, Marah Eakin called Bull “the TV equivalent of putting a Harambe T-shirt on your dad.” Will the second half of the season fare any better? Anyone curious about this sort of thing can tune in tonight to the winter premiere, where Bull helps a company accused of killing an employee with a self-driving car.
MasterChef Canada (Cooking, 9 p.m.): Since this installment of What’s On Tonight is being written before we all break for the holiday, who’s to say what’s in store on the third-season finale of MasterChef Canada? We’re just hoping it involves a tie-in from the Canadian restaurant in Gremlins 2: The New Batch. “Can I cut you an antler?”
NCIS: New Orleans (CBS, 10 p.m.): Yikes, this premieres and finales list is getting long! Well, that’s very much by design. Upon reading the other weekday editions of What’s On Tonight, it seems that we of the Tuesday team have been slacking in the P&F department. So our New Year’s resolution is to give you info on more of the shows you crave. Shows like Bull. Also back for a winter premiere is another branch of the NCIS-verse (not to be confused with the Dick-Wolf-verse): New Orleans. Maybe those special agents on the bayou will finally look into why their viewers were targeted by the Trump campaign during the election.
New Girl (Fox, 8 p.m.)
WWE Smackdown! Live (USA, 8 p.m.)
Gremlins 2: The New Batch (Amazon Video/iTunes/Vudu): We’re not just picking this batshit sequel because we already mentioned it above. The 1990 film is also surprisingly relevant for its Trump stand-in, Daniel Clamp. As played by John Glover, he’s actually more grounded and compassionate than The Donald, once again showing that, in 2016—sorry, 2017—the parody is nowhere as strange as the real deal.