Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, November 20. All times are Eastern.
Scandal (ABC, 9 p.m.): It feels like only yesterday that ABC launched its Shonda Rhimes-centered night of programming. But after a handful of twisty episodes Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder, and Grey’s Anatomy all hit their winter finales and depart the airwaves until 2015. On Scandal, Jake is worried Olivia might be attacked by her father or one of his operatives. So he stops by her office to offer a gun and an oh-so-steamy lesson on shooting. Last week, Joshua Alston argued that Rowan Pope is essentially a god in the Scandal universe because he’s too powerful to be taken down. Perhaps all it takes to change that is Olivia Pope, in a pant suit, with a gun.
Reign (The CW, 9 p.m.): Mary and Francis continue to face marital strain as religious tensions ramp up across France. This week Vatican inquisitors harm a group of Protestants. Genevieve Valentine has always said people should expect the Vatican Inquisition
How To Get Away With Murder (ABC, 10 p.m.): After teasing the mystery of #WhoKilledSam, HTGAWM promises to finally reveal the killer in tonight’s winter finale. What’s particularly remarkable is that no one has picked up on the smoking gun right in front of them: Two weeks ago Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya admitted she has a motive for killing Sam (he sucks). The answer has been here all along…
Parenthood (NBC, 10 p.m.): Those who can’t stomach the murderous intrigue of a Shonda Rhimes finale can instead turn to Parenthood where the stakes are centered on an open house and a school play. Carrie Raisler wouldn’t have it any other way.
The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.)
Gracepoint (Fox, 9 p.m.)
A To Z (NBC, 9:30 p.m.)
Elementary (CBS, 10 p.m.)
Futurama (10 a.m.): On Futurama anchovies are a precious commodity. And while Zack Handlen doesn’t generally put a ton of stock in Futurama’s depiction of the future, he’s still hoarding anchovies just in case. Oh and he’s also reviewing “Fear Of A Bot Planet” and “A Fishful Of Dollars.”
Samantha Nelson explores the phenomenon of the “TV Geek Girl,” those nonthreatening tech geniuses who pop up on just about every genre shows these days. She writes:
Genre television often relies on characters with defined roles and urgent conflicts, which can take priority over further development of those characters. But these shows are watched not just by geeky guys who appreciate having an attractive, technically proficient girl to fantasize about, but by geeky girls looking for characters to empathize with. Showing that computer skills aren’t limited to men is a good start, but these female characters could use some real empowering to keep them from being relegated to tech support.
Elsewhere, Noel Murray checks in on Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued, Showtime’s new Sam Jones documentary. It follows producer T Bone Burnett and various musical artists as they turn some of Bob Dylan’s abandoned lyrics into fully-fledged songs. While the music is good, Noel writes, “for the most part, Lost Songs feels like a 106-minute commercial.”
Finally, Scott Kaufman explains how Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s Thanksgiving episode is basically a (well-made) stage play in a brand new Internet Film School.
Regular Show (Cartoon, 7:30 p.m.): With the Serial podcast sweeping the nation (and The A.V. Club), even Rigby wants to play amateur detective. He puts his skills to work as he tries to prove Thomas committed a murder.
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, 8 p.m.): Grey’s is famous for its (sometimes literally) explosive finales. While it doesn’t look like there will be any bombs, crazed gunman, or plane crashes tonight, there is some major baby drama for Jackson and April.
The McCarthys (CBS, 9:30 p.m.): Erik Adams has high hopes for CBS’ latest multi-camera sitcom. Tonight Jackie decides she wants to move back home while Marjorie freaks out about being a grandmother.
Watch What Happens: Live (Bravo, 11 p.m.): It’s Allison night on Watch What Happens: Live. Allisons Williams and Janney stop by to chat with Andy Cohen, plug there latest projects, and have fun Allison times.
The Birds (TCM, 8 p.m.): “Animals will kill you” is the theme of tonight’s movie picks. First up, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 thriller examines the horrors of avian animals….
Jaws (IFC, 9 p.m.): …then Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic documents the terror of underwater creatures. With both the sea and air full of enemies, perhaps humanity should just burrow into the ground and become mole people. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.
College Football: North Carolina at Duke (ESPN, 7:30 p.m.): North Carolina and Duke’s legendary rivalry exists across pretty much every sport. But does that rivalry extend to every aspect of college life? Competitive dining halls? Competitive dorm size? Competitive laundry efficiency?!?!
The 100: Before putting the finishing touches on his Peeta cosplay for the midnight premiere of Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, Kyle Fowle reviewed the latest episode of the CW’s own teen dystopian drama.