Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

It’s Elementary—CBS comedies are taking over Thursday night

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, October 30. All times are Eastern.

Top pick

Elementary (CBS, 10 p.m.): We’ve previously argued that this Sherlock Holmes-inspired procedural is way better than the BBC’s take, but Elementary stumbled a bit during its second season. With Sherlock and Joan solidified as partners, there was little in the way of forward character momentum, even if the show remained enjoyable by and large. After several attempts to insert some drama into the season (hello Mycroft), the season finale shifted the status quo by having Sherlock take a job at London’s MI6. In the season three premiere, Sherlock returns to New York in search of his old position. Not only that, he also brings a new protege with him. Myles McNutt whips out his magnifying glass and slips on his deerstalker to get to the bottom of the Sherlock/Joan relationship, investigate this new character, and—most importantly—keep an eye out for Clyde the turtle.

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Also noted

The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.): NBC has relinquished its beloved Thursday night comedy block, and CBS is staking claim on the evening. Now that Thursday Night Football is officially over, CBS moves The Big Bang Theory to its brand new time slot (which is really just its old time slot). Kyle Fowle follows the show to its new (old) airdate to check out this episode about female sexuality in the work place.

Mom (CBS, 8:30 p.m.): Then it’s time for the second season premiere of Mom. Chuck Lorre’s multi-camera sitcom about family and addiction is surprisingly strong, thanks in no small part to leads Allison Janney and Anna Faris. With a Big Bang Theory lead-in, CBS hopes to turn Mom into a bigger hit. Perhaps guest star Jaime Pressly can introduce her legions of My Name Is Earl fans to the show.

Two And A Half Men (CBS, 9 p.m.): Then this CBS stalwart returns for its 12th and final season. Tonight’s Halloween-themed premiere centers on Walden’s health scare. Although if you ask us, we prefer our Halloween scares lighthearted, not mortality-related.

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The McCarthys (CBS, 9:30 p.m.): And finally, CBS debuts the newest addition to its comedy line-up. The McCarthys follows a sports-crazy Boston family, and while we here at The A.V. Club are always rooting for multi-camera sitcoms, there’s not a ton to recommend in The McCarthys. A close knit family whose adult children live less than a block away! Thick accents! A gay son who doesn’t like sports! Ridden with sitcom cliches, it looks like not even Laurie Metcalf is enough to let this show rise above the sitcom milieu.

Regular Coverage

Scandal (ABC, 9 p.m.)

Reign (The CW, 9 p.m.)

Gracepoint (Fox, 9 p.m.)

A To Z (NBC, 9:30 p.m.)

Parenthood (NBC, 10 p.m.):

How To Get Away With Murder (ABC, 10 p.m.)

Elsewhere in TV Club

In honor of Two And A Half Men’s return, Will Harris chats with Conchata Ferrell in a brand new Random Roles. She talks about Berta, her time on stage, and some of her most memorable TV guest appearances.

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What else is on?

Bronx Obama (Showtime, 7:30 p.m.): My fellow Americans, make no mistake, this Showtime special profiles professional Barack Obama impersonator Louis Ortiz. Folks, let me be clear, it also covers a slew of political look-alikes.

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Project Runway (Lifetime, 8 p.m.)/Project Runway All Stars (9 p.m.)/Project Runway: Threads (10 P.M.): With Halloween only a day away, fashion is utmost in the minds of most Americans. But those who don’t want to don their costumes a day early can stay in and marathon this Project Runway extravaganza instead. First the Season 13 contestants return for a reunion special on Project Runway: Original Recipe. Then it’s the fourth season premiere of Project Runway All Stars. And finally the teen-led Project Runway: Threads settles into its regular timeslot. Make it work, everyone.

It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (ABC, 8 p.m.): This 1966 Halloween classic was a huge ratings success when it aired on ABC in early October. Fans of all ages have one more chance to view this annual holiday treat before it’s sent back to the non-Disney vault for another year.

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Halloween (AMC, 9 p.m.): Groovy baby! Michael Myers escapes from a mental institution and starts slaying people. “Oh, behave!”

House On Haunted Hill (TCM, 8 p.m.): What’s Halloween without a little Vincent Price? In this spooky 1959 film, Price plays an eccentric millionaire who challenges a group of strangers to stay in his haunted house for a $10,000 reward.

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NBA Basketball: New York Knicks at Cleveland Cavaliers (TNT, 8 p.m.): Even your sports-challenged What’s On Tonight Correspondent has heard of LeBron James! He returns to play his first game as a Cavalier after four seasons with the Miami Heat.

In case you missed it

Modern Family: Modern Family talks a big game when it comes to Claire Dunphy’s favorite holiday, Halloween. Does this year’s special live up? Joshua Alston shares the episode’s tricks and treats.

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