Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, January 24. All times are Eastern.
Last Resort (ABC, 8 p.m.): At the end of a week when the cancellation hammer started falling across the dial, one of the first casualties of the television season comes to its premature close. Still, Shawn Ryan and his writing staff were given enough advanced warning to bring Last Resort to a tidy conclusion—all the while providing your What’s On Tonight correspondent the opportunity to make jokes about the theoretical experimentation of a lame-duck version of the show. So thanks for that, ABC. Scott Von Doviak, will still hesitate before reviewing any future nautically themed efforts from the network, however.
30 Rock (NBC, 8 p.m.): On that note: TGS has also been canceled, and 30 Rock’s penultimate episode is devoted to the effort to save the show-within-a-show. Pilot Viruet is selling “Prince William And Prince: Time-Traveling Fart Detectives” to help the cause.
The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 8 p.m.): “Matt’s life is put in danger” reads the beginning of the episode synopsis. Well, duh: He’s hanging around vampires all the time. You don’t need to have a Carrie Raisler-level engagement with The Vampire Diaries to know that!
Parks And Recreation (NBC, 8:30 p.m.): “Women In Garbage” brings Shirley Manson, the woman in Garbage, to Pawnee—oh, it’s actually about Leslie and April taking sanitation jobs? Steve Heisler’s review in the form of a “Stupid Girl” parody is going to make even less sense now.
Glee (Fox, 9 p.m.): Look, Glee’s back, everyone! Is this how we reacted the last time it returned from a hiatus? And is it really only still on its fourth season? 76-year-old Brandon Nowalk could’ve sworn it started back when he was in his 20s.
The Office (NBC, 9 p.m.): After nine years of barely acknowledging the “documentary crew” “filming” The Office, the faces behind the camera come into view. And if one of them belongs to Robert California, Erik Adams is just going to scream.
Archer (FX, 10 p.m.): The crossovers of Archer’s fourth season just keep coming, with Justified’s Timmy Olyphant lending his voice to an old friend of Sterling’s. Todd VanDerWerff would appreciate it if this Archer acquaintance had any information regarding the whereabouts of Waldo Truth.
Suits (USA, 10 p.m.): Suits would like to remind you that its men and women in suits filing suits could also be represented by sharks in suits filing suits, via the episode title “Blood In The Water.” Would the stars of a shark-themed Suits where sharkskin suits? Carrie Raisler thinks that just sounds barbaric.
Legit (FX, 10:30 p.m.): Steve Heisler takes the reins on this new comedy, just in time for Jim and Steve to break Billy out of adult care. Apparently they said they could use a getaway driver…
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (11 a.m.): In a double feature of competing Trek impulses, Bashir goes on a spy-movie holiday in a holosuite, while the following episode deals with a possible changeling infiltration of Starfleet. Zack Handlen will be taking medication for the tonal whiplash for weeks.
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
Incredible Crew (Cartoon, 8 p.m.): Every generation gets the All That it deserves—and this generation’s is apparently created by one-time All That star Nick Cannon and making its timeslot debut with an episode titled “Farting Grandpa.” And from this point forward we shall refer to The Kids These Days as the Farting Grandpa Generation.
Beauty And The Beast (The CW, 9 p.m.): One of The A.V. Club’s picks for the worst TV series of 2012 makes its winter debut. Will it see improvement in 2013? Does improvement even factor in when a show started out as bad as this one?
Project Runway (Lifetime, 9 p.m.): As you know, in fashion, one day you’re in, and the next John Teti’s too busy with The Gameological Society to pour his blood, sweat, and tears into reviewing your silly reality show. But if a suitable replacement arises, we might not say “auf wiedersehn” to Runway so soon.
Sweet Genius (Food Network, 10 p.m.): The third season comes to a conclusion, creating a “mad pastry scientist” vacuum in the upcoming TV schedule. But Ron Ben-Israel never truly leaves us—he lives forever in the darkened corners of our sugariest nightmares.
My Cousin Vinny (HBO2, 7 p.m.): Marisa Tomei won the Academy Award, and Joe Pesci’s the star, but you know who’s really, really good in My Cousin Vinny? Fred Gwynee. Yeah, Herman Munster in his final onscreen role—he makes a fantastic Southern judge.
Paul Williams Still Alive (Showtime, 7:30 p.m.): Yes, the diminutive songwriter behind “The Rainbow Connection” and “We’ve Only Just Begun” (not to mention the star of Phantom Of The Paradise) is quite alive, and at the center of a documentary that’d be endlessly fascinating if its director, Stephen Kessler, didn’t butt in so often.
Winter X Games (ESPN, 9 p.m.): ESPN’s annual extreme-sports gathering opens with snowboarding and snowmobiling, which were really the only two things missing from Danny Boyle’s kaleidoscopic opening ceremonies at last year’s London Olympics, right?
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
American Horror Story: The second season of Ryan Murphy’s ultimate experience in grueling horror (and also mutants and aliens and sometimes Nazis) is in the books—though to be quite honest, Todd VanDerWerff still hasn’t wrapped his head around out how it got there.