Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Sunday, November 22. All times are Eastern.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox, 8:30 p.m.): It’s time for one of those grand sitcom traditions on Brooklyn Nine-Nine this week, the Instant Birth Just Add Water scenario. Terry’s wife Sharon goes into labor while at the precinct, causing crisis for a team of detectives that’s already grappling with an Internet shortage and short-handed with Terry and Rosa out investigating a series of murders. Don’t worry Sharon, LaToya Ferguson is an experienced Lamaze coach—or at least claimed to be on her resume—and should be able to walk you through the process a lot better than Jake will.
Additionally, Captain Holt is brought into contact with his ex-boyfriend, whom the press release doesn’t name. But based on the photos available, we have a pretty good guess who and are positively giddy at the possibility of seeing two masters of deadpan comedy discuss past feelings for each other in a matter they normally reserve for antique globes and old wood sailing ships.
The Lion Guard: Return Of The Roar (Disney, 7 p.m.): In January, Disney launches The Lion Guard, a Lion King sequel series about Simba and Nala’s son, Kion, who looks to protect the savannah with the help of his animal friends. But before all that, Kevin Johnson takes a look at the origin story of this Justice League of the Pride Lands, airing tonight.
The Simpsons (Fox, 8 p.m.): Tress MacNeille’s Laney Fontaine returns to Springfield after Homer loses a $5,000 bet, takes Lisa for a month as payment, and turns her into a Broadway star. Dennis Perkins thought the “obvious Elaine Stritch homage was spot on” during Fontaine’s debut appearance last season, and is hoping for more of that this time. And if the Simpsons are going back to Broadway after their first visit, he’s also hoping for more of this:
The Walking Dead (AMC, 9 p.m.): After a few weeks of constant turmoil, things are settling down in Alexandria. Is it a sign of new things to come? Or is it just going to be the calm before the storm of something even worse happening? Zack Handlen just wants to know whose voice that was on the radio and is praying that the idiot quota is down by at least 50 percent, because he is surrounded by idiots on this show.
The Leftovers (HBO, 9 p.m.): Something big happened last week on The Leftovers, so much so that even trying to be pithy about it would ruin the impact. All we’ll say about it is that all Joshua Alston could say at the end was “I know too little about what even happened to be excited about what it means.” And that’s the biggest endorsement to watch a show your What’s On Tonight correspondent could ever hear. (He’s kind of weird that way.)
Homeland (Showtime, 9 p.m.): Conversely over on Homeland, Joshua Alston’s not finding a lot to keep his attention. As he put it last week, “there’s a nagging sense of torpor setting in even as the plot appears to gain momentum. … The pace doesn’t feel like Homeland, which earned its once-sterling reputation by being brisker than its peers.” Maybe he’ll be lucky and each of the next few weeks will require Carrie to make an increasingly daring escape from an impossible situation. Fingers crossed for spike pit traps!
The Last Man On Earth (Fox, 9:30 p.m.): As much as the group of survivors initially warmed to Phil Miller 2.0, Vikram Murthi never did, and at one point even called him a “self-righteous asshole.” Well, apparently his increasingly bad behavior is finally bad enough that he’s sliding below Phil 1.0 in the group’s power rankings this week, and Vikram’s there to say he knew it all along.
Into The Badlands (AMC, 10 p.m.): This wound up being one of the biggest premieres of the fall last week, which AMC has to be pleased about. This week, “Sunny’s loyalty is tested when Quinn tries to force him to commit an unspeakable act.” David Kallison’s a bit worried given that Sunny is a Clipper and unspeakable acts seem to be part of the job description, so whatever tests Sunny is probably going to make him hide under the sofa until it goes away.
Trevor Noah: Lost In Translation (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.): The Daily Show host gets a slice of Comedy Central primetime, less than two months after he took over for Jon Stewart. Two months and he already has his own stand-up special? At this rate, Dennis Perkins predicts Comedy Central’s fall 2016 lineup will consist of Trevor Park, Noah For You, and a brief run of Review where Trevor Noah fills in for Forrest MacNeil and wisely refuses to review any experience that doesn’t involve charming the pants off a large section of the American viewing public.
Flesh And Bone (Starz, 8 p.m.)
The Good Wife (CBS, 9:30 p.m.)
The Affair (Showtime, 10 p.m.)
The Simpsons (3 p.m.): Before Alasdair Wilkins begins his review of “The Trouble With Trillions,” he has some bad news for you: Our country is completely bankrupt, and we have no choice but to abandon Communism. We know, we know, but we all knew from day one this mumbo jumbo wouldn’t fly. He’s going to call Washington and tell them they won.
What else is on?
The 2015 American Music Awards (ABC, 8 p.m.): Your What’s On Tonight correspondent pays so little attention to contemporary music that he hasn’t listened to a single song released this year that didn’t appear on the soundtrack of a TV show or movie, so he’ll defer to our own Amelie Gillette for a summary of what’s happening:
“Who will win the Best Future Now That’s What I Call Music Contributor?! (Answer: Taylor Swift. The answer is always Taylor Swift.)”
So if you’re into that, the 43rd installment of the AMAs is hosted by Jennifer Lopez (star of the upcoming sure to be unintentionally hilarious Shades Of Blue) and musical guests include Selena Gomez, 5 Seconds of Summer, Ariana Grande, Nick Jonas, One Direction, Demi Lovato, Gwen Stefani, Carrie Underwood, and Walk the Moon.
The Librarians (TNT, 8 p.m.): “Flynn is kidnapped by an enigmatic stranger with both amnesia and a collection of all the Library’s missing artifacts.” By default, isn’t everyone with amnesia enigmatic? Their lives are mysteries, even to themselves.
Madam Secretary (CBS, 8:30 p.m.): Julian Acosta’s Craig Sterling has been causing more than a few problems for Elizabeth and her allies, and now she’s busy preparing her own plan to oust the National Security Advisor from his role. Be careful, with Russian tensions as high as they are he might defect out of spite.
Agent X (TNT, 9 p.m.): “John tracks the cabal, leading him to a lawless Mexican town.” Just once, when our heroes cross the border into Mexico, we’d like them to find their way to a town that’s totally lawful.
CSI: Cyber (CBS, 10 p.m.): “Avery risks her life to capture FBI Cyber’s most wanted criminal.” It’s going to be really awkward when she finds out he’s only 15 years old.
Getting On (HBO, 10 p.m.): Beloved Cheers star Rhea Perlman stops by the ward as a cancer patient with a history of escaping from care. The doctors and nurses of Billy Barnes may be tougher than they look, but only a fool would stand between the former Carla Tortelli and her way out of a place she didn’t want to be.
The Royals (E!, 10 p.m.): “The future of the monarchy is threatened by Prince Liam’s quest for vengeance. Princess Eleanor, meanwhile, rekindles an old flame.” Here’s a fun game to play: switch the episodic descriptions of The Royals with the descriptions from Reign or The Last Kingdom and see if you can tell the difference!
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (HBO, 11 p.m.): John Oliver had a few simple words for the people who committed the atrocities in Paris: “Fuck these assholes.” Fuck those assholes indeed, Mr. Oliver.
Merry Matrimony (Hallmark, 8 p.m.): The horrible pre-holiday rictus grin continues to stretch on at Hallmark. Jessica Lowndes—last seen in the not-as-intentionally-funny-as-we-hoped-it-would-be Lifetime movie A Deadly Adoption—is an advertising executive who’ll make partner if she puts the perfect Christmas wedding together… but the photographer is her estranged ex-boyfriend! How will these two opposites work together?! Our guess is better than expected and in a manner that will make us choke on our eggnog.
Indian Summers (PBS, 9 p.m.): The season comes to an end with a two-hour finale, wherein “Ramu’s fate is placed in Ralph’s hands.” Ramu was optimistic about this at first, but then he saw that Ralph’s last name was Wiggum, and his co-counsel is a leprechaun who told him to burn things. Not exactly who you’d choo-choo-choose to represent you.
Talking Dead (AMC, 10 p.m.): Gale Anne Hurd and Dr. Ken’s Ken Jeong are on tonight, along with “a surprise cast member.” Well, we can guess what that probably means. Get your death pool predictions started in the comments.
Cutthroat Kitchen (Food Network, 10 p.m.): Fajitas are on the menu this week, with the wrinkle that two chefs have to share the same knife. The real strategy comes from realizing that the power isn’t in who holds the blade, it’s who holds the handle.
The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Sundance, 6:30 p.m.): If you ever want an answer to the question “Why doesn’t Alan Moore put his name on any movies based on his books?” or “Why did Sean Connery retire from acting?” look no further than this movie. Absolutely no one should be proud to put their name on it, or feel like they deserve to act after this.
Zombieland (Syfy, 7 p.m.): Speaking of Cheers, Woody Harrelson goes from dimwit bartender to gleeful undead slayer who just wants a Twinkie in this lively film about how to survive in the zombie apocalypse. If only Tallahassee could show up on The Walking Dead, we’re sure a lot of problems of the idiot variety could be solved.
The Muppet Christmas Carol (Lifetime, 7 p.m.): It’s easy to make fun of how early and how inexorable the tide of Christmas movies is every year. (So easy in fact that we do it every week.) But it’s hard to begrudge an excuse to put some classic Muppets back on our TV.
Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines (BBC America, 7:30 p.m.): In between her time as Angela Chase and Carrie Mathison, Claire Danes moonlit as a John Connor love interest in this first of the unnecessary Terminator sequels. We’ll be honest, if this franchise ever does find a way to re-re-reboot itself, it’d be interesting to see a post-Homeland Danes going up against killer robots.
We Bought A Zoo (FXM, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.): So nice, they bought it twice!
The Wizard Of Oz (TBS, 8 p.m.): The Wiz is creeping ever closer to airing on NBC, and bits of news like Emerald City casting announcements remind us that the endless string of Wizard Of Oz-related properties optioned by networks (also known as hula-hooping Peter Dinklages) are never going away . But for a brief spell, its inspiration remains pure and there to appreciate in all its Technicolor glory.
Legally Blonde (Nickelodeon, 8 p.m.) and Sweet Home Alabama (FXX, 8 p.m.): You get your pick of Reese Witherspoon tonight with these two films. Do you prefer the perky bubblegum exuberance of her efforts to fit in at Harvard, or her high-powered New York reinvention breaking down in the Southern comfort of her home town?
A Very Harold And Kumar Christmas (MTV, 9 p.m.): It may not have the White Castle of the first movie, but it’s still a fun burst of overblown holiday energy and a far better vehicle for Neil Patrick Harris’s performing gifts than anything Best Time Ever produced.
Sunday Night Football, Bengals at Cardinals (NBC, 8:20 p.m.)
College Basketball, Charleston Classic Third-Place (ESPNU, 7 p.m.)
College Basketball, Puerto Rico Tip-Off Championship (ESPN2, 7:30 p.m.)
College Basketball, Charleston Classic Championship (ESPN2, 9:30 p.m.)
MLS Soccer Playoff, Game 1, Portland vs. FC Dallas (Fox Sports, 7:30 p.m.)
In case you missed it
Did you spend all weekend binge-watching Marvel’s Jessica Jones or The Man In The High Castle? Well, The A.V. Club has you covered, as Caroline Siede and Shelby Fero were binge-watching right along with you, and we’ve got Caroline’s thoughts on Jessica Jones and Shelby’s thoughts on Man In The High Castle. And those thoughts are still going on today, so join them as they get ready to cross the finish line! (Don’t worry if you love our episodic coverage too, Oliver Sava and Scott Von Doviak respectively will take care of you for the next few weeks.)