Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Tuesday, January 8. All times are Eastern.
Justified/Cougar Town (FX, 10 p.m./TBS, 10 p.m.): TV’s most crowded night is about to get more most crowded (most crowded-er?): Tuesdays in the fall were defined by the three-way DVR scrum between New Girl, Happy Endings, and Go On (and, sure, The Voice stealing viewers from every other show); add to that the night’s new tough choice between Harlan County and the cul-de-sac. Justified and Cougar Town return, the former introducing some new backwoods mystery and Constable Patton Oswalt, while the latter moves to its new, Big Bang Theory-rerun-padded home on TBS. Noel Murray and Ryan McGee are each extremely jealous of the other’s assignment.
Raising Hope (Fox, 8 p.m.): Every year, identity theft affects thousands of people—that goes double for Jimmy Chance, whose family members are both affected by the crime and affecting his identity in order to make fraudulent credit card purchases. Phil Dyess-Nugent hopes we all take away a valuable lesson about protecting social security numbers from this episode.
Ben And Kate (Fox, 8:30 p.m.): Former medicine woman and current part-time designer of reasonably priced mall-baubles Jane Seymour makes her debut as BJ’s mother. Molly Eichel would love it if Dr. Quinn whipped up something to cure Ben And Kate’s ratings ills.
New Girl (Fox, 9 p.m.): Jess, Sam, Nick, and Angie shack up in a cabin for the weekend, putting David Walton and Olivia Munn perilously close to a Perfect Couples-reunion scenario. If Hayes MacArthur shows up, Erik Adams cannot be held responsible for his actions.
Happy Endings (ABC, 9 p.m.): The implied endorsement of a pop star has the city of Chicago abuzz about Alex’s store. David Sims is just excited to see someone on the store set that isn’t one of the series regulars.
Go On (NBC, 9 p.m.): Looking to stretch that Olympics magic into the new year, Bob Costas shows up to play himself on Go On, the biggest beneficiary of the London Games that isn’t a member of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team. Sonia Saraiya is not impressed.
Don’t Trust The B—— In Apartment 23 (ABC, 9:30 p.m.): June makes an ill-advised attempt at making Chloe a better person, but Emily Guendelsberger is unsure if she wants to watch a show called Confide In The Perfectly Pleasant Young Woman In Apartment 23.
The Mindy Project (Fox, 9:30 p.m.): Mindy’s brother visits, informing his sister that he’s dropping out of college to pursue a career in hip-hop. MC Sims City (the rapper formerly known as David Sims) supports this decision 100 percent.
Parenthood (NBC, 10 p.m.): On a series that’s all about small victories, Todd VanDerWerff’s not sure what to make of an episode titled “Small Victories.” Smaller than the wins the Bravermans usually celebrate? With plot points like “Adam and Kristina help Max cope with teenage life,” we’re not entirely sure the info available on the episode isn’t just filler text.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Arrested Development (11 a.m.): Justine Bateman appears as a woman who’s either a new love interest for or an unknown blood relation of her real-life brother’s character. Though, as Noel Murray will attest, those two roles are often one in the same on Arrested Development.
WHAT ELSE IS ON
Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family, 8 p.m.): The show’s former antagonist gets reacquainted with Rosewood High School (following some time in a mental institution) while Brooke Still gets acquainted with the TV Club review process (following her time as an A.V. Club intern, which is a much more pleasant occupation than “ward of a mental institution”).
Betty White’s Off Their Rockers (NBC, 8 p.m.): From a perch at the top of the network ratings, The Peacock declares: “And to insulate broadcast TV’s highest-rated new sitcom, we shall air it after a full hour of Betty White’s Punk’d For The Olds! Because we definitely aren’t airing something more valuable opposite NCIS!”
Africa (Discovery, 10 p.m.): Continuing to narrow its focus, the Discovery-BBC team-up that brought us Planet Earth (the comprehensive nature documentary about the whole damn planet) and Frozen Planet (the nature doc about the parts of the planet that are extremely cold), looks at the wildlife of a single continent—and finds it well worth staring at for hours and hours.
The Joe Schmo Show (Spike, 10 p.m.): After a nearly decade-long hiatus—the better to recruit a star who doesn’t know he’s participating in a hoax—the faux reality show returns. Fun fact: Did you know that the original incarnation of this show featured some of the earliest onscreen appearances of Kristen Wiig, David Hornsby, and Natasha Leggero?
Slap Shot (Flix, 8 p.m.): Either someone at Flix had an inside line on the pending end of the NHL lockout, or some programmer stumbled into a glorious coincidence while trying to make a Paul Newman-assisted joke at the expense of hockey pros slumming it in the minor leagues.
Ocean’s Eleven (1960) (TCM, 8 p.m.): This Rat Pack caper is the rare film that was improved upon by a remake, but there’s still a lot of boozy, Vegas-insider fun to be had with the original model—the ending of which is funnier than all of Ocean’s Twelve.
College Basketball: Clemson at Duke (ESPNU, 8 p.m.): With the BCS championship decided, it’s time to transition into another college-sports pastime powered mostly by rage: Hoping the Blue Devils of Duke University suddenly stop being good at basketball. The hopes of a nation lie with you, Clemson!
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Switched At Birth: After a first season that lasted for roughly 200 episodes, ABC Family’s well-made, deeply felt family drama returns for its sophomore year. If you’d like to read Carrie Raisler’s thoughts on the 350 episodes to come, we suggest reading her second-season première review.