Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, May 3. All times are Eastern.
The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 p.m.): Obviously, you have other priorities in this time slot. But if you’re curious about where Justified’s Charlie Weaver ended up at the end of “When The Guns Come Out,” well… you can set your DVR for The Big Bang Theory and pretend like Casey Sander is playing a wily, newly flush-with-cash employee of the Lexington Marshals’ office, and not Bernadette’s intimidating father. And then Oliver Sava can pretend like NASA would legitimately give a fuck about Leonard and Bernadette’s wedding plans, and we’ll all be happy.
The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 8 p.m.): Klaus tries to escape Mystic Falls with Elena in tow—sort of like a modern-day Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, only Clyde’s a rampaging half-vampire/half-werewolf, and Bonnie isn’t accompanying him of her own volition. Carrie Raisler predicts a bloodier end than the one Arthur Penn cooked up for his Bonnie And Clyde.
American Idol (Fox, 8 p.m.): The fourth American Idol, Carrie Underwood, returns to her old stomping grounds to cruelly dangle the carrot of an actual music career in front of the 11th-season hopefuls’ carts. Claire Zulkey predicts Skylar will knock out Underwood before the show and steal her performance slot.
Community (NBC, 8 p.m.): Last week, Community lost one of its most valuable supporting characters, as Alex “Star-Burns” Osbourne perished in an offscreen mobile-meth-lab explosion. He is survived by every other character on the show, who split the burden of grief with Todd VanDerWerff.
30 Rock (NBC, 8:30): In its second stunt episode in two weeks (because it’s sweeps and no one’s watching anyway, so why shouldn’t it do two stunt episodes in a row), The Queen Of Jordan cameras return to TGS, thus making the fake reality show the first fake source for the fake news about Avery Jessup-Donaghy. Meredith Blake stands by to break through the thick layers of meta.
The Secret Circle (The CW, 9 p.m.): When you’re throwing a prom in a universe where magic exists, your themes become extremely limited; anything with “enchantment” in the name seems downright mundane. Good thing all that crystal nonsense turns The Secret Circle’s first prom into a high-stakes deathtrap. Will you go to this high-stakes deathtrap with Katherine Miller? Check “yes” or “no.”
The Office (NBC, 9 p.m.): The series dusts off an oldie-but-goodie, reigniting the Jim-Dwight rivalry—which is promising, seeing as Jim-Dwight material is one of the things season eight has handled extremely well. Even Myles McNutt liked their hijinks in “After Hours”—and you know that guy doesn’t like anything.
Parks And Recreation (NBC, 9:30 p.m.): “Bus Tour” nearly promises a Parks And Recreation bottle episode—but the titular vehicle really enables the show to travel through several Pawnee locations in a short span of time. It also extends an invitation to Andy’s ass-kicking alter ego Burt Macklin, an invitation Steve Heisler knows should always be accepted.
Awake (NBC, 10 p.m.): An open-and-shut case in one Awake reality is never quite that thanks to the other Awake reality. It’s like how in a reality separate from ours, Zack Handlen’s Thursday-night assignment is Touch, and he can’t find a single thing to dislike about it.
Eagleheart (Cartoon Network, midnight): In another instance of favored-cable-drama-to-farcical-comedy crossover, Breaking Bad’s Dean Norris helps Chris learn the true meaning of the blues. And Norris knows a lot about the blues, given various Breaking Bad plot points Kevin McFarland is not to divulge, under penalty of death.
TV CLUB CLASSIC
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (11 a.m.): When it comes to Star Trek hairstyles, it’s hard to beat the sky-high bouffant sported by Haneek, one of the millions of refugees that arrive on Deep Space Nine in the second of this week’s episodes, “Sanctuary.” Zack Handlen would like to know if Haneek would sign his copy of Wild Planet.
WHAT ELSE IS ON?
My Mom Is Obsessed (Discovery Fitness And Health, 10 p.m.): Therapists gather to recap the first season of this reality show and make with the diagnoses. Most likely prescription: “Take this contract and call us during the next production cycle.”
Sweet Genius (Food Network, 10 p.m.): It must be a dreadfully slow night in terms of premières and notable episodes when the best challenge mad dessert scientist Ron Ben-Israel can concoct is “candy desserts with salty ingredients.” What’s next, you magnificent bastard? Donuts with savory toppings? Cookies with crushed up candy pieces? Vanilla and chocolate in the same sweet treat?
7 Days Of Sex (Lifetime, 10 p.m.): We meant to review the première of Lifetime’s “watch how a week of sex affects these couples” series, but then the episode order got switched up and the episode Kenny Herzog watched was moved to tonight. Seven days of vex later, we have the review.
Independent Lens: Circo (PBS, 10 p.m.): Aaron Schock’s 2010 documentary about a Mexican family that’s been in the circus business for more than a century is a more emotional bird than its festive plumage implies—though that could all change depending on which 15 minutes of the film were sacrificed to fit Independent Lens’ time constraints.
Catching Hell (ESPN, 7:30 p.m.): On October 14, 2003, Chicago Cubs fan Steve Bartman reached out to catch a foul ball—and indirectly kept the Cubs from winning their first National League pennant since 1945. Eight years later, filmmaker Alex Gibner and his Catching Hell documentary made the bold claim that maybe Bartman wasn’t the only cause of the Cubs’ NLCS collapse, while also examining why fans of team sports are so quick to scapegoat individual blunders by the likes of Bartman or notorious Red Sox first basemen Bill Buckner.
WALL-E (Disney, 8:30 p.m.): Picking a favorite Pixar movie is like picking your favorite, magical, emotionally honest and gut-bustingly funny child. Then again, at Who Won TV?, we tell Toy Story 3, The Incredibles, and Monsters Inc. that they’re our special little guys (and give as much attention as we can to Ratatouille, because sometimes it feels like it gets left out), but deep down inside, we’ll always give special preference to Wall-E.
Stanley Cup Playoff: Game 3: Flyers at Devils (NBC Sports, 7:30 p.m.): Just like the Flyers’ first-round series, this Philadelphia-New Jersey best-of-seven is shaping up to be the one to watch in the Eastern Conference. Philly had the Devils on the ropes in game two, but a four-goal third period sent the series to New Jersey a 1-1 split.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Don’t Trust The B—— In Apartment 23: If the first two episodes of Don’t Trust The Biped In Apartment 23 didn’t push you toward a renewed affection for James Van Der Beek, this one—where JVDB (as Emily Guendelsberger prefers to call his A23 character) hoofs around New York City to promote a stint on Dancing With The Stars—should put a Van Der Beek poster on every comedy nerd’s wall.