Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, December 4. All times are Eastern.
Peter Pan Live! (NBC, 8 p.m.): Over 18 million viewers tuned in to see Carrie Underwood belt her face off (and fail to act) in last year’s Sound Of Music Live! Now NBC is hoping audiences will do the same when Girls’ Allison Williams slips into Peter Pan’s pixie cut tonight. Producers have promised the second live musical broadcast will feature more moments of theatricality, several brand new songs, and a CGI Tinker Bell. And in case all of that isn’t enough of a draw, the production also boasts high-wire flying, intense choreography, child actors, a real dog, and Christopher Walken. (Feel free to take bets on which one of those will go haywire first.) Musical theater nerd Caroline Siede weighs in on NBC’s second attempt to make live musicals an annual tradition.
Surviving Exodus (Discovery Networks, 8 p.m.): Much as Moses rallied the Israelites to flee from Egypt, Discovery Communications has rallied its six channels to air Surviving Exodus, an hour-long commercial for Ridley Scott’s new film, Exodus: Gods And Kings. Hosted by star Aaron Paul, the special examines the plagues visited on Egyptians during the Biblical story. With all that historical exploration, there will presumably be little time left to explore the controversy around the film’s whitewashing or the racist comments of 21st Century Fox head Rupert Murdoch.
Renée Fleming: Christmas In New York (PBS, 9 p.m.): For those who prefer their holiday specials a little less Biblical, Grammy winning opera singer Renée Fleming plugs her new holiday album with her own special on PBS. While Kelli O’Hara will be appearing as Mrs. Darling in Peter Pan Live! over on NBC, she’ll simultaneously be dueting with Fleming in this pre-recorded special. Kurt Elling, Rufus Wainwright, and Gregory Porter are also slated to appear in this intimate concert/interview/exploration of New York at Christmastime.
Reign (The CW, 9 p.m.): It can be hard to get into the holiday spirit when Protestant and Catholic forces are constantly trying to kill each other. Mary thinks the best thing is to organize a Protestant/Catholic marriage, but Claude isn’t so thrilled with that idea. After an excellent half-season of coverage, Genevieve Valentine hands Reign’s reigns back to Caroline Framke who will finally get a chance to weigh in on all of the religious drama unfolding this season.
Gracepoint (Fox, 9 p.m.)
Elementary (CBS, 10 p.m.)
Futurama (10 a.m.): In “My Three Suns” Fry has to figure out a way to let down his macho walls and cry (so as to release the liquid emperor he accidentally drank). Zack Handlen thinks Fry should have just watched the ultimate macho tearjerker, Armageddon, a film Futurama spoofs in “A Big Piece Of Garbage.” Cue the Aerosmith.
TV Club is relatively quiet today, but that’s only because we want to hear from you. Be sure to vote in our Best Of 2014 readers’ poll which goes live at 8 a.m. today. The poll covers film, music, books, games, podcasts, and, of course, television. That means now’s the time to make your undying love for I Wanna Marry Harry known.
Regular Show (Cartoon, 7:30 p.m.): Celebrate Christmas early with the Regular Show gang! Muscle Man’s terrible gift giving skills come back to haunt him and Mordecai has to introduce CJ to Margaret in this half-hour holiday special.
The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 8 p.m.): Stefan meets a new relative, Damon and Elena try to free Bonnie, and Kai escapes his prison world in the penultimate Vampire Diaries episode of 2014. Be sure to fill up on enough sexy vampire melodrama to get you through the upcoming holiday season.
The Taste (ABC, 8 p.m.): The third season premiere of ABC’s cooking competition once again pits professional chefs against amateur cooks. Modeled after The Voice, judges/mentors Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson, Ludo Lefebevre, and Brian Malarkey select teams based on blind taste tastes. We’d prefer it if Christina Aguilera and Adam Levine selected chefs based on their singing abilities.
Mom (CBS, 8:30 p.m.): Much of Mom’s comedic sensibility is rooted in the show’s working class setting. But this week Christy and Bonnie get to experience how the other half lives as they stay with Jaime Pressly’s wealthy Jill on her first night sober.
Friday Night Lights (AMC, 5:30 p.m.): Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t miss this 2004 film that would later inspire a beloved TV series.
Zombieland (FX, 9 p.m.): The Walking Dead may be on a winter hiatus, but that doesn’t mean the undead have vacated the TV landscape. Enjoy a slightly more comedic approach to a zombie apocalypse as Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin take a zombie-filled road trip in this 2009 black comedy.
NBA Basketball: Cavaliers at Knicks (TNT, 8 p.m.): The Cavaliers suffered their first loss of the season at the hands of the Knicks back in October. The New York team embarrassed LeBron James during his homecoming game so this time around he could be looking for revenge. Or perhaps Revenge. We hear he’s a big Emily VanCamp fan.
Black-ish: Zoey and Junior babysit the twins and Black-ish gets a chance to show off its fantastic child actors. Pilot Viruet is ready to move into the Johnson household just to hang out with them.