Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Wednesday, January 6. All times are Eastern.
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (FXX, 10 p.m.): 11 seasons, It’s Always Sunny? You barely look a day over five. And that’s saying a lot, since you’re starting your new season with a sequel to a season seven episode. Luckily, that episode just so happens to be one of the best of the series. In fact, it was an episode that was praised at the time (and still is) for having “the whole ensemble in such fine form, and obviously all so firmly in their element.” Now that we’re here in season 11, we’re being greeted by the return of the glorious (and chaotic, of course) game known as Chardee MacDennis. What brings such pleasure back to us? “The gang agrees to a truce while demonstrating Chardee MacDennis for an interested board game executive, but the nature of the game quickly sends things off the rails.” Of course it does, Sunny. Of course it does. By the way, your friendly neighborhood What’s On Tonight contributor has seen the first five episodes of this season, and her critical opinion has boiled them down to two words: “fucking phenomenal.” Her colleague Dennis Perkins will probably have a few more words than that in his reviews of this season, but we’re sure he’ll fall under the same category.
Top pick No. 2: Cruise Control
The Challenge: Battle Of The Bloodlines (MTV, 10 p.m.): Who are the “Blood Brothers” of this week’s Battle Of The Bloodlines?!? Who, TJ Lavin?!?
The Middle / The Goldbergs (ABC, 8 / 8:30 p.m.): Oh boy. Sue wants to join a sorority. We suppose it’s the most logical next step on this season of The Middle, considering how much Sue wants to be a part of things, but we also know it’s deserving of an “oh boy.” Meanwhile, “Frankie begins to feel like she’s not needed as much in her son’s life when Brick goes shopping for a pair of pants by himself for the first time.” Good. Get your independence on, Brick. And based on the title of this week’s episode of The Goldbergs—“The Tasty Boys”—we assumed it would also be about cliques, but there’s actually no mention of Big Tasty himself, Barry, in the episode synopsis. So we’re going to assume “The Tasty Boys” is The Goldbergs’ send-up to The Birthday Boys (with the help of some time travel). Don’t correct us if we’re wrong, Will Harris.
2 Broke Girls (CBS, 8 p.m.): 2 Broke Girls begins its 2016 with a new day, new time, “And The Not Regular Down There.” What does that mean? Hell if even one the broke girls knows: “Max is both puzzled and curious when the new guy she is dating expresses hesitations about intimacy because he is ‘not regular down there.’” See? No one knows. Welcome to 2016, 2 Broke Girls style. It’s a ball of confusion.
American Idol (Fox, 8 p.m.): It’s here. The 15th and final season of American Idol. Let’s all gather up the power and strength to get hyped about that, because all of our moms are counting on us. “Did you see that Kanye auditioned? That was interesting.” “Yes, mom. Months ago.” Supposedly “the fun begins” in Denver and Atlanta tonight, so get ready to say goodbye to American Idol like you never got to say goodbye to Brian Dunkleman. (Applicable reference!)
Mike & Molly (CBS, 8:30 p.m.): We know you’re pop culture savvy if you’re reading this (or at least you’re good at pretending to be), so you already know this marks the beginning of the end for Mike & Molly; season six is the last season of the show, and this is the season premiere. But do you know what this last Mike & Molly season premiere, “Cops On The Rocks,” is about? We didn’t think so. Here we go: “Mike and Carl go to couples counseling to try and reconcile their partnership. Also, Molly decides to do a promotional radio interview on her own after Peggy decides not to participate.” Cops in couples counseling? That gives a certain What’s On Tonight contributor a reason to mention USA’s one-season show Common Law for the second time already in 2016. Ah, television.
People’s Choice Awards 2016 (CBS, 9 p.m.): Forget all that other stuff. This is your awards show. You’re the people.
American Crime (ABC, 10 p.m.): Remember when Regina King won an Emmy for the first season of American Crime? God, that was great. Fastforward to tonight, and we’re ready for the second season of American Crime (not to be confused with the upcoming American Crime Story, in which Ryan Murphy is inventing the genre of anthology crime drama that American Crime just so happens to fall under). King is back, as well as Felicity Huffman, Timothy Hutton, Elvis Nolasco, Richard Cabral, and Lili Taylor—only this time, they’re playing different characters in a new storyline. This season tells the story of high school boy Taylor Blaine: “After the shocking photos of Taylor are posted, circumstances become more complicated when he accuses two players on an elite private high school’s championship basketball team—Kevin LaCroix and Eric Tanner—of drugging, assaulting and then posting the pictures of him online.” Sounds like the perfect amount of both Americans and crime, and we’re sure Joshua Alston’s pre-air review of the season would agree; Pilot Viruet will deliver her own verdict after the premiere airs.
Man Seeking Woman (FXX, 10:30 p.m.): No, you guys. The second season premiere of Man Seeking Woman being titled “Wings” doesn’t mean the show is changing gears and paying homage to the ‘90s sitcom. It should mean that, but it doesn’t. In fact, the episode is all about how “Mike resents Josh for spending all his time with his new girlfriend.” See? Not a Daly or Weber in the whole synopsis. Not even a Haden Church or Shalhoub. (Hey, reboot trigger-happy NBC! You chose and dropped Coach over Wings? Come on!) Regardless, Kate Kulzick will continue to follow Josh on his quest for love and happiness. Even if it doesn’t end at a small airport.
Steven Universe (Cartoon Network, 5:30 p.m.)
Modern Family (ABC, 9 p.m.)
Black-ish (ABC, 9:30 p.m.)
American Horror Story (FX, 10 p.m.)
Elsewhere in TV Club
In addition to the return of “Peak TV” to the airwaves, we’ve also got a reminder of the television that came before with LaToya Ferguson’s 100 Episodes piece on Gossip Girl. No, it’s not just 1,000-plus words about Gossip Dan. Mostly.
Also, you like Random Roles? Of course you do. Here’s a new one, as Will Harris takes on Gilbert Gottfried. We hope you read entire interview with Gottfried’s voice in your head. Hell, we hope you read this blurb with Gottfried’s voice in your head.
What else is on?
The Mysteries Of Laura (NBC, 8 p.m.): In “The Mystery Of The Triple Threat,” we instead choose to rewatch what is considered the greatest match in the history of TNA Wrestling (because of that whole “triple threat” thing, get it?):
My 600-lb Life (TLC, 8 / 9 p.m.): Heads up on the two-fer of My 600-lb Life, which starts with “Moments Of Truth,” where “breakthrough moments in the weight-loss journeys of more than two dozen people in the show’s history are recalled.” The second hour is the fourth season premiere, “Nikki’s Story,” in which “a costume designer finds her career threatened when her weight increases to 650 pounds, so she prepares for gastric-bypass surgery and gets psychological help to uncover the causes of her lifelong secret eating habit.”
Tia Mowry At Home (Cooking Channel, 9 p.m.): It’s “Cree’s Birthday Party,” which means Tia has a reason to turn her son’s fifth birthday into a reason to focus on her whole cooking thing. (Can’t you see your cooking obsession is tearing your family apart, Tia?!?! At least based on the narrative we’re creating in these What’s On Tonights?!?!) “She devises a menu that has appeal to both kids and adults, with recipes for mini mac and cheese muffins, a grilled corn salad, roasted broccoli and for dessert, whoopie pies.” What about the birthday cake, Tia? What about the cake?!?!?!?
Alaskan Bush People (Discovery Channel, 9 p.m.): “Browns make plans for the wolf pack.” The wolf pac(k), huh?
Property Brothers (HGTV, 9 p.m.): “A frustrating house hunt for eager newlyweds, who repeatedly have been outbid on homes they are wanting to buy.” Wow, we didn’t know Property Brothers was just a weekly experiment in creating the first act of a mediocre psychological thriller.
My Crazy Ex (Lifetime Movie Network, 9 p.m.): This week’s episode is “Seething, Thieving & Teething,” which we suppose is the My Crazy Ex equivalent of “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’.” (It’s also another reason for us to miss Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.)
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC, 9 p.m.): In “Catfishing Teacher” (hehe), “a rendezvous with a teacher is planned by a high-school student, but the situation turns much more dangerous for the teen.” We’ll be honest: We’re really excited to watch this episode. And not just because “Catfishing Teacher” is such an aggressively effortless episode title. Also: Stupid teen.
Nova (PBS, 9 p.m.): You want to learn about “Secret Tunnel Warfare”? Then watch this episode of Nova.
Newlyweds: The First Year (Bravo, 10 p.m.): “Trust issues surface between Adonis and Erica; Craig organizes a camping honeymoon; Rob and Ro are at odds when they move into a larger apartment; and Rob and Tara anticipate their lavish Italian honeymoon, yet a fear of flying could jeopardize the trip.” The rule of three dictates that there should have been one more Rob in this synopsis to make sure that each Rob couple would succeed. So now every one of these couples will fail.
Restaurant Startup (CNBC, 10 p.m.): “In the Season 3 premiere, two steakhouses, including one in Queens and another in Stockton, Cal., strive to present a more casual setting.” Our advice? Weekend Tuesday. (Alright, now we’re done talking about Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.)
House Hunters / House Hunters International (HGTV, 10 / 10:30 p.m.): House Hunters says “Musicians Look for Home With Rehearsal Space in D.C. Suburbs;” House Hunters International says “Return To The Shire.” We say house hunting shows have very stressful episode titles on both ends of the spectrum.
Pawn Stars (History Channel, 10 / 10:30 p.m.): Star Wars and Titanic! They are the true stars of the pawn. At least they are this week, in “The Pawn Awakens” and “Titanic Pawn.” Quick question: Has Pawn Stars always based its episodes on hacky prom themes?
Chicago P.D. (NBC, 10 p.m.): “A doctor with a link to Voight is investigated when four of his patients are committed to Chicago Med following chemo overdoses; and Burgess and Platt work together to clear Roman’s name.” Sounds stressful, but it also sounds like that means we need a new Chicago Platt Update. Chicago Platt Update: Yep. The Platt-Man is in this episode of Chicago P.D. We know these shows are Dick Wolf joints, but come on. Oliver Platt is the one really running things in Chi-Town.
Rich In Faith (Oxygen, 10 p.m.): “Rich and DC meet with friends in the City of Angels. Meanwhile, DC has a discussion about babies; Rich makes a permanent decision; and a couple receive an unexpected souvenir.” If the “permanent decision” isn’t “have a baby” and the “unexpected souvenir” isn’t “a baby,” then… Wait a minute. The episode is titled “Baby Talk And Tattoos.” So we guess at least one of those things is “a tattoo” and not “a baby.” Booooo!
Rev Runs Around The World (Travel Channel, 10 / 10:30 p.m.): In “Geneva: Cheese, Watch, Chocolate,” Rev Run has apparently decided to go full stereotyping tourist: “Rev is tempted by Swiss chocolate and cheese during a trip to Geneva, Switzerland.” Sadly, the next episode isn’t “Italy: It’s-A Me, Mario!” Instead, it’s “Amsterdam: Rev Wants To Chaperone.” in which “Rev wants to chaperone Russy on a date in Amsterdam.” How this show gets from point A to point Q, we’ll never quite comprehend.
Watch What Happens: Live (Bravo, 11 p.m.): Dave Foley is making his way to Watch What Happens HQ, but it looks like someone else is joining him. Currently, said joiner is “TBD,” so we’re just going to assume it’s the rest of the Kids In The Hall. Andy Cohen loves sketch comedy, you know.
Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out (MTV, 11 p.m.): Fat Joe, Clipse, and Pharrell have come to take us back to 2006. Really, this supposedly new episode is actually an episode from 2006. We’re keeping this here though to remind you all of 2006. 2006!
American Gangster (Sundance, 5:30 p.m.): “Set in the early 1970s, this biopic chronicles real-life Harlem drug kingpin Frank Lucas and the New York cop sworn to bring him down.” By the way, we’re still waiting for the Denzel Washington Is The Greatest Actor Of All Time Period podcast version of this movie: all Frank Lucas story and none of that (perfectly fine) Russell Crowe stuff. What is the internet for if not that editing job?
Robin Hood: Men In Tights (ABC Family, 6 p.m.): With Galavant having just returned for its second season, we’re in the cheeky musical mood. So cue the movie that Galavant spent far too much of its first season being compared too (it’s alright to like two things, people!), Robin Hood: Men In Tights. Do it for the Elwes.
Sports, sports, all type of sports
Women’s Basketball: Rhode Island at George Washington (NBC Sports, 12 p.m.)
NBA Basketball: Knicks at Heat (ESPN, 7 p.m.)
College Basketball: Florida at Tennessee (ESPN2, 7 p.m.)
NBA Basketball: Pacers at Magic (FSN, 7 p.m.)
College Basketball: Seton Hall at Villanova (FS1, 7 p.m.)
College Basketball: South Florida at Central Florida (ESPNews, 7 p.m.)
College Basketball: Duke at Wake Forest (ESPNU, 7 p.m.)
NHL Hockey: Penguins at Blackhawks (NBC Sports, 8 p.m.)
College Basketball: California at Oregon (ESPN2, 9 p.m.)
College Basketball: Xavier at St. John’s (FS1, 9 p.m.)
College Basketball: Massachusetts at Dayton (CBS Sports, 8 p.m.)
College Basketball: Texas Tech at Iowa State (ESPNU, 9 p.m.)
NBA Basketball: Grizzlies at Thunder (ESPN, 9:30 p.m.)
College Basketball: UNLV at Colorado State (CBS Sports, 10 p.m.)
College Basketball: Stanford at Oregon State (ESPNU, 11 p.m.)
WWE NXT (WWE Network, 8 p.m.)
Ring Of Honor (Comet TV, midnight)
In case you missed it
New Girl: Year of us! Year of us! Year of us!