Photo: The Family (ABC)

Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, March 3. All times are Eastern.

Top pick

The Family (ABC, 9 p.m.): You’d be forgiven for not quite grasping the premise of The Family from its cryptic promos. But thankfully Joshua Alston lays it all out in his pre-air review: The show centers on the return of a teen named Adam Warren, who was presumed dead following his disappearance 10 years ago. Now the Warrens must adjust to Adam’s return while matriarch Claire manages her political career. A thriller with pulpier elements, the show’s real draw is its prestigious cast including Alison Pill, Zach Gilford, Rupert Graves, and Joan Allen (who is making something of a habit of abduction stories between this and Room). Plus Andrew McCarthy plays the neighbor wrongfully imprisoned for Adam’s murder. Joshua notes the show is “surprisingly quick to crank its burners up to 11 and get the pots boiling.” And it does so tonight before switching to its regular time slot this Sunday at 9 p.m.


Also noted

Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, 8 p.m.): That’s right, halfway through this show’s 12th season, The A.V. Club has finally decided to give Grey’s Anatomy regular coverage a go. Caroline Siede scrubs in and grabs a scalpel to dissect tonight’s episode, in which Meredith’s first surgical patient returns to the hospital with a new aneurysm.


The 100 (The CW, 9 p.m.): In “Thirteen,” The 100 flashes back to a “darker chapter of humanity’s past.” Considering the show started by sending 100 teens to their presumed death, that’s really saying something. Elsewhere Lexa tries to maintain peace and Clarke uncovers a “game-changing truth.” The creators are billing this episode as crucial one, and Kyle Fowle will be there to make sense of it all.

Vikings (History Channel, 10 p.m.): Last week, Dennis Perkins criticized Vikings’ “near-disaster of a second episode,” but there’s always that hope the show can right itself. This week a “mysterious visitor” advises Ragnar to take mercy on Floki. We can only assume that’s part of an unexpected History Channel/Netflix crossover in which Fuller House’s Uncle Jesse delivers his signature catchphrase, “Have mercy.”


Regular Coverage

You, Me And The Apocalypse (NBC, 8 p.m.)

DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow (The CW, 8 p.m.)

Elementary (CBS, 9 p.m.)

How To Get Away With Murder (ABC, 10 p.m.)

Baskets (FX, 10 p.m.)

Portlandia (IFC, 10 p.m.)

Workaholics (Comedy Central, 10 p.m.)

Idiotsitter (Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m.)

Elsewhere in TV Club

We sit down with former child actor Jonathan Lipnicki to chat about his roles in Jerry Maguire, Stuart Little, Monk, and Dawson’s Creek, as well as his new satirical webseries Agents Of F.I.E.L.D. Then in a new Expert Witness we interview Randy Trumbull-Holper and Lisa Dickson, two University Of Milwaukee-Wisconsin managers who helped put together the February 11 Democratic presidential debate.


What else is on?

Top Chef (Bravo, 9 p.m.): In this special 75-minute episode, the competitors cook for chef Traci Des. Then they try to wow the San Francisco culinary elite with cuisine inspired by the restaurant Fleur de Lys. Sounds tres fancy.


A Year In Space (PBS, 9 p.m.): Astronaut Scott Kelly returned to Earth yesterday after a yearlong stay on the International Space Station. Kelly now holds the record for longest consecutive time in space by an American astronaut, but even more cooler, his identical twin brother—fellow astronaut Mark Kelly—offers a perfect control to examine how long-term space travel effects the human body. PBS explores all that and more in this hour-long special, which gets a repeat airing after yesterday’s premiere.

Mom (CBS, 9 p.m.): Bonnie has a health scare that worries the Plunkett family. Christy tries to provide support while Allison Janney collects more footage for her Emmy reel.


Republican Presidential Candidates Debate (Fox News Channel, 9 p.m.): Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly, and Chris Wallace host this debate from the Fox Theater in Detroit, Michigan. A surprise performance from the touring company of Million Dollar Quartet would really spice things up.

Colony (USA, 10 p.m.): There are only three more episodes left in Colony’s first season (although USA has already renewed the show for a second season). Shit gets real tonight as a high-ranking Resistance member agrees to cut a deal and Bram proposes a risky journey outside the walls.


Shades Of Blue (NBC, 10 p.m.): According to TV Guide’s plot summary, “Wozniak takes charge of the big job after picking up a package that’s not what he expected.” We have a desperate desire to add “If you know what I mean” to the end of that sentence.

Join Or Die With Craig Ferguson (History Channel, 11 p.m.): Elijah Wood, comedian Bryan Callen, and professor Dan Schnur debate history’s most doomed presidential campaign. Hopefully years from now, we’ll be able to assign that title to Donald Trump.


Men In Black (SyFy, 7p.m.): A reminder of how disappointing it is that contemporary action blockbusters no longer come with related music videos.

Black Narcissus (TCM, 9:30 p.m.): A 1947 drama about jealousy and lust within a convent of nuns living in an isolated area of the Himalayas. Black Narcissus stars Deborah Kerr, Jean Simmons, David Farrar, and Kathleen Byron as a mentally unstable nun. Though noted for its stunning visuals (the film won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography), it’s mostly a reminder that 1940s cinema was apparently way edgier than we imagined it being.


Premier Boxing Champions on NBC (NBC Sports, 7 p.m.): Your What’s On Tonight Correspondent just saw Creed so she’s pretty sure she’s now completely versed in the world of boxing. And you can be too if you watch this match between Omar Figueroa Jr. and Antonio DeMarco, who are—adorably—competing in the super-lightweight division.

In case you missed it

The Goldbergs: No one puts Will Harris in a corner, especially not when he’s reviewing the Dirty Dancing vs. Footloose episode of The Goldbergs.