What to watch on Wednesday, January 2...
If Hell is other people, then Howie Mandel and thousands of strangers showing up at your doorstep to gambol about in unison must represent some dank, secluded crawlspace in a sub-basement below the Ninth Circle. Or maybe that’s just me. Maybe the guests of honor at these flash-mob surprise parties—which tonight will include a retired firefighter and the object of a co-worker’s secret affection—are deeply moved by the swell of manically choreographed humanity. Someone at Fox clearly thinks at least the audience will be, because the network is giving us two hours of it tonight.
And the winner of Wednesday’s “NBC Is The Only Broadcast Network Airing New Scripted Programs Tonight So One Gets Mentioned Here By Default” Award is... Whitney! (Sorry, Guys with Kids, you were in the running right ‘til the end.) In “Three’s Company,” Alex’s ex-fiancée sparks tension when she visits him and Whitney for the weekend, while Roxanne is forced to spend the night at Mark’s place.
SERIES 2 FINALE, 9pm, BBC America
The team uncovers a major conspiracy, Hector finds himself in the midst of a tabloid firestorm, and Bel and Freddie cross a Rubicon. Since six episodes of The Hour per year are not nearly enough, after the season finale please support my Kickstarter for weekly webisodes where Romola Garai and Ben Whishaw just do stuff. Who cares what? It’ll be delightful even if they’re, I dunno, reading the lunch menu at a roadside diner outside Leeds to each other.
Nashville: The Whole Story
Look, ABC, I don’t want to tell you how to title your clip shows or anything, but isn’t calling an hour-long package of scenes from the first eight episodes of Nashville Season 1 “the whole story” wildly off-base? Presumably you want this series to run several seasons, or at least to finish out its first one, right? Might I suggest Nashville: A Representative Synecdoche of the Narrative Thus Far, or perhaps Nashville: Some Stuff That Went Down Last Fall?
American Horror Story: Asylum
Maybe with the new year just getting underway and everyone still a little groggy, Ryan Murphy and company will ease into things and... oh, this week the Monsignor confronts Lucifer. So never mind. Also in “The Name Game,” Dr. Arden’s experiments come to a head, and Dr. Thredson organizes a reunion for Kit.
In “Something’s Fishy,” the contestants' knife skills are put to the test. Presumably, the deftest blade-wielder will put those talents to good use in a guest spot on next week’s American Horror Story: Asylum. Also in this episode, Top Chef looks back on memorable moments in the show’s history.
– Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, and Adam Levine on Chelsea Lately, 11pm, E!
– Kevin Hart, Betty White, and Dwight Yoakam on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, 11:35pm, NBC
– Kathy Griffin and Big Boi on Late Show with David Letterman, 11:35 am, CBS
– Fred Armisen, Common, Shae Bradley and Shain Gandee, and Lupe Fiasco on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, 12:37am, NBC
WHAT ARE YOU WATCHING TONIGHT?