What to Watch Tonight: Tatiana Maslany on Parks and Recreation, the Series Premiere of Reign, and the (Mid-)Season Premieres of White Collar and Covert Affairs

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What to watch on Thursday, October 17...

8pm, CBS
The Big Bang Theory
Sheldon and Amy’s relationship is strained when she begins working at his university in “The Workplace Proximity.” Howard and Raj too find themselves sharing close quarters, bunking together after an angry Bernadette kicks her hubby out of the house.

8pm, NBC
Parks and Recreation
“Gin It Up!” finds Leslie attempting to deflate a minor scandal that consumes the town’s attention, and if this isn’t Donna’s chance to bust out her white suit and glass of red wine, then I don’t know what is. Elsewhere, Ben urges Ron to draft his will, and Tom woos guest-star Tatiana Maslany

8pm, The CW
The Vampire Diaries
Elena and Katherine share the same vision of Stefan’s peril in “Original Sin.” But theirs and Damon’s search for the missing Salvatore is waylaid by a suspicious stranger who knows a little too much about the brothers’ fates. Meanwhile, Silas press-gangs a new helper into his Katherine hunt, which puts Matt in mortal danger, because what in this town doesn’t put Matt in mortal danger?

This loose historical fiction based on the life of Mary, Queen of Scots puts the “CW-sexy” back in “sixteenth-century Western European court politics.” (Hey, all of those letters are in that phrase somewhere.) In the pilot, monarch-to-be Mary Stuart arrives in France, where her planned strategic marriage to Prince Francis is confounded by the prince’s rakish half-brother and his mistrustful mother, the queen.

White Collar
With Peter on the hook for Sen. Pratt’s death, it’s up to Neal to clear his partner’s name in “At What Price.” But could the deal Neal strikes wind up costing him more than he bargained for? Or worse: Might it force him to wear a tie that clashes with his shirt and is far too wide to match his lapels?

9pm, ABC
Grey’s Anatomy
Meredith has a hard time balancing motherhood and medicine in “I Bet It Stung,” as evidenced by her attempt to remove a man’s appendix with a sippy cup instead of a scalpel. Around the hospital, Callie and Owen are consumed by the emotional turmoil surrounding one patient while Jo grows too close to another.

Covert Affairs
A solo Annie begins her first operation under deep cover. It’s so deep, in fact, that she’s actually over on House Hunters on HGTV instead of on this show. Meanwhile in “Dead,” Arthur, Auggie, and Joan work to control the consequences of Annie’s supposed demise.

10pm, ABC
Fitz and Mellie spill their true feelings for one another, warns the summary for “Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington,” and it's a good the government has reopened because it’ll take the combined efforts of the FCC, the CDC, and FEMA to contain the sheer tonnage of toxicity that’s about to be unleashed upon the airwaves of an unprepared nation. At Pope & Associates, a Midwestern mother enlists the firm’s services under dubious circumstances.

10pm, CBS
In “Poison Pen,” a woman with whom Sherlock shares a history may be involved in his latest case, the lethal poisoning of a financial consulting CEO.

10pm, NBC
Kristina’s campaign deals out new ways to discomfit Adam, Zeek seizes a chance to drop some wisdom on his grandkids, and Drew attempts to cozy up to Natalie. Elsewhere, “In Dreams Begin Responsibilities” finds Crosby handling a pain-in-keester rock star, while what Sarah and Amber have here is a failure to communicate about the wedding.

12am, Cartoon Network
Childrens Hospital
The inspiring bond between frenemies David Wain and Just Falcon is chronicled in “My Friend Falcon.” Have your hankies at the ready.

– Andrew Dice Clay, Wayne Brady, and Ambery Riley & Derek Hough on The Arsenio Hall Show, Syndicated, check local listings
– Jared Leto, Kaitlin Olson, and Ricky Skaggs & Bruce Hornsby on Conan, 11pm, TBS
– UFC fighter Brendan Schaub on Chelsea Lately, 11pm, E!
– Punk band Death on Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, 11pm, FXX
– Selena Gomez on Late Show with David Letterman, 11:35pm, CBS
– Kerry Washington, “Science Bob” Pflugfelder, and Sleigh Bells on Jimmy Kimmel Live, 11:35pm, ABC
– Allison Janney and Ben Schwartz on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, 12:37am, CBS


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