What to Watch Tonight: The Royal Pains Finale, Survivor's Return, and How Booze Built America

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What to watch on Wednesday, September 19...

Happy birthday to anyone whose birthday it is today! I just realized I never wish anyone a happy birthday. It seems rude, even though I have no way of knowing when any of you were born. So make yourself a cupcake! Then watch a lot of TV. Here's your television line-up for the night:

SEASON 25 PREMIERE, 8pm, CBS
Survivor: Philippines
Who's ready for Season 25!? This show's never gonna die! In tonight's premiere, titled "Survivor Smacked Me in the Chops" three former castaways (Jonathan Penner, Michael Skupin, and Russell Swan) and 15 new ones (actress Lisa Welchel and former pro baseball player Jeff Kent included) will be divided into three 'tribes' on the Caramoan Islands to compete for the bragging rights that go a little something like this, "I survived on an island in front of a television crew who was always eating the most delicious food in front of me because that one town that was within walking distance used to deliver it to craft services on a daily basis! It was torture!" But I mean, hey, it's a good time. Let's watch!

SEASON FINALE, 9pm, USA
Royal Pains
This might be this evening's only scripted series that's airing a new episode—AND IT'S THE FINALE! What are we going to do?!? Are Wednesday nights just going to get sucked into reality oblivion from now on?! We needed you, Royal Pains. We needed you. But while we're talking about, here's what's happening in Season 8's very last episode: Hank treats a volleyball player who's suffering from mysterious symptoms, and that for some reason inspires Hank to reevaluate his life in a big way. And you know how Divya's been enjoying a little summer fling with polo player Rafa? Well, tonight that whole "relationship" will take a very unexpected turn... but for better or worse, I just don't know!

SPECIAL, 10pm, Science
i.am.mars: Reach for the Stars
Guess who's responsible for this scientific delight? If you answered, "Will Smith"—ERRRRR, wrong. If you answered, "will.i.am"—DINGDINGDINGDING, how'd you guess?! So clever, you guys. So yeah, this special will document the technical and artistic process that went into uploading will.i.am's song, "Reach for the Stars" into NASA's Curiosity (the little robot guy who landed on Mars back in August and who's slowly making his way across the martian floor, blowing up rocks with lasers as he goes) and the work required to actually hear the song from Earth while it was blasting just 350 million interplanetary miles away. It really is a scientific feat: the first time a song has ever been broadcast from another planet to Earth. So it's worth a gander, I'd say.


SPECIAL, 10pm, Discovery
How Booze Built America
This show's slogan should be, "Just sayin'." Discovery's favorite front man, Mike Rowe, will host this three-part special that explores how alcohol may have been responsible for catapulting colonial Americans into the American Revolution by playing a major part in the Boston Tea Party. But daddy said those crates were filled with his sleepy-time te—oooooooh... suddenly it all makes sense.


SEASON 23 PREMIERE, 10pm, MTV
The Challenge: Battle of the Seasons
Can you believe how many reality shows are on Wednesday nights? I'm tellin' ya. So this premiere is called "Tis the Season" because somebody didn't get the memo that the "season" doesn't really start until November. But that's okay. In it, cast-mates from seven various seasons of The Real World will meet up in Bodrum Turkey to begin competing for the grand prize of $250k, most of which will go to taxes once achieved. Still, tensions are already high—in just the first episode we'll be privy to a shocking hookup and a fight that involves the entire house. Seriously. The entire house. I believe that's called a brawl.


PLUS ALL NEW EPISODES OF...
The X Factor, 8 p.m., Fox
Oh Sit!, 8 p.m., The CW
Abandoned, 9 p.m., NatGeo
Ghost Hunters, 9 p.m., Syfy
Not My Mama's Meals, 9 p.m., Cooking
Buying and Selling, 9 p.m., HGTV
Restaurant: Impossible, 9 p.m., Food
Sons of Guns, 9 p.m., Discovery
Storage Wars Texas, 9 p.m., A&E;
Toy Hunter, 9 p.m., Travel
Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry?, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery
Big Brother, LIVE SEASON FINALE, 9:30 p.m., CBS
Cajun Pawn Stars, 9:30 p.m., History
Dirty Little Lies, 9:30 p.m., Investigation Discovery
American Hoggers, 10 p.m., A&E;
American Restoration, 10 p.m., History
Auction Hunters, 10 p.m., Spike
Family Guns, 10 p.m., NatGeo
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, 10 p.m., TLC
I Married a Mobster, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery
Paranormal Witness, 10 p.m., Syfy
Restaurant Stakeout, 10 p.m., Food
The Soup, 10 p.m., E!
Top Chef Masters, 10 p.m., Bravo
House Hunters International, 10:30 p.m., HGTV

LATE-NITE PICKS:
Melissa Etheridge on Chelsea Lately, 11 p.m., E!
Simon Helberg and Anna Kendrick on Conan, 11 p.m., TBS
Michael Strahan and Arthur Meyer on Late Show With David Letterman, 11:35 p.m., CBS
Amy Poehler and TV host Joe Scarborough on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, 11:35 p.m., NBC
Julie Bowen and Nate Parker on Jimmy Kimmel Live, 12 a.m., ABC
Maya Rudolph, Dave Annable, and Elmo on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, 12:37 a.m., NBC
Sophia Bush on The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, 12:37 a.m., CBS

 

What are you watching tonight?

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