Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
Worth Watching: 'Discovery' finale, 'Mr. Mayor' and 'Coyote' premieres, ABC's 'The Chase,' 2 Tim Allens, Barba back on 'SVU'
AP

Worth Watching: 'Discovery' finale, 'Mr. Mayor' and 'Coyote' premieres, ABC's 'The Chase,' 2 Tim Allens, Barba back on 'SVU'

  • Updated
  • 0
{{featured_button_text}}
Worth Watching: 'Discovery' Finale, 'Mr. Mayor' & 'Coyote' Premieres, ABC's 'The Chase,' 2 Tim Allens, Barba Back on 'SVU'

A selective critical checklist of notable TV on a very busy Thursday:

Star Trek: Discovery (streaming on CBS All Access): Not to be confused with the first season currently airing on the CBS broadcast network, the future-shock third season of the flagship Trek spinoff ends with an exciting and emotional flourish. The action is intense aboard Discovery as Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) risks everything and everyone to regain control of the ship from the literally green-with-vengeance Osyraa (Janet Kidder) of the Emerald Chain. The episode's emotional core, however, is back in the Veruben nebula on the irradiated dilithium planet, where Saru (Doug Jones, sans Kelpien makeup) and his colleagues must convince the cloistered and orphaned Su'Kal (Bill Irwin) to venture out in the world to spare the galaxy from the next Burn.

'Star Trek: Discovery's Doug Jones on Saru's Very Different LookSee Also

'Star Trek: Discovery's Doug Jones on Saru's Very Different Look

Plus, what can the crew take from what Georgiou's taught them now that she's gone?

Mr. Mayor (8/7c, NBC): A match made in TV-comedy heaven, Ted Danson teams with 30 Rock masterminds Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, gliding effortlessly from his inspired work on the ethereal The Good Place into the more earthbound role of Neil Bremer, the newly elected mayor of L.A. Neil is a cluelessly benign novice, who entered politics as a lark, and while Mr. Mayor is mostly toothless as satire, it’s full of zany gags and fun performances, including Saturday Night Live veteran Bobby Moynihan as his silliest aide, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's marvelous Vella Lovell as his snarky chief of staff‑and Oscar winner Holly Hunter as his most persistent critic, who warns, "Like underwear bought in a drug store, you're not going to last two months." I give Mr. Mayor a much longer lease on life.

Roush Review: Calling on Familiar Faces (Ted Danson as 'Mr. Mayor') for Midseason LaughsSee Also

Roush Review: Calling on Familiar Faces (Ted Danson as 'Mr. Mayor') for Midseason Laughs

Comedically uneven star vehicles ('Call Me Kat,' 'Call Your Mother') are a reminder that it's often easier for comedies to create new stars than repackage fan favorites

Coyote (streaming on CBS All Access): The Shield's Michael Chiklis is right in his pugnacious element in this grueling six-episode melodrama (all available for binge-watching) situated on the U.S.-Mexico border. He's Ben Clemons, newly and unhappily retired after 32 years as a border guard, a stickler for immigration enforcement until violent circumstances compel him to help a pregnant Mexican teen, on the run from cartel thugs, cross the border to seek asylum. Too bad that by doing so, he puts his own family at risk, and to keep them safe he must start doing the bidding of his sworn enemies.

Michael Chiklis Returns to TV in the Nail-Biting Drama 'Coyote'See Also

Michael Chiklis Returns to TV in the Nail-Biting Drama 'Coyote'

'He's still a beast!' says executive producer David Graziano of the actor.

The Chase (9/8c, ABC): The centerpiece of ABC's new Thursday game night is the one to watch. (It's preceded by a Celebrity Wheel of Fortune at 8/7c, where comedian Leslie Jones, Grey's Anatomy's Chandra Wilson, and skateboard Tony Hawk spin for charity.) The personable Sara Haines hosts the fast-moving Chase, where trivia buffs face the masters of their trade: celebrated Jeopardy! champs Ken Jennings, James Holzhauer, and Brad Rutter, who will rotate in the role of "the Chaser." They sit atop a money pyramid, and contestants must outwit and outplay the Chaser to build and keep their cash winnings. I'm hooked.

Brad Rutter on Joining ABC's 'The Chase' & Remembering 'Jeopardy!'s Alex TrebekSee Also

Brad Rutter on Joining ABC's 'The Chase' & Remembering 'Jeopardy!'s Alex Trebek

The trivia master readies for a new kind of game, and stays coy on guest hosting the show that made him famous.

Followed on ABC by The Hustler (10/9c), where droll Craig Ferguson stingily parcels out trivia questions to a group of five strangers, one of whom is a plant. The real point of the game is for the remaining players — the "Hustler" eliminates two during the course of the game — to figure out who the "Hustler" is. This was a lot more fun on The Mole.

'Celebrity Wheel of Fortune's Starry Lineup Is Here, & It's Massive (VIDEO)See Also

'Celebrity Wheel of Fortune's Starry Lineup Is Here, & It's Massive (VIDEO)

Pat Sajak and Vanna White announce the starry lineup, plus when the show premieres.

Last Man Standing (9:30/8:30c, Fox): Tim Allen does double duty in what may be the highest-concept episode of the long-running sitcom to date. When Vanessa (Nancy Travis) goes behind husband Mike's (Allen) back to hire a handyman to fix the kitchen disposal, she is amused — and Mike is stunned — when the repairman turns out to be his doppelgänger: Home Improvement's very own Tim Taylor (Allen in the role that made him famous), still grunting and preaching his "More Power" mantra. It's a fun callback to a fondly remembered show, with the unavoidable subtext that those were indeed better times.

'Last Man Standing's Showrunner on That 'Home Improvement' Crossover & More Season 9 DeetsSee Also

'Last Man Standing's Showrunner on That 'Home Improvement' Crossover & More Season 9 Deets

Plus, an exclusive sneak peek at the premiere to give you a taste of what's to come.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (9/8c, NBC): Another throwback, when former ADA Rafael Barba (Raúl Esparza) returns to SVU on the other side of the aisle, as a defense attorney, facing Carisi (Peter Scanavino) in a tricky and emotionally heated case that plays on the jury's sympathies over following the rule of law. Adding to the conflict: Carisi's feeling of betrayal by his former SVU colleagues, whom he feels brought Barba in to undermine his authority. Not the happiest way to ring in 2021 (the episode opens on New Year's Eve) on a show that wins the prize for most inconsistent masking during a pandemic.

'Law & Order: SVU' Boss Previews Barba's Return: He 'Has Something to Prove'See Also

'Law & Order: SVU' Boss Previews Barba's Return: He 'Has Something to Prove'

Plus, what are the chances we'll see Raúl Esparza again in Season 22?

Inside Thursday TV: Streaming highlights include the Netflix premiere of the acclaimed film Pieces of a Woman, starring The Crown's Vanessa Kirby in the emotionally demanding role of a woman struggling to recover from the loss of her baby… HBO Max imports from Germany the dark comedy Arthur's Law, about a guy whose plot to cash in on his obnoxious wife's life-insurance policy sets off an escalating series of mishaps… Fox's Hell's Kitchen (8/7) moves its 19th season of culinary mayhem to Las Vegas… TBS's Go-Big Show (9/8c) is a showcase for huge stunts, extreme acts and world-record events, all hoping to impress the judges: Snoop Dogg, Rosario Dawson, Jennifer Nettles and AEW's Cody Rhodes.

Staying in? We've got you covered

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

all

Breaking News

Huskers Breaking News

News Alert