Thursday TV: Spike Turns Into Paramount

maxresdefaultIt could be seen as part of the reckoning: The demise of Spike TV, which called itself “The First Network for Men” when it premiered 15 years ago, had a cartoon called “Stripperella” and the “Guys Choice Awards.”

Today it changes to the Paramount Network, to reflect the studio that hopes to fill it with more high minded product. One holdover will be the “Lip Sync Battle” (Paramount, 9 p.m.), which, on the occasion of the changeover, brings a special one-hour episode dedicated to the music of Michael Jackson. Hailee Stansfield and Neil Patrick Harris and the cast of Cirque du Soleil’s “Michael Jackson One” are among the participants. LL Cool J and Chrissy Teigen host.

Sad that it’s the final season of “Portlandia” (IFC, 10 p.m.) considering how well-observed and executed its series of short scenes are. This time out, there’s a delightful take-off on true crime podcasts, and a reluctant resistance punk band fronted by Fred Armisen’s rebel leader and his reluctant former bandmates Henry Rollins, Krist Novoselic of Nirvana and Brendan Canby of Fugazi.

Why go now? “We just thought that we would like to have some sense of control over how to conclude the series, as opposed to it getting away from us, or getting canceled,” Armisen told reporters at the TV Critics Association winter press tour last week. [More of my reporting from the event can be found here].

A new talk show featuring African American Men on various topics makes its premiere, “BET’s Mancave” (BET, 10:30 p.m.).

“Scandal” (ABC, 9 p.m.) resumes its final season, with fallout from Rowan’s desperate act.

The drama “Damnation” (USA, 10 p.m.) reaches its finale.

Superheroes linger, with “Arrow” (The CW, 9 p.m.).

Claire and Alex look for the dreamcatcher on “Supernatural” (The CW, 8 p.m.).

Holden throws himself into his normal life on the second season premiere of “Beyond” (Freeform, 8 p.m.).

Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, Janet and Jason head off to a goal on “The Good Place” (NBC, 8:30 p.m.).

A hacker gets into the hospital computer on “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC, 8 p.m.).

“Flip or Flop Nashville” (HGTV, 9 p.m.) is a Tennessee-based variety of the real estate show.

Police look into Simon’s accidental shooting on “How to Get Away with Murder” (ABC, 10 p.m.).

The new game show “Black Card Revoked” (BET, 10 p.m.) that quizzes players on black culture, makes its premiere on Black Entertainment Television. Tony Rock hosts.

“Young Sheldon” (CBS, 8:30 p.m.) wants a computer.

Will’s ex gets married on “Will & Grace” (NBC, 9 p.m.) and Bonnie and Adam discuss their own wedding on “Mom” (CBS, 9 p.m.).

Contestants on “Top Chef” (Bravo, 10 p.m.) make breakfast.

“S.W.A.T.” (CBS, 10 p.m.) dos after a drug smuggler.

Jen wants to join Tyler’s band on “Life in Pieces” (CBS, 9:30 p.m.).

Dawson gets unsettling news on “Chicago Fire” (NBC, 10 p.m.).

Designers create fashion inspired by food and wine on “Project Runway All Stars” (Lifetime, 9 p.m.).

The public is asked for leads on “Killing Fields” (Discovery, 9 p.m.).

Koothrappall dates a married woman on “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS, 8 p.m.).

“The Four” (Fox, 8 p.m.) remain under siege.

Carol is excited about her new position on “Great News” (NBC, 9:30 p.m.).

“American Pickers” (History, 9 p.m.) take a look back.

Turner Classic Movies’ month-long Thursday night salute to Charles Boyer continues with “Cluny Brown” (8 p.m.), “The Earrings of Madam De…” (10 p.m.), “Uno Parisienne” (midnight), “The Happy Time” (1:45 a.m.), “The Cobweb” (3:30 a.m.) and “Confidential Agent” (5:45 a.m.).

Hockey includes Buffalo at Rangers (NBC Sports, 7 p.m.) and Pittsburgh at Los Angeles (NBC Sports, 10 p.m.).

NBA action has Philadelphia at Boston (TNT, 7 p.m.) and Minnesota at Houston (TNT, 9:30 p.m.).

Men’s college basketball includes Jacksonville State at Morehead State (CBS Sports, 7 p.m.), Murray State State at Belmont (ESPNU, 7 p.m.), Minnesota at Maryland (Fox Sports 1, 8:30 p.m.), UAB at Western Kentucky (CBS Sports, 9 p.m.), Saint Mary’s, Calif., at Gonzaga (ESPN, 9 p.m.), Southern California at Oregon (ESPN2, 9 p.m.), North Carolina Asheville at Winthrop (ESPNU, 9 p.m.), Loyola Marymount at BYU (ESPNU, 11 p.m.) and UCLA at Oregon State (Fox Sports 1, 11 p.m.).

Women’s games include Tennessee at Notre Dame (ESPN, 7 p.m.).

Third round play begins in the Australian Open (Tennis, 7 p.m.; ESPN2, 11 p.m.).

In figure skating it’s the pairs free program in the European Championships (NBC Sports, noon).

Daytime Talk

Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Anna Paquin. The View: Nick Cannon, Yvette Nicole Brown. The Talk: Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Jaymes Vaughan. Harry Connick: Danny Seo, Geoff Stults, Jackee Harry. Steve Harvey: Wilmer Valderrama, Griselle Eisenberg (rerun). Ellen DeGeneres: Saoirse Ronan, Dierks Bentley. Wendy Williams: Rickey Smiley. The Real: Tiffany Aliche.

Late Talk

Stephen Colbert: Sharon Stone, Rob Riggle, Fall Out Boy. Jimmy Kimmel: Adam Levine, Jason Jones, Maroon 5. Jimmy Fallon: Jessica Chastain, Ricky Martin, Franz Ferdinand. Seth Meyers: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Carrie Brownstein, Glen Hansard, John Stanier. James Corden: Michael Pena, O’Shea Jackson Jr. Carson Daly: Richard Linklater, Pup, Sarah Gadon (rerun). Trevor Noah: Ricky Gervais. Jordan Klepper: David Cay Johnston. Conan O’Brien: Gerard Butler, Selma Blair, Grizzly Bear.

 

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