Thursday TV: A Trip Back to ‘Atlanta’

atlanta2At once infused with a brutal reality about the ghetto, but also fanciful and not always explained surrealism, Donald Glover’s inventive and sly “Atlanta” (FX, 10 p.m.) is back for a confident second season, in which his character Ern continues to try to manage his cousin’s hip hop career, which is sort of catching on — to the degree that people compliment his music even as they are robbing him, or white girls are doing acoustic versions of his songs on YouTube.

Money continues to be a problem on the series, and even when they have it, some places won’t accept it. Ern has to help out the police woes of his uncle Willie (a feisty Katt Williams). And there’s a whole subtitle to the season in which there is a little more desperation before the holidays: “Robbin’ Season.”

One of those slick reality shows from the makers of “The Hills” now focuses on hopefuls in Nashville on “Music City” (CMT, 10 and 10:30 p.m.).

It’s crossover night in Shondaland with Olivia on “Scandal” (ABC, 9 p.m.) getting a visit from Annalise from “How to Get Away from Murder” (ABC, 10 p.m.) and vice versa.

And the crew from the impending firefighter drama “Station 19” will be introduced in an episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC, 8 p.m.).

“Gotham” (Fox, 8 p.m.) returns with new episodes, with Poison Ivy, Toy Maker and the lot.

Steve Harvey hosts yet another show, a competitive talent contest with a legendary name, “Showtime at the Apollo” (Fox, 9 p.m.). Winners get to come back and try for their own headlining show.

Today is the supposed premiere date for the comedy “A.P. Bio” (NBC, 8:30 and 9:30 p.m.). But it’s been on so many times as a sneak preview, we’re already up to episodes three and four.

The mayor tries to make “Portlandia” (IFC, 10 p.m.), the city, more diverse.

An Isaac Mizrahi exhibit serves as inspiration on “Project Runway All Stars” (Lifetime, 9 p.m.).

Previously eliminated contestants of “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” (VH1, 8 p.m.) return for revenge.

Paul Sr. and Paul Jr. are back, but with their own shops on a return to “American Chopper” (Discovery, 10 p.m.).

“Port Protection” (National Geographic, 10 p.m.) is a place in Alaska, not a practice. Trapping is their game.

Hermann becomes a life coach on “Chicago Fire” (NBC, 10 p.m.).

Labor begins with difficulty for Bernadette on “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS, 8 p.m.).

“Young Sheldon” (CBS, 8:30 p.m.) hangs around with Missy.

The affair of Hondo and Jessica is discovered on “S.W.A.T.” (CBS, 10 p.m.).

Jack and Mary escape Michael’s grasp on “Supernatural” (The CW, 8 p.m.).

On “Mom” (CBS, 9 p.m.), Jill is back from her wellness retreat.

Will and Karen produce a telenovela on “Will & Grace” (NBC, 9 p.m.).

The release of a new video game attracts a line at “Superstore” (NBC, 8 p.m.).

Greg has a tough time getting to a job interview on “Life in Pieces” (CBS, 9:30 p.m.).

Yellow Jacket visits Pastor Ian on “Beyond” (Freeform, 8 p.m.).

Might be tough to get parts for “Alaska Mega Machines” (Science, 8 p.m.). They look at passenger hovercraft on the regular “Mega Machines” (Science, 10 p.m.).

Alan’s not sure he can continue on “60 Days In” (A&E, 10 p.m.).

A church lady is “Betrayed” (Investigation Discovery, 10 p.m.).

Contestants on “Top Chef” (Bravo, 9 p.m.) go fly fishing.

“Arrow” (The CW, 9 p.m.) faces the Black Siren.

Not sure an episode of “My 600-lb. Life” (TLC, 8 p.m.) needs to be further supersized.

The international competition of the Winter Games is over. But there’s “Thursday Night Darts: Premier League” (BBC America, 10 p.m.).

Some who live “Life Below Zero” (National Geographic, 9 p.m.) don’t even have roommates.

It’s Zendaya vs. Tom Holland on “Lip Sync Battle” (Paramount, 9:30 p.m.), and at 10, it’s Luis Fonsi vs. Joan Smalls.

Best Picture Oscar winners and nominees continue on Turner Classic Movies with “The Crowd” (6 a.m.), “Smilin’ Through” (7:45 a.m.), “Stage Door” (9:30 a.m.), “Double Indemnity” (11:15 a.m.), “Anchors Aweigh” (1:15 p.m.), “The Pride of the Yankees” (3:45 p.m.), “Sounder” (6 p.m.), “An American in Paris” (8 p.m.), “My Fair Lady” (10:15 p.m.), “Oliver!” (1:30 a.m.) and “The Broadway Melody” (4:15 a.m.).

NBA action includes Philadelphia at Cleveland (TNT, 8 p.m.) and Minnesota at Portland (TNT, 10:30 p.m.).

Hockey has Pittsburgh at Boston (NBC Sports, 7 p.m.) and Chicago at San Jose (NBC Sports, 10 p.m.).

It’s Yankees at Philadelphia (MLB, 1 p.m.) in preseason baseball.

Men’s college basketball includes Wichita State at UCF (ESPN, 7 p.m.), Tulsa at East Carolina (ESPNU, 7 p.m.), Western Kentucky at Middle Tennessee (CBS Sports, 8 p.m.), Cincinnati at Tulane (ESPN, 9 p.m.), Oregon at Washington State (ESPN2, 9 p.m.), California at Arizona State (ESPNU, 9 p.m.), South Florida at Memphis (ESPNews, 9 p.m.), Stanford at Arizona (Fox Sports 1, 10 p.m.), Oregon State at Washington (ESPN2, 11 p.m.) and Long Beach State at UC Santa Barbara (ESPNU, 11 p.m.).

In soccer, it’s U.S. vs. Germany (ESPN2, 7 p.m.) in the She Believes Cup.

Daytime Talk

Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest: Jeff Daniels, Winston. The View: Marlon Wayans, Condoleezza Rice. The Talk: Jaime Pressly. Harry Connick: Willem Dafoe, Jessie Graff, Tarana Burke, Tyler Anderson, Joseph Flamm, Bruce Kalman (rerun). Steve Harvey: Bellamy Young, Kimberly Elise. Ellen DeGeneres: Mandy Moore, Adam Devine, Adam Rippon, Dan & Shay. Wendy Williams: Kofi Scribe, Chassie Post (rerun). The Real: JD McCray.

Late Talk

Stephen Colbert: Jeff Daniels, Krysten Ritter, Noah Kahan. Jimmy Kimmel: Kobe Bryant, Khloe Kardashian, Prophets of Rage (rerun). Jimmy Fallon: Alicia Keys, Darren Criss, Rudy Francisco. Seth Meyers: Joel Edgerton, Don Lemon, J.J. Totah. James Corden: Camila Morrone, Robert Plant. Carson Daly: Sonequa Martin-Green, Amy Shark, Jade Tailor (rerun). Trevor Noah: Chadwick Boseman. Jordan Klepper: Bakari Sellers. Conan O’Brien: Heather Graham, Gad Elmaleh, Sofi Tukker.


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