Thursday TV: ‘Russian Dolls,’ Republicans Debate

With “Jersey Shore” (MTV, 10 p.m.) scoring another ratings triumph in its season return last week, its no wonder it’s spurning lookalikes.

“Russian Dolls” (Lifetime, 10:30 p.m.) was originally pitched as the “Jersey Shore” with Russian-Americans instead of Italians (and pseudo Italians). Then someone was calling it “The Real Housewives of Brighton Beach.”

In reality, the show is duller than both franchises, concentrating on the demanding Russian women in a square-mile area of Brooklyn, where the elders are trying to maintain the old ways (except when they are dressing sexy and belly dancing) and the young girls are under pressure to marry other Russians young and begin producing babies.

Other than the accents, which suggest a kind of “Natasha in the City,” there isn’t much to recommend the new series.

A Republican Presidential Debate (Fox News, 9 p.m.) is held at Iowa State University, by the network brought to you by the Republican Party. Its unstated theme: Who hates Obama more?

While that race won’t be decided for months, an eighth season winner is named at the end of a two hour “So You Think You Can Dance” (Fox, 8 p.m.) with a guest judging panel that includes Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Robin Antin, Lil’ C, Tyde Diorio and Sonya Tayeh. Before then, the rest of the finalists return, some stars appear and if we’re not lucky, Katie Holmes will return for a big number.

Canceled Wednesday, tonight is the last episode of “Lopez Tonight” (TBS, midnight), the talk show that made way for “Conan” (TBS, 11 p.m.) last year.

Kim Kardashian is guest judge on “Project Runway” (Lifetime, 9 p.m.), where the challenge involves creating looks for an outdoor fashion show open to the public.

Lawon offered to put himself up as a pawn for eviction against Rachel. Now he only has to win the vote tonight on “Big Brother” (CBS, 9 p.m.). Meanwhile, four who have been voted out are competing to see which one will be able to return.

“The Boondock Saints” (IFC, 8 p.m.) is about a Boston mobster who is not Whitey Bulger.

Another fascinating, half serious episode of “Louie” (FX, 10:30 p.m.) in which he finds himself discussing masturbation on a Fox News debate show with a kind of hot Christian moralist.

The final six teams cross Lake Bin el Ouidane and still can’t get out of Morocco on a new “Expedition Impossible” (ABC, 9 p.m.).

Catering a wedding in Los Angeles doesn’t seem all that extreme a challenge on the season finale of “Extreme Chef” (Food, 10 p.m.). But they have to buy all the food from a 99 cent store.

Gavin Rossdale of Bush – Mr. Gwen Stefani to you – is guest star on a new “Burn Notice” (USA, 9 p.m.). Nestor Carbonelli guest stars on “Wilfred” (FX, 10 p.m.).

Mike’s cover is almost blown on a new “Suits” (USA, 10 p.m.).

The late Ben Johnson is the star on Turner Classic Movies, in films that span more than 20 years: “Mighty Joe Young” (8 p.m.), “Wagon Master” (9:45 p.m.), “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” (11:15 p.m.), “The Last Picture Show” (1:15 a.m.) and “The Wild Bunch” (3:30 a.m.). What, no “Badlands”?

Daytime Talk

Regis and Kelly: Emma Stone, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi. The View: Seth Green (rerun). The Talk: Jessica Alba, Duff Goldman. Ellen DeGeneres: Tyra Banks, Jerrod Niemann, Kody, Meri, Janelle, Christine & Robyn Brown (rerun). Wendy Williams: Dana Delany, Elizabeth Berkley.

Late Talk

David Letterman: Jim Parsons, Manchester Orchestra (rerun). Jay Leno: Sam Worthington, Bailee Madison, The Game. Jimmy Kimmel: Olivia Wilde, Adam Beach, chris Young (rerun). Jimmy Fallon: Emma Stone, Kings of Leon. Craig Ferguson: Geoffrey Rush, OK Go (rerun). Tavis Smiley: Scott Carney, Annie Jacobsen (rerun). Carson Daly: Gale Anne Hurd, Mia Moretti & Caitlin Moe, Lissie, Clare Burson (rerun). Jon Stewart: Michael Wallis. Stephen Colbert: Gloria Steinem. Conan O’Brien: Denis Leary, Sheamus, Keb Mo. Chelsea Handler: Trace Adkins, Josh Wolf, Chris Franjola, Fortune Feimster.

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