Wednesday TV: New ‘Suburgatory,’ More ‘Luther’

New fall shows are still trickling out at the networks, and the new sitcom tonight, “Suburgatory” (ABC, 8:30 p.m.), about a fresh-faced but cynical girl who moves out to the suburbs, has the lightness and appeal of a not-bad ABC Family sitcom. It’s unclear that it deserves to be on the big broadcast network, but the lampoon of the suburban world (that looks in its title sequence like it’s supposed to be downstate Connecticut but is actually supposed to be White Plains, though everybody acts like it’s the West Coast).

Stilll, Jeremy Sisto and Jane Levy, right, lead a pretty good cast that includes Cheryl Hines, Rex Lee and Ana Gasteyer, and it comes off as an agreeable comedy — an “Awkward” without the sexual obsession.

It  premieres the same night as “Happy Endings” (ABC, 9:30 p.m.), the one “Friends” pretender that has survived into a second season.

In between are the stalwart family comedies “The Middle” (ABC, 8 p.m.) and “Modern Family” (ABC, 9 p.m.), both of which did well in their returns last week.

The strong psychological cop drama “Luther” (BBC America, 10 p.m.) returns for its second season with not just the strong Idris Elba as the intense detective but the subject of his last series, suspected killer Alice Morgan, played with some heat by Ruth Wilson. (Gone, unfortunately, is Indira Varma, who played his wife and was murdered in the last series). Get into it early; it only lasts four episodes.

In the new series “Mad Scientists” (National Geographic Channel, 10 and 10:30 p.m.), John Bowler meets with eccentric mechanics who have already made some mindbending stuff. But to adhere to reality show strictures, he makes them come up with a variation and gives them a big artificial deadline to build the tension and guarantee a reveal.

It comes after a very similar “Rocket City Rednecks” (National Geographic Channel, 9 and 9:30 p.m.) in which guys in the Huntsville, Ala., home of the NASA Marshall Flight Center get together and squander their talents on pointless garage projects – bottle rockets and rocket-powered office chairs and shopping carts and such.

Like a lot of reality shows, they dumb it way down for viewing: They say what they’re going to do, say what they are doing while they do it, and then explain what they just did. But in this show, it’s with hugely exaggerated accents and hillbilly music (and a theme song that’s right out of “The Beverly Hillbillies”), they try to make it seem like “Deliverance” with doctorates of engineering.

Without saying it, both show reflect the problem of American economy – with the collapse of manufacturing, people are left to themselves to build oddities of their own. And the idea that it is up to the self-styled “rednecks” to come up with truck armor for wartime uses from beer cans and PVC pipe is just a sad commentary on our own defense department.

Along the same lines, “Mythbusters” (Discovery, 9 p.m.) starts its 10th season, measuring whether a bullet is faster than a bazooka — for fun, not a government contract.

First person accounts on surviving the 2011 tsunami in Japan are on “Nova” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings).

Will Forte guest stars as Will Arnett’s new pal on “Up All Night” (NBC, 8 p.m.).

“Harry’s Law” (NBC, 9 p.m.) is in the middle of a murder trial with Alfred Molina as the defendant and Jean Smart as the ruthless Nancy Grace-like prosecutor.

Less than spectacular ratings for “The X Factor” (Fox, 8 p.m.) suggest that the show itself, so well patterned on other shows, may be missing an X factor.  But there’s two more hours of auditions before arena audiences.

It’s about time for one of the first battles on Redemption Island on “Survivor: South Pacific” (CBS, 8 p.m.).

Madeleine Stowe is beginning to distrust Emily VanCamp on “Revenge” (ABC, 10 p.m.).

NBA stars Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh pop up on “Law & Order: SVU” (NBC, 10 p.m.).

Get your scissors: A new season starts for “Extreme Couponing” (TLC, 10 and 10:30 p.m.).

When it comes to finding a detractor of Kim Kardashian for “H8R” (The CW, 8 p.m.), I suppose they had a lot to choose from.

She’s survived so far on “Dancing with the Stars,” and tonight Kristin Cavallari gives advice on “America’s Next Top Model” (The CW, 9 p.m.).

And for those interested in the most controversial and lowest scoring participant on “Dancing with the Stars,” check out the documentary “Becoming Chaz” (OWN, 9 p.m.).

Meryl Streep is all over TV tonight, with “Ironweed” (Flix, 8 p.m.), “It’s Complicated” (HBO, 8 p.m.) and “Sophie’s Choice” (Flix, 10:30 p.m.).

Turner Classic Movies salutes the Library of Congress Film Archive today and Tomorrow, with a tribute that includes “The Constant Nymph” (8 p.m.), “Baby Face” (10 p.m.), “Two Heads on a Pillow” (11:30 p.m.), “All Quiet on the Western Front” (12:45 a.m.) and “British Agent” (3:30 a.m.).

Daytime Talk

Regis and Kelly: Ted Danson, Anna Faris, Allstar Weekend. The View: Bill O’Reilly. The Talk: Jean Smart, Michael E. Knight, Kris Jenner, Aisha Tyler, Shieryl Underwood. Ellen DeGeneres: Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, L.A. Reid, Nicole Scherzinger, Steve Jones, Luke Bryan. Wendy Williams: Cast of “Sister Wives.”

Late Talk

David Letterman: Anderson Cooper, Nick Offerman, the Knux. Jay Leno: Ed Helms, Deena Nicole Coretese, Lisa Hannigan. Jimmy Kimmel: Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane. Jimmy Fallon: Anna Faris, Michael Emerson, Dwayne Wade, MGMT. Craig Ferguson: Rashida Jones, Jonathan Ames. Tavis Smiley: Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Carson Daly: Matt “Money” Smith, Cliff Martinez, Kylesa. Jon Stewart: Bill O’Reilly. Stephen Colbert: Ken Burns. Conan O’Brien: Seth Rogen, Kid Cudi, Daryl Hall. Chelsea Handler: Dylan McDermott, Fortune Feimster, Mo Mandel.

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