Thursday TV: New Shows ‘The Finder,’ ‘Rob’

The new midseason shows continue to roll out. A spin-off from the people who make “Bones” (Fox, 8 p.m.), “The Finder” (Fox, 9 p.m.) stars Geoff Stults as a savant who vows to find people and things (including the guitar of John Fogerty, who guest stars in the premiere).

Meant to be breezy in the manner of cable caper shows, it’s marred by hard to believe characters, and actions that require leaps of faith.

Still, it’s better than “Rob” (CBS, 8:30 p.m.), the comedian Rob Schneider’s attempt at a sitcom about a white guy who marries in to a large and justifiably skeptical Mexican family. Meant to revive the humor of “All in the Family,” mostly it creates cringe-worthy stereotypes and racist characterizations you’d think TV has gone beyond (or should have).

It’s also a terrible pairing with “Big Bang Theory” (CBS, 8 p.m.).

Not often does a documentary have such a dramatic result as those by Joe Berliner and Bruce Sinofsky to draw attention to and eventually overturn a conviction of three young teens sentenced for murder and known as the West Memphis 3. Thrir success is reviewed in the new “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory” (HBO, 9 p.m.), which is followed by the earlier two films that helped bring attention to the case.

Another strong documentary series begins tonight on public television, as their packed Black History slate spills out a month early. “Have You Heard from Johannesberg” on “Independent Lens” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings) is filmmaker Connie Field’s comprehensive history of the international struggle against apartheid, which occurred recently enough so that many of its activists can still be interviewed. The first two of its five parts air tonight.

Finally returning for its sixth season premiere, “30 Rock” (NBC, 8 p.m.) has Liz Lemon and crew returning to work on its own show within a show. Jenna has been busy as a judge as “America’s Kidz Got Singing”; Kenneth has been premaring for the rapture.

It’s followed by new episodes of “Parks and Recreation” (NBC, 8:30 p.m.),  “The Office” (NBC, 9 p.m.) and “Up All Night” (NBC, 9:30 p.m.) for TV’s best two hour comedy block.

The second TV awards show in as many days, “The Critics’ Choice Awards” (VH1, 8 p.m.) honors the year’s best films, as determined by the Broadcast Film Critics Association. Paul Scheer and Rob Huebel host; Fitz and the Tantrums are house band. Career awards go to Sean Penn and Martin Scorsese.

Suddenly there are new episodes of everything on network TV, from “The Vampire Diaries” (The CW, 8 p.m.) and “The Secret Circle” (The CW, 9 p.m.) to “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC, 9 p.m.) and “Private Practice” (ABC, 10 p.m.).

Vinny considers leaving “Jersey Shore” (MTV, 10 p.m.), for which we cannot blame him.

There are a couple of bad Susan Stone films on tonight, “The Quick and the Dead” (AMC, 8 p.m.) and “Silver” (Flix, 8 p.m.).

Daytime Talk

Kelly Ripa: Dolly Parton, Miranda Cosgrove, Dr. Wendy Bazilian, Jesse Palmer. The View: Donnie Wahlberg, Heather Donahue. The Talk: Isaac Mizrahi, Lorrie Sullenberger. Ellen DeGeneres: Meryl Streep, Ricky Gervais, Snow Patrol. Wendy Williams: KeKe Palmer, Holy Madison. Rosie O’Donnell: Louis Anderson, Oksana Baiul.

Late Talk

David Letterman: John McCain, Johnny Winter. Jay Leno: Gerard Butler, Betty White. Jimmy Kimmel: Meryl Streep, Stephen Merchant, Kina Grannis. Jimmy Fallon: Daniel Radcliffe, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Common. Craig Ferguson: Hugh Laurie. Tavis Smiley: Angelina Jolie, Zana Marjanovic (rerun). Carson Daly: Richard Engel, Chris Hardwick, Death Cab for Cutie (rerun). Jon Stewart: Dolly Parton. Stephen Colbert: Mike Allen. Conan O’Brien: Ricky Gervais, Wladimir Klitschko, James Durbin. Chelsea Handler: Bill Maher, Bobby Lee, Sarah Colonna, Matt Braunger.

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.