The advent of the fifth season of “Mad Men” also makes more bittersweet the finale of “Luck” (HBO, 9 p.m.), which, has been building in strength and urgency in the last couple of episodes. Now with a culminating race, all of the characters are thrown into the drama.
What’s missing is still some interaction among them off the track, which one would assume would have come in the second season, which unfortunately has been cancelled due to injuries and deaths to horses during production and the PR nightmare that represented. Mark it down as a third consecutive HBO series for creator David Milch that won’t receive a proper ending.
After a couple of specials that did about the same thing, “Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.” (PBS, 8 p.m., check local listings) now becomes a series, looking into the genealogy of celebrities (because apparently they are the only interesting people around). Unlike “Who Do You Think You Are?” the celebs don’t discover the information on their own; they are presented a picture book as if it’s “This is Your Life” and presented the information by Gates, who acts like the know it all throughout. The first to be interviewed are Harry Connick Jr., and Branford Marsalis. Gates also travels to his local barbershop (in Cambridge) to test people there on their percentage of racial blood. Future celebrities to be investigated include Condoleezza Rice, Barbara Walters and Robert Downey Jr.
The already over-exposed Niecy Nash is one of those people who think her family is so crazy it’s like a sitcom. So they shoot (and obviously script) a bad sitcom posing as a reality show, “Leave It to Niecy” (TLC, 10 p.m.). She mostly talks loud with some extreme warning to her kids, who mutter practiced lines of sarcasm. It’s a little hard to take.
“Frozen Planet” (Discovery, 8 p.m.) concentrates on summertime activity at the poles and checks in on the penguins and polar bears. There seems to be a lot of intraspecies battles for sexual dominance in the series, tonight displayed by the fur seals in the Antarctic and musk oxen in the Arctic.
“The Good Wife” (CBS, 9 p.m.) makes way for another cast member, Matthew Perry.
Teresa Caputo is all ready to talk to dead people for the second season of “Long Island Medium” (TLC, 9 p.m.).
Next weekend’s Final Four in New Orleans is determined in part by the outcome of today’s NCAA men’s tournament games: Kentucky vs. Baylor (CBS, 2:20 p.m.) from Atlanta and Kansas vs. North Carolina (CBS, 5 p.m.) from St. Louis.
Philip Glass’s opera on Gandhi’s early life in South Africa, “Satyagraha,” is performed on “Great Performances at the Met” (PBS, noon, check local listings.
It’s Thanksgiving on “Shameless” (Showtime, 9 p.m.).
There’s a new stop for “The Amazing Race” (CBS, 8 p.m.) — Azerbaijan.
Unable to get any celebrities to come to his party, Warwick pays Cat Deeley to attend on “Life’s Too Short” (HBO, 10:40 p.m.).
The guys on “Mythbusters” (Discovery, 9 p.m.) try to see how they can survive on a desert island armed only with duct tape.
Roger Daltrey lends his voice as a caterpillar on “Once Upon a Time” (ABC, 8 p.m.).
A man wrongfully convicted of murder, who spent 25 years in jail, is profiled on “60 Minutes” (CBS, 7 p.m.).
The always funny “Best in Show” (ION, 6 and 8 p.m.) gets a double play.
In NBA action, it’s Heat at Thunder (ESPN, 8 p.m.); in hockey, Predators at Blackhawks (NBC Sports, 7:30 p.m.).
A double feature of films by director Jules Dassin includes “Night and the City” (TCM, 8 p.m.) and “Brute Force” (TCM, 10 p.m.).
ABC: White House senior adviser David Plouffe, Rep. Michele Bachmann. CBS: Rick Santorum, Sen. Chuck Schumer, Rep. Paul Ryan. NBC: Plouffe, Gov. Brian Schweitzer, Haley Barbour, Doris Kearns Goodwin, David Brooks, Rachel Maddow. CNN: Plouffe, Gov. Rick Scott, Sen. Lindsay Graham. Fox News: Plouffe, Ryan.