Thursday TV: Glimpse at Tibet, ‘Parks and Rec’ Finale

The best films open a window to a world you’d otherwise never know and give you a glimpse inside. That’s certainly the case with the fascinating “Summer Pasture,” which follows the lives of a single nomadic family in eastern Tibet.

There, they live by their yaks, milking them and raking up their dung for heat. They live in what looks to be a circus tent, but have some very universal concerns – education, fidelity, how to connect with the city and whether working at home is tougher than going out and herding the yaks.

American filmmakers Lynn True and nelson Walker partnered with Tibetan filmmaker Tsering Perlo to make the remarkable portrait that makes its debut tonight on “Independent Lens” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings). You come away knowing a little more about the world than when you came in.

The season finales keep piling up. Tonight, we find out whether Leslie Knope wins her election on “Parks and Recreation” (NBC, 8:30 p.m.) against Paul Rudd. Should she win, though, they might have to change the name of the series.

A finale comes for the trying season without Steve Carrell on “The Office” (NBC, 9 p.m.) with Andy still trying to sneak his way back into his job.

In another case of judges upstaging contestants, Jennifer Lopez sings her new single before another contestant is booted off “American Idol” (Fox, ) leaving its final three. Also David Cook (hint: he was a past winner).

It’s not just Howard’s wedding that caps the season on “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS, 8 p.m.), it’s also his space flight.

“The Vampire Diaries” (The CW, 8 p.m.) ends its second season with some kind of mayhem. Elena doesn’t know what to do.

Patrick Dempsey, Ellen Pompeo, Sandra Oh and Justin Chambers have reportedly signed two year contracts with “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC, 9 p.m.).

It’s the season finale for “The Secret Circle” (The CW, 9 p.m.).

“Touch” (Fox, 9 p.m.) has been picked up for a new season.

Sort of curious about the “Extreme Civil War Reenactors” (National Geographic Channel, 10 p.m.). Sounds like extreme librarians. But then again, they do have guns and bayonets.

The 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (HBO, 7:30 p.m.) gets a replay.

More true crime films tonight on Turner Classic Movies: “The Phenix City Story” (8 p.m.), “The Case Against Brooklyn” (10 p.m.), “I Want to Live!” (11:30 p.m.), “Madeleine” (1:45 a.m.) and “Boxcar Bertha” (4 a.m.).

NBA playoff games tonight reach game 6: Bulls at 76ers (NBA, 7 p.m.), Hawks at Celtics (TNT, 8 p.m.) and Lakers at Nuggets (TNT, 10:30 p.m.). Nothing in the Stanley Cup playoffs until Saturday.

Daytime Talk

Kelly Ripa: Ginnifer Goodwin, Nick Lachey. The View: Howard Stern. The Talk: Daniel Dae Kim, David Tutera. Ellen DeGeneres: Nicki Minaj.

Late Talk

David Letterman: Elizabeth Banks, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros. Jay Leno: Howie Mandel, Vinny Guadagnino, Sara Watkins. Jimmy Kimmel: Dr. Phil McGraw, Carrie Underwood. Jimmy Fallon: Will Ferrell, Ellie Kemper, Awolination. Craig Ferguson: Christiane Amanpour, Anna Kendrick. Tavis Smiley: Warren Litterfield. Carson Daly: Katharine McPhee, Outlaw Empires. Jon Stewart: Robert Caro. Stephen Colbert: Dr. Francis Collins. Conan O’Brien: Tom Selleck, Zosia Mamet, the Wombats. Chelsea Handler: Adam Lambert, Chris Franjola, Loni Love, Greg Fitzsimmons.

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