TV tonight: Downton Abbey season finale; The Walking Dead continues

Downton Abbey wraps up third season tonight.
Photo: Wikimedia/Downton Abbey

WASHINGTON, February 17, 2013 —Downton Abbey wraps up season three tonight with a two-hour finale. Even better, this rich period drama calls on beautiful Scottish landscapes as a backdrop for tonight’s installment. Add this to the focus on wardrobe period-accuracy, and the show becomes a visual feast worthy of any big screen studio production.

The only good thing about Downton Abbey coming to the end of its third season is trying to decide whether to watch it or The Walking Dead each Sunday night. The Walking Dead continued its meteoric rise in popularity last week, with over 12 million people watching its mid-season return. Even more impressive is the fact that the competition was the Grammys and Downton Abbey. Last week’s show was more about character development than killing zombies, so be prepared for a gore filled, action-packed show tonight.

Elsewhere on network TV, NBC has, yet again, thrown in the programming towel by running an all-too-familiar group of reruns. I love Betty White and Saturday Night Live as much as the next person, but my patience wears thin with NBC’s pathetic programming. Last week, none of the NBC shows placed in the Nielsen top 25. One has to wonder what idiot is in charge of NBC, and where their allegiance lies.

And finally, the decadent trifecta on Showtime continues their noisy celebration of loose morals and dubious career goals with the airing of new episodes of Shameless, House of Lies and Californication. These three shows are great examples of everything that is wrong in this country, and for that reason alone make for compelling TV. It’s hard to find a single character to root for on any of these shows. It’s a curious dynamic: watching a show just to root for the demise of its characters. But for now, at least, it works like a charm.

Tonight’s viewing:

All times are EST:

8 p.m.

ABC: Once Upon a Time: (New) Emma, Henry and Mr. Gold search for Gold’s son in New York; Hook, Cora and Regina look for one of Rumplestiltskin’s most precious possessions.

CBS: Amazing Race 22: (New) The 22nd season begins with 11 two-member teams flying to Bora Bora on the race’s first leg. The pair who arrives first at the initial pit stop wins two express passes that enable them to bypass any future challenge.

FOX: The Simpsons: (New) A shaving experiment leaves Milhouse looking like a dead ringer for his father, while Marge fears Maggie is slipping into the clutches of children’s television.

NBC: Betty White’s Off Their Rockers: (Repeat) Appearing: NeNe Leakes (“The New Normal,” “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”), who tutors Betty in the art of throwing a temper tantrum.

8:30 p.m.

FOX: Bob’s Burgers: (New) Feeling unappreciated, Linda quits and takes a job at a grocery store, leaving Bob to run the place (poorly) on his own, and putting the children smack in the middle of their marital tiff. Later, Tina may have met her soul mate while stocking the milk fridge.

NBC: Betty White’s Off Their Rockers: (Repeat) Appearing: Adrienne Maloof, Camille Grammer and Kyle Richards, all of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” who join Betty for a photo shoot.

9 p.m.

ABC: Revenge: (New) The Graysons put on a bold showing at their annual Labor Day party; the seas prove to be deadly as Amanda and Jack sail off to their honeymoon.

CBS: The Good Wife: (New) Office politics come to a head when Will and Diane ask Alicia and Cary to face off against them in a mock trial, only to get more than they bargained for. Meanwhile, Eli tries to avoid losing his role in Peter’s campaign to Jordan, as he continues his fight with the Justice Department.

FOX: Family Guy: (New) Unable to foot the bill for new sneakers, Chris lifts some cash from Lois’ purse, but is caught red-handed by Meg, who then blackmails him into doing all her chores in exchange for not turning him in.

NBC: Saturday Night Live in the ‘90s: Pop Culture Nation: (Repeat) Despite stumbling through much of the 1980s, NBC’s Saturday Night Live returned to its place as a comedic touchstone in the 1990s. The ratings and critical response at the time didn’t always show it, but in retrospect it’s hard to argue with the results. Revisit the roster of talent that passed through the halls of 30 Rockefeller Plaza during the decade and names like Chris Rock, Tina Fey, David Spade, Adam Sandler and Will Ferrell immediately jump out at you. 

AMC: The Walking Dead: (New) While the group ponders their next move, Rick sets out to find a missing friend. Later, Merle and Daryl begin to have second thoughts about their choices; and, after restoring order to Woodbury, the Governor determines to punish those responsible.

SHOWTIME: Shameless: (New) Fiona fails to provide the support Jimmy needs, and Frank searches for Aunt Ginger’s bones.

PBS: Masterpiece Classic: (New) The Season 3 finale of “Downton Abbey” finds the family, save for Branson and little Sybil, heading to a Scottish hunting lodge owned by Rose’s parents. In other events, Mrs. Patmore is wooed by a local merchant; a new maid has eyes for Branson.

9:30 p.m.

FOX: American Dad: (New) In order to parade around the house naked and with no disguise, Roger pretends to be Jeff’s imaginary friend, but soon Jeff gets wise to the fact that Roger is an alien, so Stan demands that one of them must die, immediately.

10 p.m.

ABC: Zero Hour: (Repeat) After Hank Galliston’s wife, Leila, finds a special antique clock at a flea market, she is abducted by an international terrorist; as the search for Leila progresses, Hank questions everything he ever believed in.

CBS: The Mentalist: (New) The team investigates a case involving a graduate student at a natural history museum and discovers how ruthless the academic world can be.

SHOWTIME: House of Lies: (New) Marty gets a surprise visit from his militant younger brother, and Doug and Jeannie work with an online dating company.

10:30 p.m.

SHOWTIME: Californication: Ken discovers Charlie’s secret, and Marcy makes a decision about Stu.

Basic cable:

New episodes of:

Killing Lincoln at 8 p.m. on NGC

Sports Illustrated: The Making of Swimsuit ’13 – 7 Continents, 17 Wonders at 8 p.m. on Travel Channel

Wild West Alaska at 8 p.m. on Animal Planet

The Real Housewives of Atlanta at 8 p.m. on BRAVO

Chopped at 8 p.m. on Food Channel

Gypsy Sisters at 8 and 9 p.m. on TLC

Worst Cooks in America at 9 p.m. on Food Channel

Gator Boys at 9 p.m. on Animal Planet

Ax Men at 9 p.m. on History Channel

Talking Dead at 10 p.m. on AMC

Finding Bigfoot at 10 p.m. on Animal Planet

Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell at 10 p.m. on Food Channel

Storage Hunters at 10 p.m. on truTV

For movie lovers:

8 p.m.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl on ENC

The Prince & Me on FLIX

Date Night on FMC

Tron: Legacy on FX

Doctor Zhivago on TCM

The School of Rock on TMC

9 p.m.

The Contender on HBO

Charlie Wilson’s War on IFC

Napoleon Dynamite on MOMAX

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra on Syfy

Later tonight:

Cars at 9:30 p.m. on ABCFAM

A Guy Thing at 10 p.m. on FLIX

Date Night at 10 p.m. on FMC

Fair Game at 10:05 p.m. on SHO


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Lisa King

I was born and educated in Southwest Virginia, traveled with my job all over America in my twenties and early thirties then came back to the mountains to raise my daughter.

I’ve been employed as everything from a quality control technician in industrial construction, to a mail processing plant manager, to postmaster of a small town. I’ve been to forty nine of the fifty states, as well as many other countries. Traveling will always be a passion I indulge, and something I’ll call upon often in my writing. 

I come from a long line of story tellers, and will shamelessly exploit a family tree resplendent with colorful and unique characters, both past and present.

In short my perspective will reflect the pride and familiarity I have of my Appalachian heritage. My stories will be a reflection of the values I believe we hold dearest here, all embellished with a healthy dose of Southern Appalachian flare.

 

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