TV tonight: New episodes of Undercover Boss and Portlandia

IFC tonight: Portlandia continues its strongest season yet.

Photo: Portlandia/IFC

WASHINGTON, January 25, 2013 —It’s too bad the networks don’t take weather forecasts into account when developing program scheduling. If they did, they would know yet another winter blast embraces the East, and a lot of people will stay home tonight rather than going out to celebrate the end of another work week. The net-heads would also see the obvious wisdom in replacing all the reruns with original episodes tonight. Maybe there’s an economic reason for this. If so, we certainly can’t figure it out.

The five major networks have only four first-run shows scheduled for the entire night tonight. This lack of network foresight means a night of mass channel surfing across America, with basic cable the probable winner. This is good news for Discovery Channel’s Gold Rush, a show that consistently lands on the top 25 list of cable shows.

As for me, I’ll start out the night watching a new episode of Undercover Boss, hoping I’ll see one of those water cooler moments when an undercover boss learns that his reputation among workers is less than stellar. Not that it isn’t rewarding when the boss finds a gem of a worker in his organization. It’s just a lot more entertaining to watch a CEO squirm when he learns his employees think he’s an unimaginative jerk.

Last but not least, I’ll tune in to IFC’s Portlandia for the quirky comedy that only Saturday Night Live alumni could pull off so believably. I love the counter-culture tree-hugging theme of this show which depicts the comic side of the “progressive” Oregon city whose unofficial slogan is “Keep Portland Weird.”

The 1960s live! Portlandia’s Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein portray an incredibly retro pair of literary bookstore aficionados. (Credit: IFC)

The refreshingly local-color comedy of Portlandia doesn’t depend so much on time-honored, standard sitcom setups: zinger punch lines and/or revelatory gotcha endings. Instead, Portlandia mines the probability that viewers will recognize some part of themselves in the show’s quirky characters and tap in to this. It’s a subtle and cutting-edge approach to skit comedy that pulls me in completely. At the end of an episode, I often find myself wondering how a half hour went by so quickly. When’s the last time that happened?

Happy viewing tonight where you can find it. We’ll be back on Sunday with more suggestions for riding out the winter cold in front of the TV. In the meantime, stay warm.

Tonight’s viewing:

All times are EST:

8 p.m.

ABC: Last Man Standing: (Repeat) A car in the neighborhood is egged; when Mike and Vanessa won’t let Eve quit soccer, Eve acts out by getting drunk at a party.

CBS: Undercover Boss: (Repeat) Oriental Trading Company CEO Sam Taylor works undercover at his company.

FOX: Kitchen Nightmares: (New) Chef Ramsay is faced with a family feud.

NBC: Betty White’s Off Their Rockers: (Repeat) Pranks include a woman taking liquor from a shopper’s cart and a senior falling asleep on a furniture store bed.

CW: Nikita: (New) Nikita and Owen face off against a rogue “cleaner” named Liam, while Michael takes a new position at Division.

8:30 p.m.

ABC: Malibu Country: (Repeat) After reading a tabloid story about Bobby’s new romance, Reba reluctantly agrees to go on a date for the first time since her divorce. 

NBC: Betty White’s Off Their Rockers: (Repeat) A man tickles a stranger with a feather; an elderly woman has an R-rated grocery list; and a senior enforces a “height requirement” at a basketball game. Appearing: Nick Lachey, who teaches host Betty White how to start a boy band.

9 p.m.

ABC: Shark Tank: (Repeat) The sharks question the morality of a potential investment; two business partners have professional surfer Lakey Peterson demonstrate how their exercise equipment works; a man presents a personal style system.

CBS: CSI: NY: (Repeat) The ninth season begins with a fire chief being killed in a blaze that was started using the same technique employed by a recently paroled arsonist.

FOX: The Following: (Repeat) A former FBI agent is called out of retirement to track down an escaped serial killer.

NBC: Dateline NBC: (New) After a woman is murdered in a comic book store, her case goes cold until a new prosecutor discovers a vital clue. Dennis Murphy reports.

CW: The Carrie Diaries: (Repeat) Between being grounded and rival Donna’s sneaky attempts to break Carrie and Sebastian apart, Carrie worries he will lose interest in her.

10 p.m.

ABC: 20/20: (New) No description available

CBS: Blue Bloods: (Repeat) In the third-season opener, a criminal seeks revenge on Danny by abducting Jackie. Elsewhere, Jamie is assigned a new partner; and a young cop is unnerved after he mistakenly shoots an innocent person.

Basic cable:

New episodes of:

Stonehenge Decoded: Revealed at 8 p.m. on NGC

Four Weddings at 8 p.m. on TLC

Gold Rush at 8 and 9 p.m. on DSC

Easter Island Underworld at 9 p.m. on NGC

Say Yes to the Dress at 9 and 9:30 p.m. on TLC

Ghost Adventures at 9 p.m. on Travel Channel

Bering Sea Gold at 10 p.m. on DSC

Mystery Diners at 10 p.m. on Food Channel

Portlandia at 10 p.m. on IFC. (Music lovers: for a recent video clip from the show, check out the bottom of this section. And mellow out, already.)

Say Yes to the Dress: Randy Knows Best at 10 and 10:30 p.m. on TLC

The Dead Files at 10 p.m. on Travel Channel

For movie lovers:

8 p.m.

Mrs. Doubtfire on AMC

Ocean’s Thirteen on BRAVO

The Jerk on ENC

The Apostle on FLIX

Maid in Manhattan on FMC

Hanna on HBO

Hard Candy on SUND

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-Part 1 on SHO

War Horse on SHO

Twister on TNT

9 p.m.

Spartacus on STARZ

True Justice on REELZ

Red Tails on HBO

Later tonight:

Red Dawn at 9:35 p.m. on ENC

The Brave One at 9:55 p.m. on MOMAX

The A-Team at 10 p.m. on FX

The Beach at 10 p.m. on SUND


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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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