Tuesday Playlist: Raising Hope Wedding, Damon's Kimmel Replay, NCIS Flashback
Shannon Woodward, Lucas Neff | Photo Credits: Greg Gayne/FOX
We knew it wouldn't be all grins and giggles when three networks decided to stake out comedy ground on Tuesdays this season, cannibalizing the audience with too much of a quirky thing. Sure enough, the laughter ended last week for two of the night's more offbeat sitcoms: Fox's Ben and Kate and ABC's Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23, both abruptly if not unexpectedly yanked from the schedule.
If there's an upside, it's that we get more to love, at least for now, of Fox's underappreciated Raising Hope (8/7), now airing back-to-back episodes off and on for several weeks. First up, a major event for the Chance family, and a very funny episode, as Jimmy and Sabrina's wedding day finally arrives, captured in an awfully familiar mock-documentary style as a knowing homage to Modern Family (from the same studio). Burt, who has always been convinced their wacky life must be part of a hidden-camera reality show, is especially delighted, but everyone participates with asides delivered straight into the camera as inevitable complications threaten to derail the happy occasion. One snafu involves Maw Maw's past with the snippy reverend (Leslie Jordan), while another involves an unwelcome interloper whose identity can't be spoiled. The second episode (not available for review) sends the newlyweds on a road trip to Hollywood for a taping of little Hope's favorite show, Yo Zappa Do.
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The foolishness continues on Fox's Tuesday anchor New Girl (9/8c) as Nick becomes unusually attached to a coat designed for women, which he wears on a "band of brothers" night out with his restless bachelor roomies — leaving Jess once again the odd girl out, doing a nutty variation on Home Alone antics until the guys come back to rescue her, leading to some dynamics likely to get the show's "shippers" buzzing. ... Remember back when The Office was still The Office, and Kelly Kapoor had such a thing for office hottie Ryan? In a reunion on Fox's The Mindy Project (9:30/8:30c) that was bound to happen, Mindy Kaling's romantic-obsessive Mindy is sure she's finally found "the one," once again played by B.J. Novak.
On ABC, the vacancy in Apartment 23 is filled by back-to-back episodes of Happy Endings (9/8c) on a pivotal night in which Penny gets the proposal she's been hoping for from Pete (Nick Zano), which sends the crew to a wedding expo in the second half-hour. ... On NBC, holding steady with its new comedies, Ryan's attempts to date Simone (Piper Perabo) are foiled by repeated hauntings from his late wife on Go On (9/8c). And John Stamos returns to The New Normal (9:30/8:30c), now proved to be most definitely straight, thus becoming the object of Nana's desire, while dad-to-be Bryan becomes obsessed with the issue of breastfeeding their babe. ... On Cougar Town (TBS, 10/9c), the cul-de-sac crew becomes hilariously unhinged when neighborhood nebbish Tom begins squiring a feisty new girlfriend (Ali Wentworth).
NOT SO LATE NIGHT: If you missed Matt Damon getting his mock revenge on longtime nemesis Jimmy Kimmel by taking over Jimmy Kimmel Live last Thursday night, you won't have to stay up so late for the replay of this chaotically funny hour. ABC is giving their star (even though bound and gagged for the entire episode) prime-time exposure with a special prime-time encore of the "Jimmy Kimmel Sucks" edition (10/9c), in which Damon replaces the bandleader with Sheryl Crow, enlists a very willing Andy Garcia to be his Guillermo and gets monologue help from Robin Williams while a crestfallen Ben Affleck looks on from the cue-card position ("I never wanted it to end up this way"). Damon crowds his couch with top-shelf talent, several of whom declare they've never been on Kimmel before (although a few climb on top of him), and caps the night with an appearance by Kimmel's ex, Sarah Silverman, who once so famously "f---ed" Damon in the classic music video. For further enjoyment, check out Michael Schneider's story on how this elaborate stunt came to be.