A ‘Ghost’-ly In-Joke, Storm Clouds Over ‘Grey’s,’ Leaving ‘Atlanta,’ Mysterious ‘Calling,’ Brunch Time
The CBS hit comedy Ghosts welcomes an actor from the original U.K. version playing a fake version of scoutmaster Pete. Grey’s Anatomy is rocked by a departure and a thunderstorm in the fall finale. FX’s Emmy-winning Atlanta signs off forever. The prolific David E. Kelley introduces a New York detective who operates on faith. Schitt’s Creek’s Dan Levy builds a new cooking competition around brunch.
It’s all in the ghostly family when the hit CBS sitcom welcomes an actor from the original U.K. version: Mathew Baynton, better known to OG Ghosts fans as 19th-century romantic poet Thomas Thorne. He appears in the U.S. series as a horribly pretentious flesh-and-blood actor hired by a cheesy reality show (Dumb Deaths) to re-enact scoutmaster Pete’s (Richie Moriarty) humiliating arrow-in-the-neck demise. Sam (Rose McIver) and Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar) try to little avail to persuade the hard-nosed producer (Reboot’s hilarious Rose Abdoo) to ease up on the Pete-bashing, while Hetty (Rebecca Wisocky) marvels at how this tough woman calls all the shots.
As if Meredith’s (Ellen Pompeo) decision to relocate to Boston with her daughter weren’t enough of a shock, an electrical lightning thunderstorm (which starts on spinoff Station 19) rocks Seattle and creates crises within Grey Sloan in the fall finale. (The series will return in February, with Pompeo on temporary leave.) Among those most effected: intern Benson “Blue” Kwan (Glee alum Harry Shum Jr.), who opens up about the circumstances that led him to become the elder member of the hospital’s residency program.
Donald Glover’s often surreal comedy about fame, race and life in the ATL rap scene wraps its four-season run, and as usual, it’s impossible to know where the show is heading. Will music manager Earn (Glover) and his family make it to Los Angeles? Will rapper Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry) find peace in the big city, or maybe on the farm we were introduced to last week? On this series, it’s best to expect the unexpected. Please, though, don’t let this be one of those episodes where the main characters are afterthoughts.
Whether investigating a street murder or mediating a deli hostage situation, NYPD Detective Avraham Avraham (the compelling Jeff Wilbusch) comes off like a crime whisperer, using empathy derived from deep spirituality to get to the truth and calm the most violent souls. “Sometimes people snap, not because they’re criminals but in fact because they’re human. People can only take so much,” he tells a colleague. With David E. Kelley (Big Little Lies) adapting Dror Mishani’s novels and Oscar-winning director Barry Levinson behind the camera, this above-par crime drama finds Avi’s faith being tested when he looks into the disappearance of a 16-year-old boy. “You are not here to save humanity,” Avi’s boss barks. He may feel differently.
Schitt’s Creek Emmy winner Dan Levy is creator and host of a cooking competition celebrating many urbanites’ favorite meal. Top up your Bloody Mary and dig in as the series introduces 10 chefs who you’d expect to know their way around an Eggs Benedict. In eight episodes airing over three weeks (starting with the first three), they share their stories and restaurant dreams while vying for a $300,000 cash prize. Levy judges alongside chef Sohla El-Waylly and restaurateur Will Guidara.
Lindsay Lohan stars in a slapstick holiday comedy as a spoiled hotel heiress who gets amnesia after a ski accident, conveniently forgetting she just got engaged as she falls for a single-dad lodge owner (Glee veteran Chord Overstreet) with a precocious daughter.
Tonight’s Yule Log:
- Christmas on Mistletoe Lake (8/7c, Lifetime) stars Genelle Williams as Reilly, a visitor who learns there’s no room at the local inn, but finds shelter on a single dad’s (Corey Sevier) boat just in time for the Christmas Harbor Festival.
- Streaming on BET+, The First Noelle stars Novi Brown, Todd Anthony and LaLa Milan in an odd triangle where both females in the tangled romantic equation are named Noelle.
Inside Thursday TV:
- Young Sheldon (8/7c, CBS): Mad TV comedian Will Sasso and Tony-winning Good Doctor alum Rachel Bay Jones guest as the parents of Mandy (Emily Osment) when they have an unsettling first meeting with Georgie (Montana Jordan).
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (9/8c, NBC): While Benson (Mariska Hargitay) explores the sordid past of a controversial sports superstar, superfan Detective Velasco (Octavio Pisano) braces himself for disappointment upon meeting one of his idols.
- Welcome to Flatch (9/8c, Fox): Kelly (Holmes) is peeved at Shrub (Sam Straley) for breaking the “Cuz Code” and dating her boss, Barb (Jaime Pressly). So she tries to get him back together with Beth (Erin Bowles). Speaking of comedy hook-ups, Kat (Mayim Bialik) and Max (Cheyenne Jackson) go on their first date on Call Me Kat (9:30/8:30c), and the aftermath is predictably awkward.
- So Help Me Todd (9/8c, CBS): Margaret (Marcia Gay Harden) is less than thankful that black-sheep son Todd (Skylar Astin) is the only of her kids available to attend her family Thanksgiving, so Todd rallies to get distant brother Lawrence (Matthew Wilkas) to the table.
- Reasonable Doubt (10/9c, ABC): The Hulu legal drama gets a one-time broadcast screening with the pilot episode, introducing Emayatzy Corinealdi as upscale L.A. defense lawyer Jax Stewart. To see the rest, you’ll have to stream it.
- Inside Amy Schumer (streaming on Paramount+): The comedian, fresh off hosting Saturday Night Live, wraps her first streaming season with bawdy takes on Big Pharma, cryptocurrency, hate speech on social media and intrusive ob-gyn docs.
- The Accidental Wolf (streaming on Topic): In the thriller’s third and final season, Katie (Tony winner Kelli O’Hara) finally meets the stranger (Marsha Stephanie Blake) behind the mysterious phone call that turned her life upside down. Together, they go on the run to blow the lid off Angelware.