Michael Emerson, Jim Caviezel
In one of the better winter cliffhangers before the holiday break, CBS' Person of Interest (9/8c) left off with Reese (Jim Caviezel) in custody, having saved his partner Finch's hide but failing to escape the scene of their latest caper before he was rounded up with the episode's bad guys. The feds know they have the elusive "Man in a Suit" in their grasp, but too bad for them that everyone they nabbed is similarly attired. Which guy in the suit is their prey? Reese isn't talking — some things never change. So while Finch (Michael Emerson) takes up the slack with the "machine," pretending to be a substitute teacher to help out a teen hacker prodigy, it's up to Detective Carter (Taraji P. Henson) to try to get the quietly lethal vigilante out of their clutches. (This story continues next week, so don't expect an instant miracle.)
Rare among the major networks Thursday night, CBS is all new. Among the other highlights: Sheldon is accused of sexual harassment at work on The Big Bang Theory (8/7c), with Southland's Regina King as the university's director of employee relations, who clearly has her work cut out for her. And on Elementary (10:01/9:01), Watson's assignment to babysit Sherlock is coming to an end, so he asks her to stay on as an apprentice. Gee, what do you think she will decide? (Seriously, the partnership and chemistry of Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu is among the season's few bright spots.)
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HERE'S MUD IN YOUR EYE: Which might be an alternate title for MTV's latest answer to the Jersey Shore craze: Buckwild (10/9c), a new time-waster exploiting the backwoods antics and hook-ups of nine young exhibitionists from West Virginia, who desperately hope to be the next Snooki or Situation. That's the only impression one can get from the show's now-notorious trailer, which prompted predictable backlash from state politicians (shades of Jersey Shore) over the displays of redneck roughhousing and debauchery, including what appears to be drinking, cavorting in mud, licking a guy's bare chest and the like. You already know if this is your sort of thing. And if it is, then I can only imagine how much you're looking forward to the return of Downton Abbey this weekend.
WHAT ELSE IS ON: In case you feared you'd missed it on TBS, the annual Funniest Commercials of the Year special has moved to truTV (8/7c), with Wipeout's John Henson hosting the latest international array of amusing ads. The channel has also commissioned a spinoff, featuring Funniest Animal Commercials, to air later this year. ... In case you missed it, and I suggest you don't make that mistake again, ABC's berserk guilty pleasure Scandal airs back-to-back repeats from December (starting at 9/8c), dealing with the fallout from an attempted assassination that wreaks havoc on Olivia and her firm. ... And in case you can't wait for her self-titled prime-time talk show to return next week, New Year's bad girl Kathy Griffin vents her celebrity-obsessed spleen in her latest Bravo stand-up special: Kathy Griffin: Kennedie Center On-Hers (10/9c), not to be confused with the actual recent gala.
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