Fringe

Fringe
9/8c Fox
With Walter's well-known love for music and drugs, it figures that his Euterpean tastes tilt toward progressive and psychedelic rock. And prominent in his vinyl collection is a band called Violet Sedan Chair, so Walter is in for a treat when he meets Roscoe Joyce (Christopher Lloyd), the group's keyboardist. Also of note is the show's move to Friday, and the episode's title, "The Firefly," is likely a nod to Joss Whedon's sci-fi cult classic "Firefly" that floundered on Friday nights. — Joe Friedrich

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Kitchen Nightmares
8/7c Fox
Chef Ramsay returns for a third season of helping restaurant owners with his signature tough-love approach. In the season opener, he heads to a family-owned restaurant in New Jersey: The Spanish Pavillion. The owners are two brothers who spend more time bickering than running their business. Meanwhile, raw food is being served in a restaurant filled will with old-fashioned decor. Ramsay suggests a makeover for the menu and the furnishings, and he tries to get the siblings to stop squabbling. — Jennifer Sankowski

Medium
8/7c CBS
After depicting crime-solving seer Allison DuBois' psychic sleuthing for seven seasons (five on NBC and two on CBS), the paranormal crime drama dematerializes for good. The series finale revolves around the transforming domestic dynamics in the DuBois family. Motherly ghost-buster Allison begins a new chapter in her life when she launches a career as a lawyer, all while Joe lands a new job as well. Yet these developments lead the couple in opposing directions — and will ultimately leave a lasting impact on the entire DuBois family. — Dean Maurer

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Onion News Network
10/9c IFC
This fast-paced, nothing-sacred satire of news programs airs outrageously funny reports and features that distort events with a wink of the eye and a tongue in the cheek. Anchor Brooke Alvarez (Suzanne Sena), "the world's most respected news reader," intros stories that include North Korea's Kim Jong Il offering to be more cooperative if given the lead role in the next Batman movie, an archival clip of Vice President Joe Biden's long-defunct band, and an obscenity-laced briefing by a White House aide. It's all the news that will give you laughing fits. — Ray Stackhouse

Spartacus: Gods of the Arena
10/9c Starz
This extension of the cable series Spartacus: Blood and Sand is actually a chronicle of events that took place prior to when the gladiator hero extraordinaire arrived on the scene. As the series begins, a younger Batiatus (John Hannah) schemes to wrest control of his father's school for training and fine-tuning the bloodthirsty warriors that will represent their house in competition. It's an on-going tale of glory, ambition, double-crossing and power grabs, with a heaping helping of sex and a gory complement of slow-motion slicing, dicing and pummeling. — Ray Stackhouse

Portlandia
10:30/9:30c IFC
Fred Armisen of Saturday Night Live and actor-musician Carrie Brownstein (formerly of the band Sleater-Kinney) are co-creators, co-writers and co-stars of this slyly absurdist collection of vignettes about absurdly funny fictional Oregonians. The two are rarely off screen. Among their characterizations are mellow cultists who enjoy a religious experience with the leader (Jason Sudeikis), a pair of flighty book-store employees and wifty members of an adult Hide-and-Seek league. They are out-of-sight. — Ray Stackhouse

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Comedy Central Presents
11/10c Comedy Central
Kicking off its 15th season, this showcase for well-known and up-and-coming comedians is moving into death-and-taxes territory. The premiere features a deadpan Tom Segura, who riffs on Atlantic City, flying and the importance of having teeth. Segura is followed by Michael Kosta (11:30 pm/ET), and the lineup for the 16-episode season includes Chelsea Peretti (Jan. 28), Hari Kondabolu (Feb. 11), Al Jackson (Feb. 18), Mike Vecchione (March 4), Louis Katz (March 11) and Natasha Leggero (March 18). — Joe Friedrich