What to Watch Thursday: Idol Has McPheever, Grey's Gets Real, Hope's Big Finish and More

SARAH CHALKEOn TV this Thursday: A Smash-ing guest returns to the American Idol stage, Grey’s Anatomy takes a page from real life, Raising Hope‘s mother of a finale and a Scandal-monger becomes a scandal victim. As a supplement to TVLine’s original features (linked within) — and with March Madness unfolding on CBS/TBS — here are 10 programs to keep on your radar.

8 pm The Vampire Diaries (The CW) | Elena and Rebekah take off in search of Katherine (watch a sneak peek) and wind up in Pennsylvania, where Elena has a surprising encounter with an old acquaintance.

8 pm American Idol (Fox) | Smash star (and Idol alum) Katharine McPhee performing with One Republic, and judge Keith Urban provide the entertainment/padding for tonight’s results show.

8 pm Fall to Grace (HBO) | This new documentary follows former New Jersey Gov. and “gay American” Jim McGreevey, who resigned amid scandal in 2004, on his path to become a spiritual advisor to incarcerated women.

8:30 pm 1600 Penn (NBC) | Double-episode season finale: New Girl‘s Hannah Simone guest-stars as Princess Abigail of Andorra, a royal beauty who visits the White House and requests Skip (?) as her escort to a gala. Then, at 9:30, the President and First Lady’s marriage is put in the spotlight, and Becca and D.B. get surprising news. (Not yet renewed; find out its current status.)

RELATED | 2013 Renewal Scorecard: What’s Coming Back? What’s Cancelled? What’s on the Bubble?

9 pm Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) | Sarah Chalke — whose How to Live With Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life) debuts on ABC next week — guest-stars as a frantic mother whose child suffers from a mysterious illness (read how Chalke brought her story to Grey’s). Elsewhere, when a gas tanker explodes on the highway, the casualties include paramedic Matthew. (Watch video sneak peeks!)

9 pm Raising Hope (Fox) | Double-episode Season 3 finale: Burt’s parents (Partridge mom Shirley Jones and Bionic Man Lee Majors) return with the news that their boy is Jewish — cue belated bar mitzvah bash! (Watch video.) Then, the Chances learn that Maw Maw’s own mama is in fact alive (and played by… Cloris Leachman). (Yep, renewed.)

9 pm Beauty and the Beast (The CW) | To protect Vincent and salvage her relationship with Tess, Cat is forced to cough up some secrets she’s been keeping.

9 pm Project Runway (Lifetime) | A visit to the Guggenheim provides inspiration for the contestants to create their own textiles. Designer Tracy Reese guest-judges.

RELATED | May Sweeps Scorecard 2013: Deaths, Weddings, Births, Sex and More!

10 pm Scandal (ABC) | When Hollis Doyle’s daughter is kidnapped and held for ransom, OPA finds itself working for the (figurative?) devil; Melinda McGraw (Mad Men) guest-stars as Hollis’ wife. Meanwhile, a still-in-danger David is forced to seek shelter among the gladiators.

10 pm Archer (FX) | Archer must foil a Pope-assassination plot using Woodhouse as a decoy.

Hit the comments with your must-see picks from tonight’s lineup!

Comments (27)

  • Cannot wait for this Grey’s!

    Comment by B – March 28, 2013 06:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I miss Sloan BUT Grey’s has been really really good this season. It is back on my must see TV again.

      Comment by msstargate – March 28, 2013 09:06 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Aw :( 1600 Penn is so silly but really cute… it grew on me! I hope they keep it!!

    Comment by Elyse – March 28, 2013 06:23 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 1600 penn is really quite awful

      Comment by voxpop – March 28, 2013 11:55 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My usual CBS Thursday lineup (TBBT, POI and Elementary) preempted for basketball.
    So – DVR catch up or movie likely.

    Comment by kirads09 – March 28, 2013 06:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Indeed. I’ll definitely be doing DVR catch up. Being Human, Southland, and Face Off for starters.

      Comment by DL – March 28, 2013 07:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • DVR catch up for me too! Justified, Supernatural, Nashville (I watched Being Human last night, it was xcellent as usual!)

        Comment by Mel – March 28, 2013 11:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • tvd, raising hope. GO SU!!

    Comment by ollie – March 28, 2013 06:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

    Comment by Jess – March 28, 2013 06:29 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Will be watching BATB. Things are about to get crazy good.

    Comment by monica – March 28, 2013 06:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Scandal is the best show on television. I would like to see more of Olivia and Fitz together though.

    Comment by Fields – March 28, 2013 06:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Just TVD for me.

    Comment by Amanda – March 28, 2013 06:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Beauty & The Beast

    Comment by Renee – March 28, 2013 06:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Beauty and the Beast. Eee, Cat and Tess need to get back to being besties again. I’ve got high hopes for this episode!

    Comment by mia – March 28, 2013 07:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Basketball followed by more basketball

    Comment by madbengalsfan85 – March 28, 2013 07:41 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • RAISING HOPE!!!!!!

    Comment by Nick – March 28, 2013 07:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Nothing tonight even though I’m not much of a college basketball junkie and Community is now airing a repeat episode also on tonight. I’ll wait next week for a fresh Community as well as Person of Interest & Elementary (both shows have been renewed by CBS).

    Comment by Jack Bauer 2.0 – March 28, 2013 07:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Vampire Diaries,Beauty & the Beast

    Comment by Brandy – March 28, 2013 08:43 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’ve only watched the pilot of 1600, but i voted cut for my selfish reason – don’t want NBC to cancel my bubble shows

    Comment by Sara – March 28, 2013 09:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Beauty & the Beast of course! After last weeks ending this episode is gonna be crazy intense. Love this show!

    Comment by Jared – March 28, 2013 09:41 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Are Parks and Rec, The Office, and BBT repeats? If so, I guess I’m just watching Vampire Diaries and Raising Hope tonight.

    Comment by Babybop – March 28, 2013 09:47 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • BBT not on here at all….Basketball wiped out CBS tonight.

      Comment by Shaun – March 28, 2013 02:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Scandal

    Comment by Nicole – March 28, 2013 10:18 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Thursdays are boring without CBS. I might check out Grey’s Anatomy because I like Sarah Chalke.

    Comment by nick1372 – March 28, 2013 11:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’ll be watching the Daily Show.

    Comment by bobbie – March 28, 2013 11:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • But wasn´t Raising Hope given two more episodes -up until 24- a few months ago? Does anyone know then how last night´s season finale make a 22-episode season? Do the networks usually do that?

    Comment by Nairdano – March 29, 2013 04:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Fox had to burn off Raising Hope episodes fast, so they didn’t have room for two of them. I expect we’ll see them incorporated into next season or airing in some random place in the summer.

      Comment by nick1372 – March 31, 2013 09:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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