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.)

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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.

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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 are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. B says:

    Cannot wait for this Grey’s!

  2. Elyse says:

    Aw :( 1600 Penn is so silly but really cute… it grew on me! I hope they keep it!!

  3. kirads09 says:

    My usual CBS Thursday lineup (TBBT, POI and Elementary) preempted for basketball.
    So – DVR catch up or movie likely.

  4. ollie says:

    tvd, raising hope. GO SU!!

  5. Jess says:


  6. monica says:

    Will be watching BATB. Things are about to get crazy good.

  7. Fields says:

    Scandal is the best show on television. I would like to see more of Olivia and Fitz together though.

  8. Amanda says:

    Just TVD for me.

  9. Renee says:

    Beauty & The Beast

  10. mia says:

    Beauty and the Beast. Eee, Cat and Tess need to get back to being besties again. I’ve got high hopes for this episode!

  11. madbengalsfan85 says:

    Basketball followed by more basketball

  12. Nick says:

    RAISING HOPE!!!!!!

  13. 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).

  14. Brandy says:

    Vampire Diaries,Beauty & the Beast

  15. Sara says:

    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

  16. Jared says:

    Beauty & the Beast of course! After last weeks ending this episode is gonna be crazy intense. Love this show!

  17. Babybop says:

    Are Parks and Rec, The Office, and BBT repeats? If so, I guess I’m just watching Vampire Diaries and Raising Hope tonight.

  18. Nicole says:


  19. nick1372 says:

    Thursdays are boring without CBS. I might check out Grey’s Anatomy because I like Sarah Chalke.

  20. bobbie says:

    I’ll be watching the Daily Show.

  21. Nairdano says:

    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?

    • nick1372 says:

      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.