This Week's TV: Quite Possibly The Cutest Animal Documentary Ever Made. Plus Two Types of Apocalypse!

Illustration for article titled This Week's TV: Quite Possibly The Cutest Animal Documentary Ever Made. Plus Two Types of Apocalypse!

This week, two different TV movies offer your choice of apocalypses: a zombie rampage, or the Earth's rotation slowing down. But only one of them features Lance Reddick as a zombie-fighter. If you're not in the mood for the end of the world, though, there's also an animal documentary that pushes cuteness levels into the red zone... and beyond.


This week's TV also includes a Person of Interest that ups the ante, a confrontation on Terra Nova, and a scary-ass closet on Adventure Time. Rebecca Romijn guest-stars on Chuck. Oh, and you can learn how to build a key component of an FTL drive. Check out clips and details, right here!


Cartoon Network has a new Johnny Test at 7 PM. More importantly, at 8 PM, there's a new Adventure Time, "Marceline's Closet":

Finn and Jake spend a nerve-wracking afternoon trapped in Marceline's closet.

Watch a brand new Adventure Time clip above. That's followed by a new Regular Show at 8:15, and a new Mad at 8:30.

At 9 PM, Fox has the penultimate episode of Terra Nova's first season. In which things finally kick into high gear:

Lucas (Ashley Zuckerman) races to assemble the final pieces of his mystery device, in advance of the 11th Pilgrimage's arrival. Also, Jim and Taylor confront the colony's "Sixer" mole, Skye is reunited with a familiar face and Terra Nova prepares for war.

Are we excited yet? Watch some clips below, including the amazing line, "The two of us, we suffer from a Shakespearean relationship that borders on Greek tragedy.":

A&E has the second half of its Bag of Bones miniseries at 9 PM, in which Pierce Brosnan finishes dealing with his grief over his dead wife and solving an old murder.

And then at 10 PM, Science has a new episode of Meteorite Men.


At 10 PM, CBS has the midseason finale of Unforgettable, the show about the cop whose brain has total recall, with zoom and enhance and stuff. And it sounds as though things may be getting even more fantasy-oriented:

"Spirited Away" - When a renowned ghost hunter is killed, Carrie and Al discover that his death is linked to a chilling discovery he made on a recent assignment.


Also at 10 PM, H2 has a new episode of The Universe, called "UFO: The Real Deal."

Many argue that flying saucers and other extra-terrestrial space ships continuously visit the earth. If that were true, what kinds of technologies would such alien spacecraft require? And do eyewitness reports of UFO sightings jibe with modern theories of how interstellar travel might be possible? Authors, astronomers and theoretical physicists weigh in with the blueprints for inertia-canceling devices, nuclear-powered craft, antimatter propulsion systems and even warp drives. Based on Einstein's theories and countless scientific studies, we'll find out how these visitors might bridge the vast distances between the stars. And if they could survive such hazardous journeys, are they flesh and blood or intelligent machines?


So wait... there are blueprints for inertia-cancelling devices? Isn't that kind of big news? Somebody please watch this and send me a screenshot of those blueprints, so I can build one.


Syfy is having a mini-marathon of Twilight Zone episodes during the day.

At 10 PM, there's the penultimate American Horror Story on FX, "Birth." Which is about just what it sounds like:

Vivien gives birth. Tate and Violet attempt to rid the house of some of its ghosts for good.

A second option at 10 PM: the midseason finale Psych on USA, guest-starring Jason Priestly. Here's what it's about:

Shawn and Juliet's romantic getaway vacation from casework and the SBPD is interrupted when their hotel room is robbed and a dead body surfaces at a nearby winery.

And then there's also a new episode of Brad Meltzer's Decoded at 10 PM on the History Channel, focusing on Leonardo Da Vinci and water:

Water water everywhere …. including many of Da Vinci's writings and paintings. Da Vinci predicted some of the great technological advances with the tank, the submarine and driving devices to name a few. Did he also predict the coming of a giant flood? The water on either side of the Mona Lisa's face are uneven, making it look as if they crash together in behind her. Does this have any connection to his writings in which he talks about water rising above mountain tops? Why did he carry his masterpiece around with him whenever he traveled? What is the connection between Da Vinci and the number 72?


Here's part of the episode, via YouTube.


At 9 PM, CBS has the midseason finale of Person of Interest, "Number Crunch":

As Detective Carter deals with the fallout from her recent encounter with Reese and Finch, The Machine ups the ante for the duo by giving them four Social Security numbers instead of one.


And apparently Reese gets in over his head, and Carter has to decide whether to save him.

Also at 9, Discovery has a rather alarming special, The Year the Earth Went Wild:

Earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, floods and hurricanes... 2011 saw some of the deadliest natural disasters on record, all in the same year. Is there some connection? And is (as some scientists think) this just the beginning of a whole new era?


Also at 10 PM, there's the midseason finale of Burn Notice on USA. Plus there's a full hour of Beavis and Butthead on MTV.


Cartoon Network's Friday evening programming starts early, with a new Secret Mountain Fort Awesome at 5:30 PM. There's a new Generator Rex at 6 PM, "Riddle of the Sphinx." And then... that's it for Cartoon Network this time around.

Then at 8 PM, NBC has another all-new Chuck, "Chuck Vs. The Curse."

A CASE OF MISTAKEN IDENTITY GIVES ELLIE AND AWESOME A DATE NIGHT THEY WILL NEVER FORGET — REBECCA ROMIJN GUEST STARS —Chuck (Zachary Levi) and Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) race against time to take down a dangerous computer virus, pitting them against Robyn Cunnings (guest star Rebecca Romijn), a ruthless spy who will stop at nothing to get what she needs. Meanwhile, Ellie (Sarah Lancaster) and Awesome's (Ryan McPartlin) date night takes a dangerous turn and Morgan (Joshua Gomez) is sent on a special mission to recover Chuck's P.A.N.T.S.


Also at 8:30 PM, Disney has a new A.N.T. Farm,

There's a new episode of Grimm at 9 PM on NBC, and it looks like it's the long-awaited Rapunzel episode:

"Let Your Hair Down." A VIOLENT MURDER IN THE WOODS UNVEILS A LONG FORGOTTEN MISSING PERSONS CASE — A mysterious homicide deep in the woods leads to Nick (David Giuntoli) and Hank (Russell Hornsby) reopening a long-aborted missing persons case. When Nick suspects this abducted person might be a feral creature, he asks Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) to help remind this wild child of her human nature.

At 10 PM, the relatively new Chiller network has a new TV movie, Steve Niles' Remains.

Based on the IDW Publishing graphic novel written by Steve Niles (30 Days of Night) and illustrated by Kieron Dwyer, Remains is set in a chilling post-apocalyptic Reno, Nevada, and follows the survivors of a bizarre accident that reduced most of the world's population to zombies. The group takes refuge in a vacant casino and fights a losing battle against the undead, who grow steadily stronger, smarter and more aggressive by the minute. The movie stars Grant Bowler (True Blood, Ugly Betty), Lance Reddick (Fringe, Lost, The Wire), Miko Hughes (Pet Sematary) and Tawny Cypress (Rescue Me, Heroes).

Also at 10 PM, there's a new Sanctuary on Syfy, "The Depths."

A quest to capture a legendary Abnormal in Bolivia leaves Will and Magnus injured and trapped in a cave-in, where they confront truths about themselves and their relationship; Henry records video letters to a special someone while working on an invention.


Yes, it's the traditional "two people trapped in a cave-in confront their relationship" episode.

And at 11 PM on G4, there's a new episode of X-Men Anime, "Revelations."



At 8 PM, Animal Planet has a documentary called Meet the Sloths, which is based on the short film at left about a sloth sanctuary. Featuring a "sloth whisperer!" Learn everything you ever wanted to know about sloths — but mostly, just marinate in the extreme cuteness. Seriously, don't watch that video unless you're paid up on your cuteness insurance.

At 9 PM, BBC America has the season finale of Primeval, in which Philip has apparently won, and Connor is trapped in a nightmarish desert being stalked by future predators... unless Matt can go rescue him.

But also at 9 PM, there's an exciting new movie on Syfy called Earth's Final Hours. This film has everybody: Robert Knepper (Heroes), Julia Benson (Stargate: Universe), Bruce Davison (X-Men), Julia Maxwell (Supernatural), Cameron Bright (Twilight), Michael Kopsa (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), David Richmond-Peck (Day the Earth Stood Still) and Roark Critchlow (V). And here's what it's about:

As dense matter collides with the Earth and slows it's rotation, deadly consequences threaten our very existence. The only way to save the planet is by finding and employing a lost satellite system roaming above the globe. Our heroes, an ex-spook, a determined scientist and a talented hacker, must combine their efforts to save humanity. This is all connected by a thread of an estranged father and son who must get past their differences and learn to trust each other.



Hallmark Channel continues to be a nearly endless source of holiday TV movies that rival electrodes to your private regions in terms of sheer pain. Here's what to expect from Christmas Magic, at 8 PM:

Lindy Booth ("October Road," "The 4400") is an angel unaware who takes on one more earthly mission and ends up earning her wings in "Christmas Magic," a Hallmark Channel Original Movie World Premiere on Sunday, December 18 (8p.m. ET/PT, 7C). Paul McGillion ("Finding a Family," "Stargate: Atlantis") co-stars in the film.


No cartoons on Fox, apart from the season finale of Allen Gregory at 8:30 PM.

At 9 PM, there's a new Leverage, written and directed by co-creator John Rogers (who also wrote or co-wrote all the best issues of Blue Beetle.) Here's what it's about:

Nate, Eliot and Hardison are forced to intervene when Hurley returns, embroiled with the best of intentions in a three–way drug deal.


Also at 9 PM, TLC has a new special called Geek Love. Sadly, it's nothing to do with the Katherine Dunn novel, but instead it's some kind of nerd dating show.

Then at last, there's a new Robot Chicken on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim at 11:30 PM, "Fool's Goldfinger."


Sources: Futon Critic, MSN TV, TV Guide, and various TV studio press releases.



For anyone who may have given up on 'Primeval' because of, well, the quality most of the episodes (the poor writing drives me up a wall), the last couple of episodes (especially the finale) of this season are actually surprisingly good.

Also - and I only ask because of the "the relatively new Chiller network" comment has me hopeful - has Chiller been revamped/new ownership/new direction? It always came off (to me) as a weaker version of Syfy, so I stopped even tuning into to just to see what was on.