What's Worth Watching: Taking the Stage, What's Cooking, Colony and more for Thursday, January 12
Taking the Stage: African American Music and Stories That Changed America (9/8c, ABC): Amazing that the roof of the Kennedy Center remained intact during the filming of this spectacular entertainment special last fall, a bounty of show-stopping performances and celebrity appearances to honor the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. The Obamas groove along to a lineup that features Usher (channeling the shimmy of James Brown), Fantasia, Tony winners Cynthia Erivo (The Color Purple) and Renee Elise Goldsberry (Hamilton), Stevie Wonder, Savion Glover, John Legend, and many more—with Tom Hanks bringing the crowd to its feet while introducing six surviving members of the Tuskegee Airmen. Explosive pride, euphoric music and emotional testimony fuel this memorable night, executive produced by Quincy Jones and Don Mischer.
What’s Cooking? ABC crowns a winner of The Great American Baking Show (8/7c), but only after the most difficult round of baking challenges to date. Bravo’s Top Chef (10/9c) continues its season in Charleston with a Sudden Death Quickfire resulting in one chef’s instant elimination, followed by a pirate-themed treasure-hunt challenge introduced by guest judge Graham Elliot. (This could be a busy night in the Last Chance Kitchen.) And Fox introduces another cooking series, My Kitchen Rules (9/8c), in which judges Curtis Stone and Cat Cora crash two celebrity dinner parties to critique the cuisine and decides which is tastiest. Guests in the premiere are siblings Brandy and Ray J, pitted against Lance Bass and mother, Diane.
Colony (10/9c, USA): The second season of the alien-occupation thriller picks up several weeks after the events of the cliffhanger, with Will (Josh Holloway) and Katie (Sarah Wayne Callies) trying to find harmony at home, despite being on opposite sides of the battle.
Inside Thursday TV: The chill between Christy (Anna Faris) and Jill (Jaime Pressly) deepens on CBS’s Mom, when Jill has the rest of the group keep news of her pregnancy from her former friend. … Don Cheadle faces Wanda Sykes in a new edition of Spike’s Lip Sync Battle (10/9c). … More singing follows. In a shameless ripoff of Carpool Karaoke and Cash Cab, Spike’s Caraoke Showdown (10:30/9:30c) casts The Office’s Craig Robinson as an Uber-like driver, picking up unwitting passengers who are asked to become a back-seat singer and finish lyrics for a cash prize.