A selective checklist of notable Thursday TV:
Roseanne: The Return—A Special Edition of 20/20 (10/9c, ABC): This is one of those times when I’m not just a TV critic, but I play one on TV. Unless I end up on the cutting-room floor, look for some critical perspective to enhance the newsmagazine’s advance look at the revival of the classic sitcom, returning to ABC after two decades with the original Connor family intact. The special features interviews with Roseanne Barr and her co-stars John Goodman (who as Dan was miraculously resurrected for the revival), multiple Emmy (and now Tony) winner Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, Michael Fishman and both Beckys: Lecy Goranson and Sarah Chalke, who’ll be playing a different role in the new version. As someone who once faced the wrath of Roseanne during one of her more outrageous periods (associated with a former husband with the initials T.A.), I’m curious to see how this look back will deal with the behind-the-scenes chaos that led at least one producer to look back at the experience as “Beirut.” No question, though, that the show and its star were ground-breaking, and it’s a very different and volatile world they’re returning to this spring.
Actress Lecy Goranson gets candid for 20/20's nostalgia-filled episode.
Winter Olympics (8/7c, NBC): The marquee event in prime time will be Men’s Figure Skating, with all eyes on 18-year-old Nathan Chen, looking to redeem himself from a shaky performance in last weekend’s team competition. He’ still a front-runner for gold. Also on tap: the final runs of Men’s Skeleton, and a second chance for USA’s Lindsey Jacobellis to try for gold in Women’s Snowboard Cross.
Top Chef (10/9c, Bravo): In a different sort of comeback, the winner of Last Chance Kitchen re-enters the competition as the finalists head to Telluride for the first leg of the finals. In a Quickfire challenge, their dish must include a beverage associated with the Wild West: sarsaparilla. In the elimination challenge, they must contend with the high altitude by incorporating a baking element in their dish.
Shaun White, a skating pair, and more buzzworthy moments in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Inside Thursday TV: Seeking a good cry with This Is Us on hiatus for the Olympics? Hulu is now offering the entire six-reason run of NBC’s tear-jerking Parenthood for streaming. … For musical angst, there’s CMT’s Nashville (9/8c), one week away from its midseason finale, during which Alannah (Rainee Lyleson) upstages the boys in the band—that would be Gunnar, Avery and Will—and Maddie (Lennon Stella) heads off with Jonah (Nic Luken) to Miami, though she finds herself once again bonding with Twig (Dylan Arnold). … For laughs, IFC’s Portlandia (10/9c) continues its final season with vignettes including Doug and Claire trying an open relationship, and Fred stepping on a snail.