A critical checklist of notable Thursday TV:
Nashville (9/8c, CMT): As the musical drama wraps the first half of its final season, Daphne (Maisy Stella) may finally be emerging from the shadow of bratty older sister Maddie (Lennon Stella). She decides to audition for a country-western singing competition in hopes of kick-starting her career. (Hey, it worked for Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood). Is Deacon (Charles Esten) OK with this? In a more ominous sounding subplot, we’re told “Will’s (Chris Carmack) choice catches up to him.” Doubt this is referring to his song choice.
'I’d like to see Will get some serious success in the music world,' says the actor.
The Winter Olympics (8/7c, NBC): Unless there’s a surprising comeback, the USA women won’t be much of a factor in the battle for the podium in Ladies’ Figure Skating. But the rivalry between two exquisite young Russians, Alina Zagitova (#1 after the Short Program) and Evgenia Medvedeva (#2), makes for spellbinding TV. In other scheduled action, Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn compete in the Super Combined event, starting with a downhill run. Snowboarding presents the Olympics debut of the women’s big air event, and Short Track features the men’s 500m, women’s 1000m and men’s 5000m relay.
Top Chef (10/9c, Bravo): Two of the brightest stars in Top Chef history, brothers Michael and Bryan Voltaggio, reunite on the show for the first time since they competed against each other in 2009’s Season 6 (Michael won). This time around, they’re judging a Rocky Mountain Oyster Quickfire, then reuniting the remaining chefs with loved ones in an emotionally fraught Elimination Challenge. Those who survive will pack their knives for Aspen for the two-part finale.
'The food always comes first, says host Padma Lakshmi.
Inside Thursday TV: You’d be nuts to bet against Oscar and Emmy winner Kathy Bates in any competition, and that includes Paramount Network’s Lip Sync Battle (10/9c), in which she takes on Tone Bell, her co-star from the now defunct Netflix sitcom Disjointed. Bates lip-syncs to Bruno Mars’ “That's What I Like,” which is sure to be the audience’s reaction. … The streaming service Walter Presents imports a sports and family drama from Belgium, The Score, about two brothers who dream of footballer (soccer) fame, but only one makes it to the big leagues. … As the debate over gun control continues to heat up after last week’s tragic mass shooting in Florida, Comedy Central repeats the satirical, yet sobering, commentary Jordan Klepper Solves Guns (10/9c).