Worth Watching: Netflix Revives ‘Lucifer,’ ‘Modern Family’ and Other Finales, ‘NOVA’ Investigates California Wildfires
A selective critical checklist of notable Wednesday TV:
Lucifer (streaming on Netflix): Look who’s been rescued from cancellation hell! The quirky supernatural crime dramedy, canceled by Fox after three seasons, is back for a fourth season, picking up in the aftermath of that charming devil Lucifer (Tom Ellis) revealing his Satan face to Detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German). While that relationship sorts itself out, Lucifer must reckon with another strong female who’s as iconic as he is: Eve (Inbar Lavi), the original sinner, who’s got a bone to pick with the demon who got her kicked out of the Garden of Eden oh so many eons ago.
Modern Family (9/8c, ABC): Anchoring a full night of comedy finales, the Emmy-winning fan favorite wraps its 10th — which we now know to be the next-to-last — season with the birth of Haley (Sarah Hyland) and Dylan’s (Reid Ewing) twins imminent. Before breaking out the cigars, or whatever may be more politically correct these days, the extended family of Dunphys and Pritchetts looks back at how each of them celebrated their own birthdays over the past year.
NOVA (9/8c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): TV’s premiere science program goes “Inside the Megafire,” as journalist Miles O’Brien goes from the scorched earth of 2018’s devastating wildfires in California to researchers’ labs to better understand the physics of fires and how forestry practices, climate change and drought may have contributed to this crisis. O’Brien enlists scientists to explain why these tragic megafires are becoming more common and talks to the people who had to flee for their lives as the flames inexorably spread.
Inside Wednesday TV: Court TV is back, relaunching to take viewers back inside courtrooms. The prime-time centerpiece, discussing the big legal stories of the day, is Closing Arguments with Vinnie Politan (6 pm/5c), with Court TV’s lead anchor hosting three hours of highlights and discussion with legal experts, journalists and commentators… Jamal (Jussie Smollett) is MIA on Fox’s Empire (8/7c), with mixed signals about whether the scandal-besieged actor will ever return, but the real question dogging the Lyons in the fifth-season finale: Who’s in the coffin?… In the first-season finale of ABC’s Single Parents (9:30/8:30c), Angie (Leighton Meester) confronts her ex-husband Derek (Adam Brody, Meester’s real-life husband) about abandoning her when she was pregnant. This encounter is Will’s (Taran Killam) idea… David Boreanaz directs an action-packed episode of CBS’s SEAL Team (10/9c) in which the Bravo Team goes on a desperate search for Ray (Neil Brown Jr.) when he’s separated from his colleagues in enemy territory in the Kashmir mountains… The hard-luck vampires of FX’s hilarious cult comedy What We Do in the Shadows (10/9c) find themselves on the defensive when an international vampire tribunal judges them for their transgressions. Jemaine Clement wrote and Taika Waititi directed the episode; both are creators and executive producers of the series and starred in the original 2015 film.