Worth Watching: 'Criminal Minds' Series Finale, Bloomberg Joins Debate Stage, CMT Visits the 'Bluebird,' IFC's 'Year of the Rabbit'
A selective critical checklist of notable Wednesday TV:
Criminal Minds (9/8c, CBS): Never a critical favorite, but a hit with the procedural-addicted CBS base, Criminal Minds tackles its final mission with a two-hour series finale. Fittingly, the BAU team goes after one of the most fiendish fiends in the show's history: Everett "the Chameleon" Lynch (Michael Mosley), who a year ago nearly killed Rossi (Joe Mantegna). Along the way, Dr. Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) experiences a brain trauma that triggers hallucinations involving people from his past (cue familiar-face cameos). And before it's over, Rossi and the gang will celebrate their leader’s retirement. The final hour was co-written by executive producer Erica Messer and series star Kirsten Vangsness (a consistent scene-stealer as Penelope Garcia).
Democratic Debate (9/8c, NBC and MSNBC): He has blanketed the nation with ads, and now former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg takes the debate stage along other front-running candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination in Las Vegas. Moderators include Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, Chuck Todd of Meet the Press, NBC White House correspondent Hallie Jackson, Noticias Telemundo senior correspondent Vanessa Hauc and The Nevada Independent's Jon Ralston.
Bluebird (8/7c, CMT): You've seen it on Nashville. And if you've ever been to Nashville, maybe you've seen it in person. Don't pass up this opportunity to learn more about the 35-year history of the iconic, yet unassuming, Bluebird Cafe in this intimate and poetic documentary. Among those singing the praises of the 90-seat strip-mall proving ground for up-and-coming country artists: Garth Brooks (who landed his record deal there), Maren Morris, Vince Gill, Faith Hill, Jason Isbell, Kacey Musgraves, Taylor Swift, Pam Tillis, Trisha Yearwood and the cast of Nashville, including Charles Esten.
Year of the Rabbit (10:30/9:30c, IFC): After killing it as a blustery vampire on What We Do in the Shadows, Matt Berry takes on Sherlockian slapstick as Detective Inspector Rabbit, a mutton-chopped misanthrope, in a merry send-up of Victorian crime clichés. This mangy Rabbit, whose heart tends to stop mid-chase, is joined by a green sidekick (Freddie Fox) and his boss's bawdy daughter (Susan Wokoma) who's determined to become London's first lady copper. Along for the capers: an avaricious Joseph "the Elephant Man" Merrick (David Dawson), who barks, "Merrick don't freak for free." (Read the full review.)
Inside Wednesday TV: Arguably the most famous player on CBS's Survivor: Winners at War (8/7c), and as such a target for others, "Boston" Rob is not going to be pleased to learn his wife, Amber, was voted out during the opposing team's Tribal Council… Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is executive producer and appears in History's documentary Black Patriots (10/9c), which honors the little-known contributions of people of color during the Revolutionary War, from soldiers to spies… It's a road trip on ABC's Stumptown (10/9c) when Dex (Cobie Smulders) and Grey (Jake Johnson) leave Portland for L.A., where a client says her script was plagiarized. Left to run the Bad Alibi bar: Dex's brother Ansel (Cole Sibus) and Tookie (Adrian Martinez), who probably should have listened to Grey and not thrown a birthday party there… Bravo's Blind Date (11:30/10:30c) returns with back-to-back episodes, featuring the first out transgender woman in the series’ history.