Worth Watching: ‘Clarice’ Premiere, ‘Stand’ Finale, ‘Sheldon’ Goes to College, a Mayoral Avacado Crisis

Clarice Mcihael Cudlitz Rebecca Breeds
Brooke Palmer ©2020 CBS

A selective critical checklist of notable Thursday TV:

Clarice (10/9c, CBS): A moody thriller revisits young FBI agent Clarice Starling, the heroine of The Silence of the Lambs, with Rebecca Breeds stepping into Jodie Foster’s long shadow. The action picks up a year after the harrowing capture of “Buffalo Bill” in Lambs, when Clarice is recruited into a violent crime task force where she faces skepticism from colleagues as well as her own self-doubt. Hannibal Lecter is much missed, but Clarice proves to be worthy of her own show.

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The 'Silence of the Lambs' heroine goes back into the field in this new thriller.

The Stand (streaming on CBS All Access): Stephen King, well known for revising and expanding his best-selling fantasy opus over the years, has contributed an original coda to the sprawling limited series, which reached a natural conclusion a week ago with the destruction of New Vegas‑and, seemingly, “Dark Man” Randall Flagg (Alexander Skarsgård). But as Frannie (Odessa Young) observes in a voice-over, “Truth is, most stories don’t end at all.” So in this final hour, King focuses on Frannie’s story, pointing toward a hopeful and fertile future, carrying The Stand more quietly, though no less ominously, to its open ending.

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Young Sheldon (8/7c, CBS): Leading off an all-new night of comedy, Sheldon (Iain Armitage) becomes the Small Man on Campus as he starts his college career, which hits an early speed bump when he clashes with his philosophy teacher (Two and a Half Men‘s Melanie Lynskey). Will things go better for his twin, Missy (Raegan Revord), who’s about to start middle school?

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Ted Danson, Tina Fey, Holly Hunter, and more muse on the show's journey to TV.

Mr. Mayor (8/7c, NBC): Good guac grief! Wacky storylines are this sitcom’s specialty, so expect plenty of over-the-top humor as Mayor Neil’s (Ted Danson) administration copes with an avocado shortage that sets all of Los Angeles into a tailspin. In a subplot, chief of staff Mikaela (Vella Lovell) discovers a cure for her amnesia: deputy mayor Arpi’s (Holly Hunter) deadly dull presentations.

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Plus, how the 'healthy dose' of action, comedy, and family drama drew her right in.

Inside the Stream: New to HBO Max: The Bridge, a six-part competition series based on a Spanish format, in which 12 strangers from the U.S., the U.K. and Ireland work together to build an 850-foot bridge to cross a lake where a £100,000 prize awaits — but only one can claim it; and the documentary There Is No “I” in Threesome, an intimate look at a New Zealand couple who decide to open up their relationship… On Discovery+: They Call Me Dr. Miami, a documentary profiling controversial celebrity plastic surgeon Michael Salzhauer… Topic’s Chris Gethard’s Beautiful/Anonymous adapts his podcast in which the host tweets out a phone number and engages in a half-hour conversation with whoever gets to him first… A pre-Valentine’s Day romance on BET+, Never and Again is produced by hip-hop mogul Percy “Master P” Miller and Romeo Miller, starring Jackie Long and Denise Boutté as former teenage sweethearts thinking about rekindling their relationship.

Inside Thursday TV: While Walker (Jared Padalecki) deals with more family issues on The CW’s Walker (8/7c), his partner Micki (Lindsey Morgan) feels the pressure when Capt. James (Coby Bell) puts her in charge of an investigation… Fox’s Call Me Kat (9/8c) gets personal when Kat (Mayim Bialik) considers freezing her eggs after a visit to the gynecologist… Ken Jennings, nearing the end of his fifth successful week as Jeopardy! guest host, takes the “Chaser” seat on ABC’s The Chase (9/8c)… Comedian Bobby Lee guests on truTV’s Fast Foodies (10:30/9:30c), challenging the chefs to recreate and remix his favorite on-the-run breakfast: McDonald’s Sausage McMuffin with Egg.