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What to Watch on Thursday: Rob Lowe gets funny for new NBC gig

There are several finales on tonight, and they are mostly pretty dark and depressing. But there is some comedy to be found on NBC. On "Community," Senor Chang gets replaced when the college finds out he doesn't actually have a teaching degree. On "Parks & Recreation," Rob Lowe (left) plays an auditor who comes to Pawnee to slash the budget. And on "30 Rock," Liz needs a date to Floyd's wedding so she revisits old flames hoping for a love connection. Michael Sheen and Jon Hamm return for that.

And now, the dark stuff...

Vampire Diaries (8pm, CW) - A very deadly Founders Day celebration is the backdrop for tonight's Season 1 finale.

Supernatural (9pm, CW) - In other happy-go-lucky finale news, this show's season ends with the Apocalypse.

Fringe (9pm, Fox) - In part one of a two-part season finale, Olivia travels to the alternate universe with Walter, who is preparing for a showdown with William Bell (Leonard Nimoy).

Click below to read about impending doom on "Private Practice."

What to Watch on Thursday: NBC comedies are all new

Community (8pm, NBC) - NBC comedies are all new again this week, and "Community" and "Parks & Recreation" will most likely continue to outshine "The Office" and "30 Rock." But I'd still watch them all. On "Community," the gang discusses the attraction between Brita and Jeff, and on "Parks & Rec," Leslie (Amy Poehler, left) hosts a local telethon and lands former NBA player Detlef Schrempf to assist. "30 Rock" has a Mother's Day special, featuring Jack's mom (Elaine Stritch), Jenna's mom (Jan Hooks), as well as others. Buzz Aldrin also makes an appearance.

Grey's Anatomy (9pm, ABC) - Seattle Grace treats a 700-pound patient, and Derek faces a late patient's husband in a wrongful death deposition. 

The Mentalist (10pm, CBS) - A math genius is shot to death by a clown. 

The Marriage Ref (10pm, NBC) - Tonight's panel is made up of Jerry Seinfeld, Gwyneth Paltrow, and comedian Greg Giraldo.

What to Watch on Thursday: NBC comedies return

Community (8pm, NBC) - NBC comedies are all new tonight (finally), but no "Parks & Recreation" (boo). On "Community," Jeff and Troy protest a chicken finger shortage on campus. On the first episode of "30 Rock," Jack must choose between his two loves, played by Elizabeth Banks and Julianne Moore. In the second episode, Liz discovers that the gang hasn't been including her in after-hours gatherings, and is determined to show her fun side. On "The Office," Michael interferes in Andy's romance with Erin, and Oscar's video pointing out the similarities between Kevin's voice and that of the Cookie Monster goes viral.

The Mentalist (10pm, CBS) - Jane's conduct gets a case kicked out of court, and the gang must start all over in their investigation. This is just the kind of thing the new boss warned him would get Lisbon fired...

Project Runway (10pm, Lifetime) - The winning designer is revealed in tonight's finale. 

The Marriage Ref (10pm, NBC) - "Marriage Ref" keeps pulling me in with their steady stream of pretty good panelists, so even though it's not a great show, I always watch. Tonight they have one of my favorites, Adam Carolla, and one of my least-favorites, Donald Trump. There's also Gloria Estefan (meh), so I guess I'm tuning in for Adam.

What to Watch on Thursday: Join NBC's "Community"

NCAA Basketball (7pm, WRAL) - Regional semifinals from Syracuse and Salt Lake City. Full schedule here.

Community (8pm, NBC) - Brita pulls a prank hoping to reverse her humorless reputation, but something goes horribly wrong and she's investigated by new campus security workers, Annie and Shirley. 

Grey's Anatomy (9pm, ABC) - Sounds like a lot of Owen in this episode, so I'm out. 

30 Rock (9:30pm, NBC)  - Liz Lemon's ex Floyd (Jason Sudeikis) returns with big news and Liz must reassess her relationship with him.

Real Housewives of New York (10pm, Bravo) - It's fashion week and everyone is fighting with Bethanny, except, oddly enough, Kelly. Jill has a party and there's an "explosion of drama" and someone storms out. 

What to Watch on Thursday: Not a great family day on "Community"

Survivor (8pm, CBS) - The two women from North Carolina are still on the island. Tune in to cheer them on (or root against them) and check back here tomorrow for our recap of the show.

Community (8pm, NBC) - An event draws family to campus and Katharine McPhee guest stars as Pierce's (Chevy Chase) stepdaughter, who has a thing for Jeff (Joel McHale).

American Idol (8pm, Fox) - Four more contestants go home tonight.  

30 Rock (9:30pm, NBC) - Liz meets Mr. Right at the dentist's office and has to track him down later. Also, Jack learns from Avery (Elizabeth Banks) that NBC could be sold to a cable company, and Jenna tries to help Tracy in his quest to win a Tony.

The Marriage Ref (10pm, NBC) - The only reason I'm watching again is because Larry David, Ricky Gervais, and Madonna make up tonight's panel. I'll watch Larry David and Ricky Gervais in pretty much anything.

 

What to Watch on Thursday: Kathy Bates buys Dunder-Miflin

Vampire Diaries (8pm, The CW) - Vampire brothers Stefan and Damon recall the events which led to their broken relationship.

The Office (9pm, NBC) - Kathy Bates (left) stars as an eccentric CEO who buys Dunder-Miflin, and Michael has a hard time adjusting to the new company's policies (it's not like he did so well with the old company's policies). I think his best bet is to continue his streak of cougar seductions and romance the CEO.


Fringe (9pm, Fox) - In the winter finale, a strange disaster leaves only one survivor in a Manhattan office building and the team races to Jacksonville, Florida, looking for answers. 

30 Rock (9:30pm, NBC) -  SNL alum Jan Hooks (right) guest stars as Jenna's mother, who shows up seeking a reality show deal from Jack. And in a scenario almost too horrific to imagine, Frank moves in with Liz. 

Archer (10pm, FX) - Malory's job is in danger after a "sensitive" videotape falls into the wrong hands, and she must rely on Archer's skills of seduction to save it.

Important Things/Sarah Silverman (10pm, Comedy Central) - The second season premiere of "Important Things with Demetri Martin"  is followed by the third season premiere of "The Sarah Silverman Program."

"30 Rock" star heading to rehab

Emmy-winning actor Rip Torn, arrested this weekend for getting wasted and breaking into a bank in Salisbury, Ct., is headed to rehab.

Torn was so hammered when he broke into the bank, according to The Associated Press, he thought he was at home. He took off his boots and hat and left them by the door, and was stumbling around in the lobby when police arrived. Police do not believe he was there to rob the bank, and said that Torn wondered why they were trying to remove him from his home.

Torn has a history of alcohol-related legal run-ins, so it sounds like the court-ordered rehab is way past due.

Torn has nine Emmy nominations, the most recent in 2008 for his role as Don Geist on NBC's "30 Rock." He won an Emmy in 1996 for his role as Arthur on HBO's "The Larry Sanders Show."

Emmy-winning actor arrested in armed bank break-in

This is one of those "are you freaking kidding me?" stories: actor Rip Torn was arrested last night during an armed bank break-in.

Torn was arrested for breaking into the Litchfield Savings Bank in Salisbury, CT., where he lives, after cops responded to an alarm at the bank and found Torn inside, drunk and with a loaded handgun.

Torn is known for many roles including the hilarious talk show producer Arthur ("Artie") on HBO's "The Larry Sanders Show," and NBC head Don Geist on NBC's "30 Rock." In fact, Torn was nominated for six Emmys for his role on "The Larry Sanders Show," winning the award in 1996. He was also nominated for an Emmy for his "30 Rock" role in 2008.  In all, Torn has been nominated for Emmys nine times and for an Academy Award once (in 1984 for his supporting role in "Cross Creek").   

Torn has been charged with carrying a firearm while intoxicated, carrying a pistol without a permit, first-degree criminal trespass, first-degree burglary, and third-degree criminal mischief. He is being held on a $100,000 bond.

Torn's previous brushes with the law include drunk driving charges in Connecticut and New York.

What to Watch on Thursday: Jack Black joins "Community," "Runway" returns to NYC

Community (8pm, NBC) - All new comedies tonight on NBC. On "Community," Jack Black tries to join the study group, and Jeff becomes editor of the Greendale Gazette Journal. Doesn't he know newspaper jobs only end in heartbreak? On "Parks & Recreation," Leslie (Amy Poehler) goes on a date with a doctor, played by her real life husband Will Arnett. Then there are two new episodes of "30 Rock." James Franco guest stars as himself in the first one, aggravated that Jenna is pretending to be in a relationship with him.

Grey's Anatomy/Private Practice (9pm, ABC) - It's another crossover night, and the action centers around Addison and Mark McSteamy Sloan, and Mark's pregnant daughter.

Project Runway (10pm, Lifetime) - "Project Runway" returns! And we mean it really returns this time, because it's finally back in New York where it belongs. Now we can try to forget the failed LA experiment that was last season.

Archer (10pm, FX) - You'll get two back-to-back half-hour episodes in the debut of this naughty new animated action series. It's created and produced by a UNC grad, and we think it's definitely worth checking out.

What to Watch on Thursday: A Deschanel duo on "Bones"

Bones (8pm, Fox) - A man dressed like Santa Claus robs a bank and then blows himself up. Merry Christmas!! More importantly, Zooey Deschanel, real life sister of "Bones" star Emily Deschanel (both at left), guest stars. 

Community (8pm, NBC) - Anthony Michael Hall is on as a bully hassling Jeff, who happens to be preoccupied about failing Spanish (please let this mean we get Senor Chang tonight).

Parks & Recreation (8:30pm, NBC) - Leslie in the middle of a sex scandal? Sounds just about right.

The Office (9pm, NBC) - Phyllis and Michael battle over who gets to play Santa. Meanwhile, Dunder-Mifflin is sinking like  a stone. 

30 Rock (9:30pm, NBC) - Jack reconnects with an old flame (Julianne Moore).

Jersey Shore (10pm, MTV) - It's the new reality show that has Italian Americans up in arms. But I'm not sure if making threats against MTV staff is the most effective way to argue that Italian Americans in New Jersey aren't all just a bunch of guidos. The show is pretty awful and advertisers are already bailing, so if you're curious, you better watch it while you can.

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