On TV this week
MINISERIES PREMIERE Untold History of the United States, 8 p.m., Showtime Oliver Stone decides to take on things that happened during the Cold War. Besides the U.S. government driving the economy by buying weapons and materiel from eager private contractors, we mean.
SERIES PREMIERE Catfish: The TV Show, 10 p.m., MTV Nev Schulman gets an entire show about how young people spend a lot of time meeting each other online. You know, instead of the clean-cut, traditional places like bars, street corners and back alleys.
Castle, 10 p.m., ABC This show's been on long enough that they've decided to start doing the usual theme episodes. Tonight's them: Doing the show in documentary style.
SERIES PREMIERE I Love the 1880's, 11 p.m., History Let's go back in time 120 years, and learn that hey, things really aren't all that different than they were a century ago. That's vaguely depressing.
MINISERIES PREMIERE Frontier Earth, 8 p.m., Animal Planet Here's a bunch of weird animals and how they act. It beats watching another cheetah kill more baby antelope.
MINISERIES PREMIERE Mankind The Story of All of Us, 9 p.m., History A 12-hour, six-day show about the entire history of every person who ever lived, hosted by Josh Brolin. We're scared to find out how much time they spend on the cast of Jersey Shore.
SEASON PREMIERE Doomsday Preppers, 9 p.m., NatGeo We're already kind of tired of making fun of weirdos who think they'll even be able to survive tornados, superearthquakes and oddly specific smallpox epidemics. Can we find someone who will admit he's afraid of being overrun by stupid rednecks? Because that could happen.
SERIES PREMIERE Little People Big World: Wedding Farm, 9 p.m., TLC The Roloffs are back, running a wedding venue in Oregon. Imagine how many times they'll get to do the Hokey Pokey!
SEASON PREMIERE Million Dollar Decorators, 10 p.m., Bravo The L.A.-based interior designers would continue to sell their souls, but the housing market out there has already cratered, so who can afford to decorate?
SEASON PREMIERE Baggage Battles, 8 p.m., Travel Parasitic bargain hunters continue to claim luggage people either forgot or lost forever. Eventually someone will find that suitcase full of pornography no one wanted to take responsibility for.
The Neighbors, 8:30 p.m., ABC Debbie gets the bright idea to kick her parents out of her Thanksgiving plans so she can spend all her time with her friends. Hey, the holidays aren't about doing what you want, they're about spending time with your family!
Top Chef: Seattle, 10 p.m., Bravo And so we have 15 cheftestants, a full one-third of whom will never have names, as far as we're concerned.
Eddie Murphy: One Night Only, 10 p.m., Spike People pay tribute to Eddie Murphy's distinguished comedy career. We seriously doubt Melanie Brown and the daughter Eddie abandoned will be present. Hilarious!
Crossfire Hurricane, 9 p.m., HBO In case you hadn't heard, the Rolling Stones are 50 years old. Well, except they're actually way older than that. Watch this to see what they were like as yoots.
Grey's Anatomy, 9 p.m., ABC Chandra Wilson directs an episode in which the cast has to recount how they were injured in the plane crash. Good, because we need to catch up, because out stupid DVR keeps refusing to record the show because each episode bleeds into It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia at 10 p.m.
Parks and Recreation, 9:30 p.m., NBC You mean we still haven't decided what to do with Lot 48? You'd think Leslie would have settled that before she became a City Council member.
Beyond Scared Straight, 10 p.m., A&E First rule of putting kids in this scared straight program: Making sure they aren't already jaded enough to not be afraid of the prison inmates.
America's Next Top Model, 8 p.m., CW Which one of the girls will win the competition and forever ruin her chances of working as a model beyond the one-year contract she gets? Not the one you want to win, that's who.
SERIES PREMIERE Raised Wild, 9 p.m., Animal Planet An entire series about feral children raised by wild animals. The casting pool for this one is pretty limited.
We Will Always Love You: A Grammy Salute to Whitney Houston, 10 p.m., CBS Jennifer Hudson, Celine Dion, Usher, Yolanda Adams and CeCe Winans are in a special taped last month. Just record it and fast-forward to the clip of her singing the Star-Spangled Banner at Tampa's Super Bowl XXV.
SEASON FINALE Real Time With Bill Maher, 10 p.m., HBO Bill just may have something to talk about this week. We wonder what.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org