Thursday Watch List: Ferrell! Carell! Officell!

Welcome to Watch List, where we identify five things on TV to watch while you stay at home and make macaroons. LET’S GO!

THE OFFICE – 9:00PM (NBC) When it was first announced that Steve Carell was leaving this show, I think everyone was ready to go ahead and write its obituary. But if losing Carell means getting Will Ferrell as his temporary replacement, well then it was nice knowing you, Steve. Be sure to send a postcard. The biggest star in comedy graces the show with his presence for four episodes starting tonight, and assume at least one of those episodes will feature his bare posterior. After such a long run, the writers of this show should just go off the deep end. Have Creed start killing people. Have Pam give birth to a demon child. Have Dwight grow a Stalin mustache. What’s there to lose? ANTICIPATION: VERY HIGH!

THE PAUL REISER SHOW – 9:30PM (NBC) It’s my job here at Watch List to point out shows you should be excited to watch. And so I’m going to address Paul Reiser’s new show very, very carefully. After all, this is the man who gave us the execrable “Mad About You,” and is now starring in a sitcom that’s a direct lift of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (Larry David even guest stars in the premiere, likely because he owed Reiser money). So if that sounds appealing to you, then you go right head and tune in. If it doesn’t, tune in anyway. Like you, I often like to watch things that make me angry. ANTICIPATION: NOT QUITE SO HIGH!

TRIPLE RUSH – 10:00PM (Travel Channel) We’ve got coal miners, fishermen, pawnbrokers, taxidermists, and virtually every other profession covered in the reality TV landscape. Ah, but what about bike messengers? You know, the breathtaking idiots who endanger motorists and pedestrians on a daily basis by riding in the center of traffic and flagrantly disobeying traffic signals? Well, now they get their own show. And if Travel Channel can promise me that a messenger gets run over every episode, they have my viewership. ANTICIPATION: PUNKS!

AMERICAN IDOL – 8:00PM (FOX) Some kid is gonna get the boot, but that’s irrelevant. What matters is that Rihanna and Kelly Clarkson will be dueting tonight, and that’s quite a pull by the “Idol” folks. ANTICIPATION: RIHARKSON!

RANDY JACKSON PRESENTS: AMERICA’S BEST DANCE CREW – 10:00PM (MTV) The “Idol” judge’s danced competition has a new season debuting tonight. In the premiere, the crews must choreograph routines inspired by Ke$ha. Expect them to expertly pantomime drinking a handle of Southern Comfort and falling into a swimming pool while wearing far too much glitter. ANTICIPATION: TIK TOK!

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