It's now a cliché to say that nobody watches According to Jim, which ends its season tonight (ABC, 8 PM and 8:30 PM). But networks show no unwillingness to quickly cancel shows that really don't have any viewers, so the stereotype is obviously not true. While the series isn't significant enough for ABC to run it all year long -- once again next season, it won't debut until after the new year -- it's reliable, relatively cheap for a veteran show, and is a sort of family sitcom, though not to the extent of Everybody Hates Chris. These aren't qualities that critics care much about, and the show deserves quite a bit of the scorn it gets. But its survival does have some logic behind it.
Tonight at 8:00, Jim gets upset when he finds that Cheryl has been staying in bed during her pregnancy much more than the doctor has ordered. At 8:30, James Lipton guest stars as the Devil (it was inevitable that would happen someday), who returns to collect on Jim's debt for making Cheryl fall in love with him. Is this a dream sequence? The introduction of new kids to the mix is usually a sign that a sitcom is running low on ideas, but in this case that might be redundant.
Naked Science (National Geographic, 8 PM): How are scientists working to protect us from the clear and present danger of an asteroid hitting the earth?
Raw Nature (Animal Planet, 8 PM): Indians capture poisonous snakes and use their venom for medicine; the crew heads to dangerous terrain to get a look at the Andean condor; feeding blood to vampire bats.
The Moment of Truth (Fox, 8 PM): The most popular new series of 2007-08 returns with a whole new group of folks willing to sell out their friends and family for money.
Spice Up My Kitchen (HGTV, 8:30 PM): Trouble at home? A contractor's wife seeks help from the show.
Not Going Out (BBC America, 8:40 PM): Sad news brings Tim and Kate closer together; Lee sees a therapist but doesn't have much to say.
Deadliest Catch (Discovery, 9 PM): The Cornelia Marie battles a power outage; the Northwestern experiences an accident on deck.
Hell's Kitchen (Fox, 9 PM): The winners of the challenge, a relay race, get to go surfing, while the losers have to clean the restaurant; teams pick their own menus for the dinner.
Maxim Top 100 2008 (VH1, 9 PM): The list of the 100 hottest women of the year. Lindsay Lohan was #1 last year, pretty much destroying Maxim's credibility till the end of time. But I might peek in anyway...you know, just to make sure they still don't know what they're talking about.
Mega Disasters (History, 9 PM): The Mediterranean flooded a huge chunk of Turkey 8000 years ago, possibly leading to the cultural memory that manifested itself later as the story of Noah's flood.
Real Housewives of New York City (Bravo, 9 PM): Some unseen footage becomes seen for the first time, with some fights (yes, they actually held some back) and some unseen romances.
The Andromeda Strain (A&E, 9 PM): The second part of the film (preceded by a repeat of part one beginning at 7 PM) follows the race to come up with a solution to the Andromeda problem before it spreads and mutates beyond anyone's ability to stop it.
A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila (MTV, 10 PM): Tila takes the winners of a challenge to the candy store. I don't think that's a really cheesy metaphor; I believe it's a literal store.
College Hill: Atlanta (BET, 10 PM): The hour-long season finale finds the kids working one more event for the Ludacris Foundation, and finally bonding at a birthday celebration for Shavon. It's always easy to put aside your differences when you know you're never going to see someone again.
48 Hours (CBS, 10 PM): Polygamy is the hot newsmagazine issue these days, as we get a look inside the lives of Warren Jeffs and his followers.
Independent Lens (PBS, 10 PM): New Year Baby is filmmaker Socheata Poeuv's examination of her family background, as she visits Cambodia to lean more about how her parents survived the Khmer Rouge.
Secret Lives of Women (WE, 10 PM): A look at female stalkers, though since one of them is Lisa Nowak, the most famous astronaut since the Apollo days, it's questionable how secret all of it is.
The Alaska Experiment (Discovery, 10 PM): Jeff and Elizabeth are near the end of their rope; the Flower Lake threesome need to either get some food or go back to their cabin. Even though you know a crew is standing by if anything were to go seriously medically wrong, the show still made the plight of the hikers last week look genuinely frightening.
Work Out (Bravo, 10 PM): Both Jackie and Brianna have family visiting at the same time; Lisa takes the easy way out when it comes to weight loss.
Deion & Pilar: Prime Time Love (Oxygen, 10:30 PM): Pilar works to round up some escaped cattle; Mr. and Ms. Sanders try to make time for romance.
My House Is Worth What? (HGTV, 11 PM): A family wants to make their house more green: how much work can they afford?