“LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN” (10:35 p.m. Tuesday, WBBM-Channel 2): The future meets the past when Stephen Colbert and David Letterman make their first joint appearance since the announcement that the Comedy Central star will take over for the veteran late-night host when Letterman hangs it up next year. You can bet Rush Limbaugh will be hate-watching.
“PARKS AND RECREATION” (7 p.m. Thursday, WMAQ-Channel 5): With a musical lineup better than this year’s Lollapalooza, this hourlong installment of one of television’s best comedies ends season six on a high note when the Pawnee parks department puts on its Unity concert with the help of Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, the Decemberists, Yo La Tengo, Letters to Cleo and Ginuwine. First Lady Michelle Obama also makes a cameo, but I’m most excited to see unflappable Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) have another run-in with his ex-wife, Tammy 2 (Offerman’s real spouse, Megan Mullalley). And we’ll find out if Leslie (Amy Poehler) will be our neighbor and take that job in Chicago.
“BAD TEACHER” (8:30 p.m. Thursday, WBBM Channel-2): This TV adaptation of the 2011 Cameron Diaz film by the same name stars an adequately amusing Ari Graynor (“Fringe”) as a self-absorbed former trophy wife who’s set her gold-digging sights on single dads at the middle school where she conned her way into a teaching gig. It’s decent material to mine for laughs in a two-hour movie, but it wears thin on a weekly basis despite solid performances by the rest of the cast, including Sara Gilbert (“The Talk”) as a lovable loser, David Alan Grier (“In Living Color”) as a divorced principal and Kristin Davis playing a schoolmarm version of Charlotte on “Sex and the City.” Rating: ★★
“BLACK BOX” (9 p.m. Thursday, WLS-Channel 7): Like “Homeland,” this drama revolves around a brilliant bipolar female — who really likes jazz. Unlike “Homeland,” this drama is not good. Dr. Catherine Black (Kelly Reilly, “Sherlock Holmes”) is a gifted neuroscientist struggling to keep her manic-depression under wraps at work, where her colleagues include a womanizing surgeon (Ditch Davey, “Spartacus”) straight out of a telenovela. Dr. Black’s mental illness supposedly makes her uniquely qualified to treat patients with extraordinary neurological conditions. These unusual medical cases feel like a way of marking time until Dr. Black can once again go off her meds and turn into a sex fiend in a show that might as well be called “Fifty Shades of Grey Matter.” Rating: ★
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