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Thursday on TV: ‘Superior Donuts’ is good; ‘Powerless’ is bad; ‘Training Day’ is OK

First Published      Last Updated Jan 31 2017 12:26 pm

Three series premiere tonight — a good comedy, a bad comedy, and an OK action/drama:

• "Superior Donuts" (7:30 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2), based on the play by Pulitzer- and Tony-winning writer Tracy Letts, features Judd Hirsch) as the irascible, older owner of a donut shop and Jermaine Fowler as the young guy who wants to help update the shop — and keep it in business.

It's full of topical humor, and it has possibilities. The pilot isn't as funny as it could be, but it has possibilities.

• "Powerless" (7:30 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5) centers on a woman (Vanessa Hudgens) who takes over as director of research and development at Wayne Security — a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises that specializes in creating gadgets and gear to keep regular people safe from the fallout of battles between superheroes and supervillains.

It's a good premise, but the premiere is almost painfully unfunny. This is super disappointing.

• "Training Day" (9 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2) is a sequel to the 2001 Denzel Washington-Ethan Hawke movie. A young police detective (Justin Cornwell) is assigned to work with an older, jaded cop (Bill Paxton) with a reputation for ignoring the rules — and the law.

There's lots of action, but the series is pretty unremarkable.

Elsewhere on TV ...

• "The Big Bang Theory" (7 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): Sheldon beta-tests an invention that could help him read people's emotions; Leonard can't hide his feelings about Penny's brother visiting; Raj invites his ex-girlfriends over to give him dating advice.

• "Grey's Anatomy" (7 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): Richard and the attendings make Eliza's first day at Grey Sloan difficult.

• "Superstore" (7 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5): Glenn accidentally tells the employees that Amy and her husband are in counseling.

• "Hell's Kitchen" (7 p.m., Fox/Ch. 13): The final challenge has the chefs preparing four dishes in the span of an hour in front of an audience; a winner is announced.

• "Supernatural" (7 p.m., CW/Ch. 30): Sam and Dean try to stop Castiel from falling victim to a powerful witch.

• "Project Runway Junior" (7 and 9 p.m., Lifetime): The designers must create a high fashion look.

• Men's college basketball: Utah at California (7 p.m., P12N); Gonzaga at BYU (9 p.m., ESPN2)

• "Lip Sync Battle" (7:30 and 8 p.m., Spike): Michael Strahan vs. Hoda Kotb; Tony Gonzalez vs. Ray Lewis

• "Mom" (8 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): Christy, Bonny, Jill and Wendy unknowingly eat cookies filled with pot.

• "Scandal" (8 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): Flashbacks show what happened on the campaign trail Fitz and Abby face a national crisis.

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