It’s a night of sitcom beginnings and endings as “Abby’s” debuts on NBC and “Broad City” concludes on Comedy Central.
What’s on TV
ABBY’S 9:30 p.m. on NBC. Episodes of NBC’s newest sitcom begin with this twist on a common preshow message: “‘Abby’s’ was filmed before a live outdoor audience.” And it’s true; this multicamera sitcom, created by Josh Malmuth (a writer and producer of the now-over Zooey Deschanel sitcom “New Girl”), stars Natalie Morales (“Parks and Recreation”) as a former Marine who builds a bar in her backyard. Its regulars quickly come to include characters (in every sense) played by Neil Flynn (“The Middle”), Nelson Franklin (“Veep”) and Jessica Chaffin (“Search Party”). While the idea of a tavern peppered with weirdos is well established (see “Cheers”), the show’s outdoor filming promises to shake up the convention, something that the camera makes a point of reminding viewers of when it occasionally peels away to show the live crowd. “You see the audience; you see that we’re, like, literally on the side of a cliff in Universal Studios; you see the Los Angeles city lights; and then you see us on this weird little outdoor set, acting,” Morales recently told The New York Times. “It’s going to feel familiar, but it’s also going to feel very novel.”
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (2017) 8 p.m. on TNT. Tim Burton’s “Dumbo,” in theaters this weekend, is the latest in a string of live-action/digital hybrid remakes of animated Disney films. An earlier one is this updated take on “Beauty and the Beast,” which is moodier than its animated predecessor and stars Emma Watson (the beauty) and Dan Stevens (the beast). “Its classicism feels unforced and fresh. Its romance neither winks nor panders,” A. O. Scott wrote in his review for The Times. “It looks good, moves gracefully and leaves a clean and invigorating aftertaste.”
BROAD CITY 10 p.m. on Comedy Central. The New York comedy “Broad City” made stars of its creators, Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer. It comes to a close on Thursday after five years on Comedy Central — and almost a decade after it began as a web series — with an episode simply titled “Broad City.” When the pair had finished writing this finale, “We filmed ourselves reading it,” Jacobson told The Times. “Crying,” Glazer then added, “laughing, crying, laughing, crying, laughing. It is crazy.”
KING COHEN: THE WILD WORLD OF FILMMAKER LARRY COHEN (2018) Stream on Shudder; rent on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu and YouTube. The writer and director Larry Cohen, who died on Saturday at 82, was an auteur maker of low-budget genre movies like IT’S ALIVE (1974), a horror film about a killer baby. That movie, streaming on Google Play, Vudu and YouTube, would make a fine, fittingly outrageous companion to this documentary on Cohen, which features the director speaking alongside some of his admirers, who include Martin Scorsese. “If you don’t know the man, you should,” Glenn Kenny wrote in his review of the documentary for The Times. “And this is a lively, informative introduction.”