TV column for Thursday, April 13

“Trial & Error” (NBC) or “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS), 8

Since life is never
simple, there's a new twist: For one night, TV's best comedy and its
best new comedy air at the same time. The latter is “Trial,”
which sets up Tuesday's finale with this transplanted episode: After
28 days of prosecution testimony, Josh finally starts his defense ...
amid a major setback.

And “Big Bang”?
Last week, Bernadette was reluctant to end her maternity leave; now
she and Howard have a hard time leaving the baby at day care. And in
a twist similar to one on “Man With a Plan,” an oafish friend
(Brian Posehn) introduces his gorgeous girlfriend (April Bowlby of
“Drop Dead Diva”).

“Scandal,” 9 p.m., ABC.

For the second time
in three days, we get the 100th episode of a show. On
Tuesday, it was “Switched at Birth”; tonight, “Scandal” has a
“what-if” episode.

Last week, people
learned of the plot behind the assassination of the president-elect.
Now Olivia (Kerry Washington) imagines what life would have been like
if she hadn't rigged a previous election.

ALTERNATIVE: “Grey's Anatomy,” 8 p.m., ABC.

The tenuous
relationship between Meredith and Nathan gets an airborne shaking.
She had disliked the guy, because Owen did. (In Jordan, he cheated on
Owen's sister, whose helicopter later vanished.) Meredith and Nathan
did have some in-car sex, but no dates; she resisted, because Maggie
likes him.

But now they're
seatmates on an airline. We can expect another quickie – what is it
about Meredith and vehicles? – and then an in-flight crisis. That
could get us in the mood for “Scandal.”

Other choices

Junior,” 8 p.m., Fox. It's Christmas-cooking time. (Really.) The
klds must make gingerbread houses, then try to duplicate one of
Gordon Ramsay's holiday favorites.

8:30 p.m., NBC. Last week, we met Green Fury (Natalie Morales of “The
Grinder”), who's simply known in the comics as Fire. She zoomed in
to rescue Teddy. He's now quite smitten – life-saving will do that
– but Emily needs her help to deliver on a big idea.

“Chicago Med,” 9
p.m., NBC. When Dr. Halstead's unsupportive father is admitted, it
seems to trigger other parental problems. Dr. Rhodes reflects on
troubles with his dad ... Dr. Charles' daughter's odd behavior
intensifies ... and Dr. Manning feels the complications of being a
working mother.

“Riverdale,” 9
p.m., CW. During all their years of teen-show stardom, we never
envisioned Luke Perry and Molly Ringwald marrying and divorcing each
other. Now they finalize their split, as their son Archie tries to
hide his true feelings. Also, a birthday party for Jughead spins out
of control.

“Mom,” 9:01
p.m., CBS. Looming is the potential for big change. Bonnie and Adam
are ready to take their relationship to the next step; Christy
suddenly adopts the healthy habits of her new boyfriend (Bret
Harrison of “Grounded for Life” and “Reaper”). After decades
of unhealthy habits, this is drastic.

“Life in Pieces,”
9:30, CBS. Maybe Matt and Colleen will think twice having kids; their
attempt to watch their niece Lark is disastrous. Also, Tim and
Heather rehash a long-ago argument.

“The Catch,” 10
p.m., ABC. On the legitimate side, Alice and Val re-examine the case
that first brought them together. On the sneaky side, Ben and Rhys
fear their undercover status has been compromised.