The war heats up as

"Parade's End" (9 p.m., HBO, TV-MA, part five of five) concludes. This extraordinary hour features harrowing trench battle scenes and depictions of the bravery, confusion and fear of men mired in mud and subject to unceasing bombardment. It's quite remarkable.

The drama's powerful anti-war message centers on the action far from battle, condemning the vanities and delusions of a high command far more interested in appearances, pro-

fessional advancement and social connections than the lives of millions of men squandered in the trenches.

Viewers hoping "Parade's End" would provide a "Down ton Abbey" substitute will have to focus on the wardrobes and interior decoration. That happier series used World War I as a melodramatic plot device. "Parade's End" concludes with the war obliterating almost everything that

matters.

---Hank comes closer to

locating his wife on "Zero Hour" (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG). He'd better hurry up because the audience for this show is harder to find than the answers to a hundred-year-old Rosicrucian mystery. The ratings for the debut of "Zero" set a new low for scripted series on ABC. That sad number shrank by more than 20 percent for the second episode.

---The terminally deadpan series "Nathan for You" (10:30 p.m., Comedy Central, TV-14) consists of mock videos of a young business school graduate pitching ideas to up sales for small businesses. Low-key laughs give way to crude scatological jokes when he advises a strip mall yogurt shop to develop a flavor similar to manure. Help yourself.

---Similarly affected with low energy, "The Ben Show With Ben Hoffman" (10 p.m., Comedy Central, TV-14) follows the title star as he tries to buy a gun, engage in inappropriate conversation with the gun dealer and consult with his therapist about his decision. The most novel sketch features a rapper turning newspaper death notices into angry,

obscene songs.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

---The gang takes a course with professor Cornwallis (Malcolm McDowell) on "Community" (8 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).

---The top 40 semifinalists emerge on "American Idol" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14).

---Ben's new job gives Leslie pause on "Parks and Recreation" (8:30 p.m., NBC, r, TV-PG).

---An enforcer's life hangs in the balance on "Person of Interest" (9 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14).

---Pam brings uninvited guests to work on "The Office" (9 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14).

---It's the last straw for Olivia on "Scandal" (9 p.m., ABC, r, TV-14).

---The contestants compete with designs aimed at senior citizens on "Project Runway" (9 p.m., Lifetime, TV-PG).

---Erica and Tina may be ending more than their tour on the season finale of "Mary Mary" (9 p.m., WE, TV-PG).

---Charlie gets a celebrity patient (Cee Lo Green) on "Anger Man agement" (9:30 p.m., FX, TV-14).

---Martin Ennis evades capture on "Elementary" (10 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14).

---A former victim becomes a suspect on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (10 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14).

---"Jimmy Kimmel Live" (10 p.m., ABC, TV-14) repeats its post-Oscar party.

---"American Greed" (10 p.m., CNBC) profiles the fraudulent claims of a wealth-building club.

---Anderson Cooper hosts "The Bully Effect" (10 p.m., CNN).

CULT CHOICE

TCM's Oscar-month salute to specific studios concludes with a glance at Embassy Pictures, which released three memorable films

directed by Mike Nichols, including "The Graduate" (8 p.m.), "Carnal Knowledge" (2:15 a.m.) and "The Day of the Dolphin" (4 a.m.).

SERIES NOTES

---Rebekah returns with a shock for Elena on "The Vampire Diaries" (8 p.m., CW, r, TV-14).

---A visitor (Miley Cyrus) makes Walden feel ancient on "Two and a Half Men" (8:30 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14).

---A chance to relax on "1600 Penn" (9:30 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).

LATE NIGHT

---Rachel Maddow is on "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" (11 p.m., Comedy Central).

---Julian Newman and Eugene Mirman appear on "Conan" (11 p.m., TBS).

---Kate Mara, Ben Gleib, April Richardson and Kurt Braunohler are booked on "Chelsea Lately" (11 p.m., E!).

---Jon Favreau sits down on "The Colbert Report" (11:30 p.m., Comedy Central).

---Charlie Sheen, Phil Simms and Jose James appear on "Late Show With David Letterman" (11:35 p.m., CBS, r).

---Jay Leno welcomes Steve Carell and Shooter Jennings on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC).

---Jim Parsons, Gavin Newsom and Ziggy Marley appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (11:35 p.m., ABC).

---Tina Fey, Bill Nighy and Bob Mould visit "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" (12:35 a.m., NBC).

---Craig Ferguson hosts David Duchovny and Ashley Madekwe on "The Late Late Show" (12:35 a.m., CBS).

Kevin McDonough can be reached at kevin.tvguy@gmail.com.