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The Librarians

Christian Kane (left), Noah Wyle and Lindy Booth use picnic goodies, including prosciutto, to make a welding torch in the pilot episode of "The Librarians," which debuts at 7 p.m. Dec. 7 on TNT.

The Librarian returns to TNT tonight (Dec. 7), and this time he has a bodyguard, three Librarians-in-training and a crusty caretaker joining him.

And, oh yeah, Bob Newhart and Jane Curtin also make cameos (but not as themselves, of course).

Noah Wyle (“Falling Skies”) reprises his role as Flynn Carsen in the new series, “The Librarians,” which airs back-to-back the first two of 10 episodes at 7 p.m. on Time Warner Cable channels 38, 203 and 1203.

The series will continue at 7 p.m. on Sundays, with Wyle’s Carsen as a recurring character and the focus shifting to the Librarians-in-training (Christian Kane, Lindy Booth, John Kim), their protector (Rebecca Romijn) and branch office caretaker (John Larroquette).

Wyle originated Carsen 10 years ago in “The Librarian: Quest for the Spear.” The made-for-TV movie did so well for TNT that two sequels followed, “The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines” (2006) and “The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice” (2008).

Like the movies, the series is a mix of drama, action and camp, with an emphasis on the camp.

It’s a combination of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and the Syfy series “Warehouse 13,” with the Librarians (each with a special talent) as members of an ancient organization tasked with recovering and protecting mythical and magical treasures. The pilot episode deals with King Arthur’s crown and Excalibur, which Wyle’s Carsen affectionately calls “Cal.”

The premise works, in part, because the cast includes three comedic veterans. Larroquette (“Night Court”) is an Emmy winner, Romijn was a hoot in “Ugly Betty,” and Kane showed a dry wit in both “Leverage” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”

Heck, even the bad guy, “Eureka’s” Matt Frewer, knows a thing or two about playing it over-the-top. And this is over-the-top. And extremely fun. And here’s hoping Wyle recurs often. Grade: B+

Across the remote

* ABC ordered a full season of its new comedy “Cristela.” Meanwhile, two other newbies -- “Red Band Society” (Fox) and “Constantine” (NBC) -- did not receive pickups beyond 13 episodes. Neither has been canceled officially, but it doesn’t bode well they didn’t get a full season. Fox already pulled “RBS,” saying it will air the three remaining new episodes at a later date.

* Netflix will release all 10 episodes of its new drama, “Marco Polo,” at 12:01 a.m. Friday. Starring newcomer Lorenzo Richelmy as the title character, the series is based on the famed explorer's adventures in Kublai Khan's court in 13th century China. In other Netflix news, the third season of “House of Cards” will come out Feb. 27.

* Quick hits -- TNT renewed Sean Bean’s spy drama “Legend” for a second season … “Ground Floor” begins its second season at 9 p.m. Tuesday on TBS … AMC renewed “Hell on Wheels” for a fifth and final season, splitting the 14 episodes over the next two summers Hulu will air the remaining new episodes of the canceled “Selfie,” releasing one each Tuesday.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7213 or jkorbelik@journalstar.com. On Twitter @LJSjeffkorbelik.

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Features editor

Jeff Korbelik is the features editor and covers dining, performing arts, TV and local media. Follow him at @LJSjeffkorbelik.

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