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Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – February 2, 2012

(ALL TIMES ET)

8:30PM | NBC
Parks and Recreation
– Chris is bummed that he’s – lit-rally – alone on Valentine’s Day, while Leslie arranges a cool Valentine scavenger hunt for Ben, who needs Ron’s help to figure it out.

8PM | NBC
30 Rock
– Liz and Jack wrangle over her new contract, while Kenneth looks for a new page assignment after getting the feeling his TGS cohorts are giving him the cold shoulder.

8PM | FOX
American Idol
– Auditions move to St. Louis, home of the Gateway Arch, which you have to take the world’s scariest, most claustrophobia-inducing diagonal elevators to ascend.

9PM | NBC
The Office
– Angela spawns.

9PM | LIFETIME
Project Runway All-Stars
– The designers have to approach strangers on the streets of New York City, ask them for their clothing and then make new outfits out of them. The clothes, not the strangers, silly.

10PM | FX
Archer
– Archer and the gang team up with Mounties to transport a Canadian terrorist on a train. Hilarity, of course, ensues.

10PM | FOOD NETWORK
Fat Chef
– In Cleveland an overweight chef and an overnight caterer try to deal with the issues that have plagued them partly because their jobs require being around food 24/7.

10PM | MTV
Jersey Shore
– The episode is described thusly: “Snooki deals with an uncomfortable condition.” Please don’t let it be something festering, requiring penicillin or both.

10PM | CBS
The Mentalist
– A clothing designer attempting a comeback is murdered. That – pause, remove your sunglasses a la Caruso – is truly a fashion faux pas.

11PM | MTV – SERIES PREMIERE
I Just Want My Pants Back
– It’s a comedy about twentysomething slackers living in Brooklyn. Despite that, it’s actually pretty good.

11PM | BRAVO
Watch What Happens: Live
– Because, really, how can you not watch when Andy Cohen hosts Snooki and JWoww?

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– The friendship contract is in danger when Leonard finally tires of Sheldon’s, uh, Sheldon-ness on The Big Bang Theory (8PM, CBS);
– Klaus hosts a dinner party with an unexpected guest on The Vampire Diaries (8PM, The CW);
– New winter Wipeout on ABC (8PM);
– It’s the what-if/flashback-y episode of Grey’s Anatomy (9PM, ABC) … proceed at your own risk;
– On Person of Interest (9PM, CBS), Zoe comes back and helps Reese with a case involving an unlucky person of interest;
B.o.B., Gym Class Heroes and the All-American Rejects perform at the Pepsi Super Bowl Fan Jam (9PM, VH1);
– Pete sees Violet kiss Scott on Private Practice (10PM, ABC);
– Chris Rock is the interview subject on Inside Comedy (11PM, Showtime).

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): John Krasinski;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Dr. David Agus;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Christiane Amanpour;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Woody Harrelson;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Drew Barrymore;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Gary Oldman;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Adam Levine and Taylor Lautner;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Daniel Radcliffe;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Mario Batali.

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – January 26, 2012

(ALL TIMES ET)

8 and 9PM | NBC
30 Rock
– First up: Whilst Tracy champions the world’s morons, Jack dukes it out with Devin Banks and messes with Liz’s relationship with Criss. In the night’s second ep, Kenneth looks for a new page assignment when he thinks the TGS crew doesn’t love him anymore. The installment’s called “The Ballad of Kenneth Parcell,” and after last season saw precious few Kenneth storylines, it’s a very welcome development to see Jack McBrayer getting more screen time this season.

8PM | FOX
American Idol
– The auditions head to the city Glen Campbell sang about. No, there’s no city called Rhinestone Cowboy, silly. It’s Galveston.

8PM | CBS
The Big Bang Theory
– Penny and Leonard are reunited and it feels so, well, less weird than Raj’s new relationship … with his virtual phone assistant.

8:30PM | NBC
Parks & Recreation
– Leslie goes bowling for votes when she hosts a bowling soiree to whip up support for her campaign. Her pals, meanwhile, compete to see who can raise the most cash for her political efforts.

9PM | LIFETIME
Project Runway All Stars
– The designers have just six hours to design a fabulous outfit that will be judged by – Gasp, clutch the pearls – Diane von Furstenberg.

10PM | FX
Archer
– When Cyril (Cyril!) gets promoted to field agent, he, Archer and Lana head out on a dangerous mission. Made all the more dangerous by the fact that Cyril has been made a field agent.

10PM | MTV
Jersey Shore
– The Shore gang heads to Staten Island to convince Vinny to return to the smelly, smelly beach house. Staten Island … smelly beach house. Staten Island … smelly beach house. Yep, that’s a tough call.

11PM | SHOWTIME – SERIES PREMIERE
Inside Comedy
– The series features David Steinberg interviewing comedians about their careers and what influences them. First up: Jerry Seinfeld and Don Rickles.

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Jon Heder and Cuba Gooding Jr.;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Tilda Swinton;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Drew Barrymore;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Regis Philbin (REPEAT);
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Jim Parsons (REPEAT);
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): J.B. Smoove and Andre Agassi;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): John Mulaney (REPEAT);
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Craig tours the Palace of Versailles;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Wale (REPEAT).

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – January 19, 2012

(ALL TIMES ET)

10PM | FX
Archer
– In one of the TV season’s funniest guest spots, Burt Reynolds, Archer’s hero, lends his voice for “The Man From Jupiter,” in which the Smokey and the Bandit star is dating Archer’s mama, much to Sterling’s chagrin.

8PM | NBC
30 Rock
Kelsey Grammer returns (as himself), to help Jenna and Kenneth with a little issue, while Jack disapproves of Liz’s new boyfriend (guest star James Marsden) and Liz is busy trying to deal with blowback when a Tracy rant hits the Internet. Once again, ripped from today’s headlines …

8PM | FOX
American Idol
– The second night of first-round auditions go to Pittsburgh.

8PM | CBS
The Big Bang Theory
– In the show’s 100th episode, Leonard invites Penny to a romantic dinner. As Chachi Arcola would say, “Wa-wa-wa.”

8PM | NBC
Parks and Recreation
– Leslie and Ben find out that campaigning and romance may not make good bedfellows, while Chris tries to become BFFs with Ron Swanson.

9PM | NBC
The Office
– No good can come of this: Erin wants to make Andy jealous, which she attempts to do by flirting with one Dwight K. Schrute.

9PM | LIFETIME
Project Runway All Stars
– The designers have to create an elegant cocktail dress. For Miss Piggy. For reals.

10PM | MTV
Jersey Shore
– Even though he’s missing his partner in bromance, the recently departed (not dead … he just hightailed it back to Staten Island) Vinny, Pauly celebrates his 31st birthday. Yeah, I know, 31 … told old to be actin’ like such a fool.

10PM | CBS
The Mentalist
– Jane goes all Mystery Inc. on the murder of a mobster’s son.

10:30PM | FX – SERIES PREMIERE
Unsupervised
– This new Beavis and Butt-head-ish ‘toon revolves around Gary and Joel (voiced by Justin Long and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia producer/actor David “Rickety Cricket” Hornsby), two teen dorks who live largely without the restraints (and supervision) of adults. The series, produced by the It’s Always Sunny gang, also includes voicework from Fred Armisen, Romany Malco, Kristen Bell and Sunny‘s always awesome Kaitlin Olson.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– Bonnie is reunited with her mom on The Vampire Diaries (8PM, The CW);
– A family edition of winter-themed Wipeout (8PM, ABC) includes “Pain in the Ice” and “Frosty Family Tree”;
– Richard performs his 10,000th surgery on Grey’s Anatomy (9PM, ABC);
– Carter meets Reese on Person of Interest (9PM, CBS);
Megan Mullally guests as a rival talk show host on Up All Night (9:30PM, NBC);
– Addison and Jake meet with potential surrogates on Private Practice (10PM, ABC);
Ralph Fiennes visits the clubhouse on Watch What Happens: Live (11PM, Bravo).

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Owen Smith;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Elizabeth Banks;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Carrie Rebora Barratt;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Kathy Griffin;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Mark Cuban;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Tom Arnold;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Ewan McGregor;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Steven Wright;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Cory Booker and Foster the People (REPEAT).

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – January 12, 2012

(ALL TIMES ET)

8PM | NBC – 6TH SEASON PREMIERE
30 Rock
– They’re back, and Jenna gets her wish for bigger fame when she becomes a judge on a reality talent show called Kidz Got Singing.

8PM | CBS
The Big Bang Theory
– Penny gives Sheldon advice on how to be a better boyfriend after he hurts Amy’s feelings.

8PM | THE CW
The Vampire Diaries
– Caroline’s getting a surprise 18th birthday party! Oops, guess it’s not a surprise anymore.

8PM | VH1
17th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards
– The fact that Paul Scheer and Rob Heubel are hosting is reason enough to watch yet another movie awards show, methinks.

8:30PM | NBC
Parks and Recreation
– April and Andy decide to get a pet. They kind of have their hands full trying to keep each other alive, no?

8:30PM | CBS
Rob
– I’m pretending this new Rob Schneider doesn’t exist. If you choose not to, warning: crapload of stereotypes and lame, lame jokes ahead.

9PM | HBO
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
– The documentary catches up with the West Memphis Three, who continued their efforts to overturn their 1993 conviction in the murder of a trio of elementary school children, using DNA evidence and witness testimony that wasn’t available at the time of the original trial. Spoiler alert, in case you missed it: The three were freed last summer. But don’t let that deter you from watching Paradise Lost – the filmmakers’ third documentary on the West Memphis Three – because the end result doesn’t begin to tell the compelling story of how 18 years of legal wrangling took a toll on all involved.

9PM | CBS
The Office
– Dwight heads off to Sabre HQ offices in search of a new job, while Andy tries to horn in on Oscar’s trivia hobby. Can anyone make an argument that this show should continue? Seriously, I’d like to hear it if so, because it increasingly feels like it may never be funny again. So why suggest it as a viewing pick? Eh, sometimes you have to stick with a show ’til the end (see also: Chuck).

9PM | LIFETIME
Project Runway All Stars
Mark Badgley and James Mischka are guest judges for tonight’s challenge, in which the designers have to whip up elegant ball gowns for a night at the opera.

10PM | ANIMAL PLANET
American Stuffers
– Yes indeed, this is a reality show about taxidermists. No avocation is unworthy of its own reality series. Or, if the first one becomes a hit, many, many reality series (see also: Pawn Stars, Cajun Pawn Stars, American Pickers, etc.)

10PM | MTV
Jersey Shore
– Homesick Vinny considers leaving the house. Because there almost certainly must be tons of other ways he could make money as easily as he is on Jersey Shore.

10PM | CBS
The Mentalist
– As Jane investigates the murder of a high-price divorce attorney, he also has to answer FBI questions about Red John’s involvement with Panzer’s death.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– Brennan and Booth look for a new home on Bones (8PM, Fox);
– The Snow Boot and Avalanche Alley are among the challenges on Wipeout (8PM, ABC);
– The Bones spin-off The Finder (9PM, Fox) premieres;
– Teddy questions Cristina about Henry’s surgery on Grey’s Anatomy (9PM, ABC);
– Reese and Finch pull Carter into a case on Person of Interest (9PM, CBS);
– On Up All Night (9:30PM, NBC), Kevin (guest star Jason Lee) worries Ava is ashamed of him;
– Sam and Pete have bachelors’ night out on Private Practice (10PM, ABC).

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Ricky Gervais;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Dolly Parton;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Mike Allen;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Senator John McCain;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Betty White and Gerard Butler;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Meryl Streep;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Daniel Radcliffe;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Hugh Laurie;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Chris Hardwick (REPEAT).

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – September 19, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

10PM | COMEDY CENTRAL
Roast of Charlie Sheen
– Never has there been a celeb more roastable, or who provided more roasting fodder. Now, if we can all just figure out what the frick roaster Mike Tyson is saying …

8PM | ABC – 13TH SEASON PREMIERE
Dancing With the Stars
– To those DWTS fans upset about Chaz Bono‘s participation this season, eh, get over it … you’re watching a show about D-list celebrities performing dances that haven’t been hip since The Lawrence Welk Show. Bono, along with Ricki Lake, the always unpredictable David Arquette and the chance that Nancy Grace will make an even bigger ass of herself, almost makes this thing worth watching this season. Almost.

8PM | CBS – 7TH SEASON PREMIERE
How I Met Your Mother
– Back-to-back episodes open the new season, and include Robin fretting over whether or not to tell Barney she still has feelings for him.

8PM | NBC – 3RD SEASON PREMIERE
The Sing-off
– Pop star Sara Bareilles joins the judging panel as eight of the 16 a cappella groups competing this season perform in the opener.

9PM | CBS – 9TH SEASON PREMIERE
Two and a Half Men
– Before he gets killed by snarky to downright mean comments during his Comedy Central roast, Charlie Sheen‘s character, Charlie Harper, officially bites the dust on Men, as Ashton Kutcher joins the cast as brokenhearted rich dude Walden Schmidt.

9:30PM | CBS – SERIES PREMIERE
2 Broke Girls
– It’s a comedy, from co-creators Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City) and comedienne Whitney Cummings, and it revolves around two broke girls, Max (Kat Dennings) and formerly rich chick Caroline (Beth Behrs), who work as Brooklyn waitresses and become roommates so they can save money to open their own cupcake shop. Because that’s such a novel idea, in New York City, these days. Anyway, is it funny? I’ve seen only the pilot, and, well, no, not yet.

10PM | LOGO
The A-List: New York
– Oh, Austin. He and Jake and trying to finalize plans for their wedding, but one of Austin’s frienemies is claiming Jake cheated on Austin, and Austin, always, is ticking off those around him.

10PM | ABC – 4TH SEASON PREMIERE
Castle
– Beckett fights for her life after being shot, and who’s her new precinct captain? Wily Sherry Palmer, a.k.a. 24 alum Penny Johnson Jerald (who so should have won an Emmy for her 24 gig).

10PM | CBS – 2ND SEASON PREMIERE
Hawaii Five-O
– After last season’s disastrous ending, McGarrett opens the season in prison for the governor’s murder, but Danny has a friend who might be able to help, and that friend looks an awful lot like Lost star Terry O’Quinn. Because he is.

10PM | NBC – SERIES PREMIERE
The Playboy Club
Eddie Cibrian, he of the LeAnn Rimes love triangle scandal, stars as a 1960s Chicago attorney and Playboy Club key holder who helps a new Club Bunny when she’s assaulted by a mobster and accidentally kills him. Must see? Mmm, no, nor is it as scandalous as the pre-season hubbub might suggest, but it’s worth a look.

11:59PM | HBO
The Strange History of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
– Documentarians Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato directed this special on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which airs just as the ban is repealed, effective on Sept. 20.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– If you’re one of those people who have yet to dive into the wacky world of Liz Lemon and company on 30 Rock, catch it from the beginning, every weeknight from 7-8PM, on Comedy Central;
– Carter and Jo have to deal with an attack on the presidential convoy on the fourth season finale of Eureka (8PM, Syfy);
– On Hell’s Kitchen (8PM, Fox), a winner is chosen in the ninth season finale;
– On Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (9PM, Bravo), Kim‘s behavior brings up those discussions about her alleged alcoholism again;
– There’s a zombie-ish breakout in New York on Warehouse 13 (9PM, Syfy);
– History Channel has back-to-back new episodes of Pawn Stars (10PM);
– The team checks out a werewolf attack at a porn shoot on Death Valley (10:30PM, MTV).

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Ryan Gosling and Nicole Scherzinger;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Ted Danson;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Simon Cowell;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Dr. Phil;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Bruce Springsteen (REPEAT);
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Keith Olbermann;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Author Sarah Vowell (REPEAT).

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