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Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – June 28, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

8PM | ABC
Wipeout
– Is this my lead Potts Pick today just because I wanted to run a giant photo of the Big Red Balls? Yup.

8PM | CARTOON NETWORK
The Looney Tunes Show
– In a movie-within-the-show, The Foghorn Leghorn Story is told, and Daffy plays Foghorn

8PM | ABC FAMILY
Pretty Little Liars
– Aria takes a pottery class that brings her closer to Ezra. And Jenna.

9PM | TNT
Memphis Beat
– Dwight tries to help a guy find his MIA daughter, but he’s afraid the woman is the victim of a nasty crime.

9PM | NBC
The Voice
– It’s the final round of live competition, leading into tomorrow night’s season finale and the revelation of The Voice.

9PM | USA
White Collar
– When a Detroit mobster comes to town looking for Mozzie, Peter and Neal help The Mozz pull off an old scam to trip the mob dude up, lest a gangster war break out.

10PM | MTV
16 & Pregnant: Life After Labor 4
– Dr. Drew hosts the reunion special, which updates us on the stories of the season three teen moms and their offspring.

10PM | FOOD NETWORK
Chopped
– The cheftestants have to use cookie dough in their desserts. Yeah, yeah, that sounds obvious and easy, which almost certainly means it won’t be.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
America’s Got Talent (8PM, NBC) auditions continue in New York City;
– Four contestants compete to make cupcakes for a party celebrating the first man in space on Cupcake Wars (8PM, Food Network);
– The top 14 compete on MasterChef (8PM, Fox);
– An Olympic torch is up for sale on Hardcore Pawn (9PM, truTV);
– On Covert Affairs (10PM, USA), Annie and a fellow spy are the targets of an assassin in Argentina;
– On HawthoRNe (10PM, TNT), Bill Engvall guest stars as a hospital internal affairs investigator;
– Money and prosperity influence How the States Got Their Shapes in tonight’s episode (10PM, History);
– On Love/Lust (10PM, Sundance), vampires and zombies are the topic;
– A farting kiddie gets Web Redemption on Tosh.O (10PM, Comedy Central).

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Elijah Wood;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Louis C.K.;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Alexandra Pelosi;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Tom Hanks;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Scotty McCreery, Blake Lively and Blake Shelton (REPEAT);
Lopez Tonight (Midnight, TBS): Andy Richter;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Jason Bateman;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Larry King and My Morning Jacket (REPEAT);
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Neil Gaiman and Paris Hilton;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Adam Blackstone (REPEAT).

REVIEW: ‘Futurama’ Midseason 6 Premiere

Star Rating: 4 out of 5

Stars: Katey Sagal, Billy West and John DiMaggio

The Big Idea: Futurama returns for season six’s second half with a double-barreled blast of fun via back-to-back episodes.

The first ep, “Neutopia,” finds the Planet Express staff brainstorming ways to raise funds and avert bankruptcy (“free delivery” turns out to have been a bad promotional strategy for a delivery company). Plan A: a girlie calendar of the Planet Express lovelies, which pits Leela, Amy and office temp/Hermes wife LaBarbara against the “walking beer commercial” of Fry, Bender and the boys.

Plan B: transforming Planet Express into a space airline. That idea shows more promise, until “Goofus and Ganja,” a.k.a. Fry and Hermes, crash the maiden flight. Then, the battle of the sexes that began as a hairline fracture becomes a full-on, it’s-your-faultline between the women and the dudes, and it’s settled only when a powerful, but somewhat disaffected, asexual rock creature (hat tips to Star Trek and Galaxy Quest) intervenes with tests to determine the superior sex. Unsatisfied with the outcome, Rocky solves the issue by … well, a spoiler lies in the title of the episode.

Tonight’s second episode is “Benderama,” which revolves around the idea that there can definitely be too much of a – well, good is too strong a word – thing. It opens with a shoutout to The Twilight Zone that sparks a new life approach for Bender. Taking exactly the wrong lesson from the Zone, Bender marries the Professor’s latest invention with his own defining characteristic (sloth) to create a series of mini-Benders … just to avoid folding some clothing.  Each successive Bender produces two more mini-Benders, each 60 percent of the size of its parent, but just as lazy and obnoxious as Bender Prime. And, oh, they’re hungry.

The Planet Express crew attempts mass extermination of the Benders to prevent them from consuming the earth, but fails. And thank goodness they do, as the Benders prove critical in preventing a really ugly situation from spinning out of control. High points of the episode are the “grey goo” hat tips to nanotechnology (it’s not just a funny show … it’s a smart funny show), and Patton Oswalt‘s guest-voicing of the gentle giant struggling with self-esteem, anger management and mommy issues.  Big Bender to the Rescue!

To Watch or Not to Watch: Yes, but only if you want the context behind lines like: “In your face, decumbent urinators”; “Womanhood also takes some getting used to: for example, did you know there are more than two feelings?”; “Thank God most of our fans are such huge perverts!”; “Ah marriage – it combines the contentedness of being neutered, with the occasional sex of being not”; “Oh God, shield your eyes – it’s like Edward James Olmos on IMAX!”; “They’ll reproduce without limit, consuming all the matter in the world.  Like the Kardashians“; and “It’s like fine cognac, with a hint of aged scrotum.”

The midseason premiere presents two very strong episodes of a show that consistently delivers, and a marked contrast to some of the other animated shows that (cough, cough, Book of Mormons took all our time) seem to have lost a step this recently-aired season.

TV Screener Tidbit: Don’t miss the end credits of “Neutopia” … the “girls” of Planet Express are on full display, for better or worse. Much, much worse.

Futurama‘s new episodes premiere Thursday, June 23, at 10PM ET on Comedy Central

 

WIN THIS! ‘American Dad!’ Volume 6 DVD Box Set

HOORAY! We have our winners:

Rafael, Iraida and Caitlin! Congrats, and thanks for entering. Your awesome prizes will be on their way to your mailbox shortly. Enjoy, and thanks again for checking us out at TV Screener.com!

And everyone, stay tuned to TVScreener.com … we’ve got lots more TV goodies coming your way!

Giveaway time again, and, thanks to our good friends at Fox Home Entertainment, TVScreener.com has three copies of the new American Dad! Volume 6 DVD box set to give away to our lucky readers!

From Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment:

MEMORANDUM

SUBJECT: The Wanted Extraterrestrial Known as Roger Has Been Captured!

TO: All CIA Personnel

FROM: Office of the Director

SUMMARY: Agents from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment closed in on the elusive extraterrestrial named Roger*. He was found residing at the home of CIA agent Stan Smith, star of the animated comedy American Dad!. Imagine our surprise! Smith has been harboring Roger in Langley Falls, VA where he lives with his not-so-smart wife Francine, his liberal hippie daughter Hayley, geeky yet cocky son Steve and a unique talking goldfish named Klaus. Video surveillance of Roger and the entire Smith clan will be released in April on the American Dad! Volume 6 DVD.

American Dad! Volume 6 includes all eighteen hilarious episodes of season 5, uncensored and loaded with extras, including deleted scenes and audio commentary. Volume 6 is available on DVD on April 19.

*Please use caution with Roger as he is a known master of disguise and has recently been seen impersonating a jockey, a police officer and even the leader of a small island nation.

Remember, to enter:
– Leave a comment on this post, with the name of your favorite current TV comedy, and an e-mail address where you can be reached
– Deadline to enter is May 9 at 8PM ET (according to recorded comment time)
– The winner will be chosen by random, using Random.org’s Random Number Generator
– The winner will be announced on the evening of May 9, as an update to this post- For this content, U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck, TV fans!

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV

(ALL TIMES ET)

8 and 8:30PM | ABC
Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown and A Charlie Brown Valentine – Poor Blockhead. All Charlie Brown wants in these two specials, from 1975 and 2002, respectively, is a Valentine’s Day card and some attention from the little red-haired girl. Meanwhile, Lucy awaits her own romantic communiqué from Schroeder, Sally wants Linus to love her as much as he loves his blanket and Snoopy busts out his typewriter to compose the perfect love poem.

6:30PM | THE HUB – SERIES PREMIERE
Transformers Prime – Yep, it’s an all-new Transformers series, but the same old enemies duke it out for control of the earth. In the opener, “Masters & Students,” Optimus Prime and Bumblebee take on Skyquake.

8PM | THE CW
Smallville – With just six episodes left until the series finale, tonight’s action revolves around the ‘rents, as Clark’s mama gets shot at a pro-vigilante rally on TV and Lionel Luthor takes back his company.

8PM | NBC
Who Do You Think You Are?Tim McGraw researches his dad’s (late Phillies pitcher Tug McGraw) ancestry and finds a connection to George Washington.

9PM | NGC – SERIES PREMIERE
Auction Packed – Why are we all so fascinated by the accumulation and selling of other people’s junk? I dunno, but as shows like this and Storage Wars prove, we are.

9PM | CBS
CSI:NY – The hitmaker plays a hit man: Grammy winner Ne-Yo guest stars as a man who kidnaps a woman and gives the CSI gang something to investigate tonight.

9PM | TEENNICK
Degrassi – Anya starts a romance with Chris … Dr. Chris … the much older Dr. Chris, who doesn’t know that she’s only 17.

9PM | FOX
Fringe – A flesh-eating insect is running amuck! Looks like even the alt universe isn’t immune to the bedbug invasion.

9PM | THE CW
Supernatural – Sam and Dean head off to Anytown USA, where, it turns out, Sam previously lived and engaged in some not-so-great behavior.

10PM | CURRENT – SERIES PREMIERE
Bar Karma – A guy walks into a bar … and you decide what he does after that. If you loved those “choose your own ending” books as a kid, this cool new series, in which viewers get to help decide everything from what happens to the characters to what music is playing in the titular bar, is worth a look. As for the story, Internet mogul Doug Jones (Matthew Humphreys) wins Bar Karma in a poker game. The Bar is run by 20,000-year-old bartender James (Newhart and Deadwood star William Sanderson), who, during every Happy Hour, helps one patron who’s “at a karmic crossroads” decide which path to take. Via the show’s Website, the viewer actually helps make the decisions, and the producers of the new series promise to include the names of those who make significant contributions in the show’s credits.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
Adam Sandler hangs out on Live with Regis and Kelly (Check local listings for time and channel);
– It’s a “where are they now” installment on Kitchen Nightmares (8PM, Fox), when chef Gordo revisits some of the restaurants he’s tried to help;
– A couple gets married in a mud pit on My Big Redneck Wedding (8:30PM, CMT);
– And 20/20 (10PM, ABC) tells the story of the Kims, a California family that took one wrong turn off the interstate in 2006 and ended up stranded in their car in a snowstorm for more than a week.

And the late-night line-up:
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Ed Helms and The Deers;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Kathy Griffin, Gayle King and The Black Keys;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): TBA (REPEAT);
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Adam Sandler and Aziz Ansari;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Jason Biggs and Jennifer Ouellette;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Brooklyn Decker, Chuck Brown and singer Clare Burson.

‘The Simpsons’ Couch Gag, Banksy Edition

In case you missed it, last night’s couch gag from The Simpsons, as created by graffiti artist Banksy. The best part? The unicorn punching holes in Simpsons DVDs:

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