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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 – October 20, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

8PM | CBS
The Big Bang Theory
– Sheldon’s mama visits, which puts him into hyper-competitive mode, because she seems to be paying more attention to his friends.

9PM | LIFETIME – 9TH SEASON FINALE, PART 1
Project Runway
– The Big Gunn – PR mentor Tim Gunn – visits the finalists at home to see how their collections are progressing.

10PM | FX
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
– The storm of the century is scheduled to hit Philly, which means panicked shopping for Mac, and looting for other Philadelphians. And, of course, there is a bunker involved.

10PM | MTV – 4TH SEASON FINALE
Jersey Shore
– Here’s The Situation: As the NJ crew prepares to leave Italy and head back home, their frustration with Mike’s buttinsky ways leaves him threatening not to join them back at the Shore.

10PM | CBS
The Mentalist
– Rigsby worries that his new girlfriend is going to cause hard feelings between him and Van Pelt, while Jane (Simon Baker) and the team investigate the murder of a woman whose body washed up on the coast of California.

10:30PM | FX
The League
– Ruxin worries that Taco is going to sleep with the attractive nanny (guest Brie Larson) he hired to take care of Geoffrey.

11PM | MTV
Jersey Shore
Season 4 Reunion – Because these people have some explainin’ to do.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– Elena and her friends begin their senior year on The Vampire Diaries (8PM, The CW);
Lee Majors and Marilu Henner guest star on Grey’s Anatomy (9PM, ABC);
– Reese and Finch have to deal with a tough judge and a Person of Interest (9PM, CBS) who doesn’t like the way they do what they do;
– Addison treats a pregnant woman who lost her memory after a car accident on Private Practice (10PM, ABC).

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Jesse Tyler Ferguson;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Richard Brookhiser;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Coldplay;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): George Clooney (REPEAT);
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Hugh Jackman and Tony Bennett (REPEAT);
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Mute Math (REPEAT);
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Will Forte and Amy Sedaris (REPEAT);
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Tom Lennon;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Michelle Monaghan (REPEAT).

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – October 13, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

9PM | NBC
The Office
Stephen Collins and Dee Wallace guest star as Andy’s ‘rents, while Josh Groban guests as his brother, and their family reunion provides so much insight into why Andy is so … Andy.

8PM | CBS
Big Bang Theory
Wil Wheaton guest stars when Leonard and Shelton attend a soiree at his house.

8PM | NBC
Community
– New roomies Troy and Abed host a housewarming, er, apartment warming, party.

8:30PM | NBC
Parks and Recreation
– It’s dueling camping trips when Ron takes the Pawnee Rangers boys into the wild, while Leslie does the same with her all-girls troop of Pawnee Goddesses.

9PM | LIFETIME
Project Runway
Zoe Saldana is the guest judge as we get close to the season finale and the remaining designers are challenged to create a mini collection.

10PM | FX
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
– It’s a family reunion when Frank’s brother shows up and reveals some family secrets, including the woman who came between the Reynolds brothers.

10PM | CBS
The Mentalist
– Jane thinks a dude at a political rally is about to commit a murder. And considering said dude has a gun, he might be onto something.

10:30PM | FX
The League
– Ruxin tries to get Geoffrey into a Jewish preschool.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– On Vampire Diaries (8PM, The CW), Damon tries to get Jeremy to help take out the dangerous Klaus;
– The contestants pay home visits to the judges/mentors on The X Factor (8PM, Fox);
Debbie Allen guests as Jackson’s mommy on Grey’s Anatomy (9PM, ABC);
– A young doctor is on the guys’ list on Person of Interest (9PM, CBS);
The Situation takes his pot stirring too far and the whole house turns against him on Jersey Shore (10PM, MTV);
– A woman with no uterus wants to have a baby on Private Practice (10PM, ABC).

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Sarah Michelle Gellar;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Bill O’Reilly (REPEAT);
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Ken Burns (REPEAT);
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Bill O’Reilly;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Zachary Levi;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): John Goodman;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Julianne Hough;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Kathy Bates;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Chris  Hayes.

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