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Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – September 29, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

10PM | FX
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
– In “Frank Reynolds’ Little Beauties,” the gang takes on toddlers and tiaras when Frank produces his own kiddie beauty pageant, then worries people will think he’s a perv. Which, of course, he is, but not in this instance.

8PM | CBS
The Big Bang Theory
– Leonard and Amy get to know each other when he accompanies her to a wedding. Meanwhile, Bernadette and Howard spend the weekend with Mrs. Wolowitz.

8PM | NBC
Community
Freaks and Geeks star Martin Starr plays the gang’s professor, and advisor for a Model United Nations project, while Chang takes to his new campus security guard a little too enthusiastically.

8:30PM | CBS – SERIES PREMIERE
How to Be a Gentleman
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia co-star and producer David Hornsby (he plays Rickety Cricket) stars in this new sitcom about a magazine etiquette columnist who’s told by his boss to modernize his column. His solution: hire his former high school bully nemesis (Entourage star Kevin Dillon) to be his life coach. Should you watch? Eh. Kevin Dillon is essentially playing Johnny Drama (which I don’t mean as a compliment), and everything else about the show feels very been there, done that.

8:30PM | NBC
Parks and Recreation
– The former Mrs. Ron Swanson, Tammy One (guest star Patricia Clarkson), returns to wreak even more havoc on Ron’s (Nick Offerman) life, while Ben tries to help Tom get his new company’s finances on track.

9PM | ABC
Grey’s Anatomy
– The chief makes a major career decision, while the fifth-year residents get their first chance to perform solo surgeries.

9PM | NBC
The Office
– Robert (James Spader) motivates the sales staff with a rousing speech … and a major prize for the top dog.

9PM | LIFETIME
Project Runway
– The designers have to whip up ’70s-inspired frocks.

10PM | CBS
The Mentalist
– Jane gets his job back, but when he’s assigned to a new team, he plots to get Lisbon and the crew back.

10:30PM | FX – 3RD SEASON FINALE
Archer
– In the conclusion of the “Heart of Archness” saga, Archer and company escape from the pirate island.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– Old Spice Guy Isaiah Mustafa guests on Charlie’s Angels (8PM, ABC);
– Stefan is reunited with an old love on The Vampire Diaries (8PM, The CW);
– Auditions continue on The X Factor (8PM, Fox);
– Finch talks about his machine’s origins on Person of Interest (9PM, CBS);
– On Jersey Shore (10PM, MTV), Deena has a pregnancy scare, which should really scare all of us, as a people, that she might unleash a mini-Deena on the world;
– Duffy doesn’t welcome Jane’s help on his murder/kidnapping case on Prime Suspect (10PM, NBC);
– On the fifth season premiere of Private Practice (10PM, ABC), Pete has a heart attack and Addison plots having a baby with Jake (Benjamin Bratt).

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Patton Oswalt;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Tony Bennett;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Mark Cuban;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Death Cab for Cutie and Kaley Cuoco;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Chaz Bono and Albert Brooks;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Matt Stone and Trey Parker;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Melissa McCarthy;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Carson Kressley;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter.

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – September 22, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

8:30PM | NBC – 4TH SEASON PREMIERE
Parks and Recreation
– So harsh: Leslie (Amy Poehler) has to choose between Ben (Adam Scott) and her dream of running for political office. Meanwhile, one Tammy ex-wife isn’t enough for Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman): his first Tammy ex is headed back into his life, and she looks a lot like big-screen star Patricia Clarkson. Because she is.

8PM | CBS – 5TH SEASON PREMIERE
Big Bang Theory
– Penny’s so upset about sleeping with Raj that she considers leaving town, while Sheldon becomes a paintball cap’n on the one-hour season opener.

8PM | ABC – SERIES PREMIERE
Charlie’s Angels
Minka Kelly‘s cool, and that’s the best thing you can say about this lackluster remake of the ’70s “jigglefest” series. So why’s it on my Picks list? Because you might want to see for yourself how badly it fails to live up to original series …

8PM | NBC – 3RD SEASON PREMIERE
Community
The Wire‘s Michael K. Williams guest stars as Jeff’s new biology teacher (who kicks Mr. Winger out of class) and the great John Goodman plays the recurring role of Greendale Vice Dean Laybourne, the head of the Greendale Air Conditioning Repair Annex, and the new thorn in the side of beleaguered Dean Pelton.

8PM | FOX
The X Factor
– The early auditions continue. What did you think of the new show and the return of Simon Cowell?

9PM | ABC – 8TH SEASON PREMIERE
Grey’s Anatomy
– Meredith is bounced after messing with McDreamy’s clinical trial.

9PM | NBC – 8TH SEASON PREMIERE
The Office
– New Sabre CEO Robert California (James Spader) starts his job, but we still don’t know who the new Scranton boss will be ….

9PM | CBS – SERIES PREMIERE
Person of Interest
– Love the cast – Jim Caviezel and Lost‘s Michael Emerson – but the pilot of this drama, about a CIA agent who’s presumed dead (Caviezel) and the super wealthy software developer (Emerson) he teams with to try to prevent crimes before they happen, didn’t really grab me. But again, with that cast, and a good general premise (not to mention J.J. Abrams as producer), it’s worth checking out for a few episodes.

9PM | LIFETIME
Project Runway
– The designers have to whip up rockin’ threads for the rock band the Sheepdogs, while American Idol alum Adam Lambert is the guest judge.

9:30PM | NBC – SERIES PREMIERE
Whitney
– NBC’s Thursday-night comedy line-up has 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Community, The Office … and now Whitney. Which one of these things is not like the others? It’s the unfunny one, by which I mean Whitney. But if that promo in which Whitney’s (titular comedienne star Whitney Cummings) busted for eating a cupcake at a wedding entices you to watch anyway, come back and share your feelings with the group, by which I mean the comments, afterwards.

10PM | FX
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
– Dennis and Sweet Dee take the gang to the Jersey Shore, where they spent several happy summers. Now … not so happy for them.

10PM | CBS – 4TH SEASON PREMIERE
The Mentalist
– Jane is in prison and has to prove the man he killed was Red John.

10PM | NBC – SERIES PREMIERE
Prime Suspect – My biggest issue with this remake of the British female homicide detective drama that originally starred Helen Mirren (and stars Mario Bello in this American remake) is that, after a night of comedy on NBC, do you really want to slide into murder at 10PM?

10:30PM | FX
Archer
– The ISIS gang keeps trying to rescue Archer, who doesn’t want to be found, because he’s happily ensconced as the new pirate king on the island.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– Tyler and his mama have an emotional meltdown on Vampire Diaries (8PM, The CW);
– After her trip to the police station after her accident, Snooki gets a visit from her boyfriend and ends up making a jackass of herself, a-gain, on Jersey Shore (10PM, MTV);
– The new documentary series Prison Diaries (10PM, TLC) revolves around female inmates who reflect on the crimes they committed and their lives in jail afterwards;
– It’s the series premiere of Sweet Genius (10PM, Food Network), a new dessert competition series in which pastry chefs compete to win $10,000 for their confections.

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Jonah Hill;
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Jennifer Granholm;
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Tavis Smiley;
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Chris Cornell and Sofia Vergara;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Jamie Foxx;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Daryl Hall;
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Julianna Margulies and Wyatt Cenac;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Chris Hardwick;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Doug Elin.

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – September 6-12, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

TVScreener’s on a little break this week, so here’s a list of the must-not-miss programming you should, uh, not miss, through next Monday:

10PM, TUES | FX – 4TH SEASON PREMIERE
Sons of Anarchy
– The 90-minute season premiere picks up with the SAMCRO dudes getting out of jail and returning to Charming, where a new sheriff (Prison Break‘s Rockmond Dunbar) is considerably less friendly than the old regime, Opie and Lyla are getting hitched, a new federal agent (Deadwood‘s Ray McKinnon) is hot on the club’s trail and Jax returns home to his new son and Tara, with a radical change in his priorities. I’ve seen the first three episodes of season four, and they set up what promises to be a great (another great) season, with a lot of the tensions that have been building throughout the series inevitably bubbling up to the forefront. Still bummed SoA creator Kurt Sutter quit Twitter though …

10PM, WEDS | FX – SERIES FINALE
Rescue Me
Denis Leary‘s NYPD fireman dramedy that was sparked by 9/11 comes to an end just in time for the day’s 10th anniversary, and, though the show has been hit and miss throughout its run (I maintain that the season five finale, in which Tommy was shot by his crazy Uncle Teddy, would have been the perfect series finale), but this fairly satisfying series ender wraps with a tragedy, some over-the-top (but still pretty funny) shenanigans and a glimpse at the guys’ futures.

9PM, THURS | USA – 5TH SEASON SUMMER FINALE
Burn Notice
– Michael’s old frienemy Larry (guest star Tim Matheson) returns, which always means trouble. And since Michael is right in the middle of trying to prove he didn’t kill Max, Larry’s reappearance is particularly ill-timed.

10PM, THURS | FX – 1ST SEASON FINALE
Wilfred
– There are some truly delightful and ornery moments in tonight’s finale (many of them tied to Wilfred’s love of bubbles), but the ending? Will blow your mind.

10:30PM, THURS | FX – 2ND SEASON FINALE
Louie
– Louie … New Jersey … bad.

10PM, FRI | STARZ – SEASON FINALE
Torchwood: Miracle Day
– This is either the first season finale or the fourth, depending on whether you see this as a whole new series or just a continuation of the original. Either way, the Torchwoodies make a final effort against the Three Families, but it may take a huge sacrifice for them to have any hope of defeating the Fams.

9PM, SUN | HBO – 4TH SEASON FINALE
True Blood
– It’s called “And When I Die.” Hints: Debbie has it out with Tara and Sookie, Alcide gets romantic and Terry has a surprise visitor.

10PM, SUN | AMC
Breaking Bad
– Gus takes on his rivals, while Jesse asks Walt for help.

10PM, SUN | HBO – 8TH SEASON FINALE
Curb Your Enthusiasm
– This has officially been my all-time favorite season of Curb, as Larry, sans the wet blanket that was Cheryl, fully embraced his inner “social assassin. But tonight, he tangles with the one guy who could have us all rooting against Larry: Michael J. Fox.

10:30PM, SUN | HBO – SERIES FINALE
Entourage
– If not for Jeremy Piven as Ari, this season would have been unwatchable. But since we’ve come this far, may as well see how it all ends, as Vince makes a surprising move after this first date with Sophia, Ari and Mrs. Ari go for one more therapy session and the guys try to talk the pregnant Sloan into reuniting with E, even as her dad threatens to kill him.

MON | CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS FOR TIME AND CHANNEL – SERIES PREMIERE
Anderson Anderson Cooper begins his stint as a daytime talk show host. Can’t wait; as well as being a serious newsie, he loves pop culture and guilty pleasure TV, so it should prove to be a fun mix.

10PM, MON | SHOWTIME
Weeds
– Nancy, Andy and Doug head to the Hamptons for the weekend, while Shane goes on a drug bust with Det. Ouellette.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
TUESDAY
Todd‘s son from a previous marriage visits and wreaks havoc in the house on Downsized (9PM, WE);
– Dough, breakfast food and fancy fish are among the mystery basket ingredients on this installment of Chopped: Champions (10PM, Food Network);
– The 4th season premiere of The Rachel Zoe Project (10PM, Bravo) finds the spaz stylist preparing for the imminent arrival of baby Skyler;
Amber spends a night in jail and Catelynn and Tyler have a fight on Teen Mom (10PM, MTV);
– On Awkward (11PM, MTV), Jenna’s wild party ends with a kiss, but she can’t remember the details of it (the party or the kiss).

WEDNESDAY
Mike and Lonnie choose a partner in the season finale of Famous Food (8PM, VH1);
– Boorman offers Patty classified info on Howard Erickson (for a price, of course) on Damages (10PM, DirecTV);
Chef Robert travels to Pennsylvania to help the owner of a place that’s part eatery, part vineyard and part zoo on Restaurant: Impossible (10PM, Food Network);
– Back-to-back new eps of Storage Wars (10 and 10:30PM, A&E);
– On Top Chef: Just Desserts (10PM, Bravo), the chefs have to whip up desserts for a party thrown by Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Lisa Vanderpump.

THURSDAY
– The designers have to create a signature fabric, and they also have to work in teams again on Project Runway (9PM, Lifetime);
Futurama (10PM, Comedy Central) wraps its sixth season;
Ronnie and Sammi try to make up (again), but will probably end up in a psycho drama instead (again) on Jersey Shore (10PM, MTV);
– Trevor creates a problem when he shows up on Mike’s doorstep in the first season finale of Suits (10PM, USA).

FRIDAY
– Taped in Beverly Hills in December, Mel Brooks and Dick Cavett: Together Again (9PM, HBO) finds the two showbiz legends and fantastic storytellers swapping anecdotes in front of a live audience, which includes fellow legend Carl Reiner.

SATURDAY
Cops (8PM, Fox): Bad boys, bad boys, back for their 24th season premiere;
– The Doctor and Rory have to rescue Amy, who’s been quarantined inside an alien hospital on Doctor Who (9PM, BBCA).

SUNDAY
– It’ll be hard to top (go lower than?) the spectacle that was last week’s attempt to get Amy Fisher to meet up with Mary Jo Buttafuoco, but Dr. Drew and his team make the effort during updates on the other rehabbers during the fifth season finale of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew (10PM, VH1);
Teresa makes a gaudy spectacle of herself and her family with a kiddie birthday party on Real Housewives of New Jersey (10PM, Bravo).

MONDAY
– The 42nd season premiere of Monday Night Football (7PM, ESPN) pits the Patriots against the Dolphins;
– There are wieners and winners in the second season finale of Bachelor Pad (8PM, ABC);
Andy Cohen co-hosts the 2011 Miss Universe Pageant (9PM, NBC);
– On the seventh season summer finale of The Closer (9PM, TNT), the judge makes a crucial ruling in Brenda’s case;
Kate Plus 8 (9PM, TLC) … series finale, finale-ally;
Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (9PM, Bravo) … yep, it’s creepy, and that only continues as Taylor delves into her marital woes;
– On The A-List (10PM, Logo), Austin tries to make up with Derek, and Reichen introduces his new cologne;
– The season two premiere of Extreme Couponing (10PM, TLC) features a woman who’s using coupons in the hopes of saving enough cash to move out of her dangerous neighborhood;
– On the second season summer finale of Rizzoli & Isles (10PM, TNT), a young guy is killed in a jail bathroom, just as he was about to be sprung from the hoosegow;
– Adam searches for his MIA uncle on The Big C (10:30PM, Showtime).

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Charlie Day and Foo Fighters (Thursday);
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Dr. Sanjay Gupta (Wednesday);
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Tom Brokaw (Thursday);
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Michael J. Fox (Thursday);
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Nick Swardson (Tuesday); Wull Arnett (Thursday); Glen Campbell and Christina Applegate (Monday);
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Elijah Wood (Wednesday); Nathan Fillion (Monday);
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Denis Leary (Tuesday); Tom Selleck (Thursday); Lauren Graham (Friday); Sarah Michelle Gellar (Monday);
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Lisa Kudrow (Tuesday).

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – September 1, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

10PM | FX
Wilfred
– Only one more Wilfred before next week’s season finale. Sad. But tonight’s installment is a good one: An attractive woman is interested in Ryan, but he’s preoccupied with doing for others, including Kristen, Jenna and, of course, Wilfie.

8-11PM | DISCOVERY
Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero
– The miniseries concludes with episodes featuring 9/11 survivors who hung around to help rebuild their communities and a memorial for 9/11 victims.

9PM | USA
Burn Notice
– Sam and Jesse try to trap Max’s killer while Michael and Fiona pretend to be a wealthy couple at a swanky South American resort to rescue a bioweapons expert.

9PM | TEENNICK – SUMMER FINALE
Degrassi – It’s prom night, and on Degrassi, that means someone’s probably gonna get shot.

9PM | LIFETIME
Project Runway
Kenneth Cole is the guest judge as the contestants have to create garments inspired by student art projects.

10PM | COMEDY CENTRAL
Futurama
– When Bender gets a boost in his processing power, he’s suddenly able to see the future. A prescient Bender … all kinds of potential there.

10PM | USA
Suits
– Harvey’s mentor shows up and asks for Harvey’s help when the mentor’s office comes under investigation. The best part: said mentor is played by guest star Gary Cole, who always elevates whatever project he’s in.

11:59PM | ADULT SWIM – 3RD SEASON FINALE
Childrens Hospital
– In “Newsreaders,” we get updates on the Childrens Hospital (remember, no apostrophe!) cast. The crazy, crazy cast.

12:15AM FRIDAY | ADULT SWIM
NTSF: SD: SUV
– Trent (Paul Scheer) plans a cruise for the NTSF crew, but he has an ulterior motive: to catch a terrorist who’s allegedly hiding on the ship.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– It’s eviction night on Big Brother (8PM, CBS);
– In case you missed it on Sunday, the conclusion of last week’s Jersey Shore (10PM, MTV) finds Situation  leaving the house on a stretcher after he and Ronnie duke it out;
– On Louie (10:30PM, FX), Louie’s sister wigs out and takes her daughter to Grand Central Station … and leaves her there.

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Zach Galifianakis (REPEAT);
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Mark Adams (REPEAT);
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): The space shuttle astronauts (REPEAT);
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Julianna Margulies and Lady Antebellum;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Kevin Smith and Heidi Klum;
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Jamie Foxx (REPEAT);
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Lenny Kravitz;
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Kathy Griffin;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Sarah Vowell (REPEAT).

Potts Picks: Today’s Best TV – August 25, 2011

(ALL TIMES ET)

8-11PM | DISCOVERY – SERIES PREMIERE
Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero
– Ground Zero will ultimately be a 16-acre complex that includes four skyscrapers, a transportation hub, a museum and a 9/11 memorial with the largest man-made waterfall in history. This miniseries, produced by Steven Spielberg, documents the construction, including the remembrances of those who were in lower Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2011 and those who are involved now in this massive, emotional rebuilding effort.

9PM | USA
Burn Notice
– Michael worms his way inside a group of hijackers as a way to help Jesse with a security job, but he’s caught by surprise when the hijackers take hostages at an airport. And the person trying to help the hostages escape? Maddie, of course.

9PM | LIFETIME
Project Runway
Survivor meets PR? The designers not only have to conceive a new frock based on sneakers and sportswear, but they actually have to participate in a running event.

10PM | MTV
Jersey Shore
– They’ve been teasing it for months, and tonight we finally see the big throwdown between Ronnie and The Situation. Oh, I feel just a little bit more ridiculous every time I type that name.

10PM | FX
Wilfred
Dwight Yoakam guest stars as a guy who may confirm Ryan’s suspicions that his friendship with Wilfred may not be totally healthy.

11:59PM | ADULT SWIM
Childrens Hospital
– Glenn (Ken Marino), finally, gets a bar mitzvah.

12:15AM FRIDAY | ADULT SWIM
NTSF: SD: SUV
Gabrielle Union guest stars in “Tijuana, We’ve Got a Problem,” as plans for the space shuttle are stolen and sold to Mexico, and Trent (Paul Scheer) and the gang must retrieve them.

Worth flipping to during commercials:
– It’s family team night on Wipeout (8PM, ABC);
– It’s eviction night on Big Brother (8PM, CBS);
– Katie and Marisol continue to trash their friendship for a dude on Degrassi (9PM, TeenNick);
– Fry sneezes and reintroduces the common cold into the future on Futurama (10PM, Comedy Central);
– Mike questions why Harvey fired a certain executive on Suits (10PM, USA);
– On Louie (10:30PM, FX), Louie … Afghanistan … comedy ensues.

And the late-night line-up:
Conan (11PM, TBS): Jim Parsons (REPEAT);
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (11PM, Comedy Central): Michael Wallis (REPEAT);
The Colbert Report (11:30PM, Comedy Central): Robert Wittman (REPEAT);
The Late Show with David Letterman (11:35PM, CBS): Paul Rudd;
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (11:35PM, NBC): Dolly Parton and Ben Bailey (REPEAT);
Jimmy Kimmel Live (12:05AM, ABC): Howie Mandel (REPEAT);
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (12:35AM, NBC): Ryan Reynolds and Fountains of Wayne (REPEAT);
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (12:37AM, CBS): Kal Penn;
Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35AM, NBC): Adam Pally (REPEAT).

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Charlie Sheen, Russell Brand and Louis C.K. are getting most of the attention, but I’m most excited that one of the best new shows of last TV season — Wilfred — returns for its second season on FX tonight (10PM ET). Season one of the series ended with a cliffhanger — had Ryan (Elijah Wood) […]

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